A Game of Lies by Clare Mackintosh

When I spotted that ‘A Game of Lies’ was a bargain price on the Kindle, I knew that I had to read it. I discovered the books of Clare Mackintosh last year when I read ‘The Last Party‘ And as ‘A Game of Lies’ is the second book featuring Ffion Morgan, I thought it would be an excellent read to satisfy my thriller/crime fiction genre need.

‘A Game of Lies’ did not disappoint. I absolutley loved the concept of the Exposure reality TV show which eventually revealed the contestants’ deepest secrets and how horrendous this would be if it was a real show. But it fed beautifully into the backdrop of the murder mystery that was about to unfold on the pages. The contestants create quite a rogues’ gallery of potential perpetrators of the crime, and potential victims. But are they victims of a crime, or their own vanity and desire to have their fifteen minutes of fame?

I absolutely cannot reveal any spoilers as it is a thriler, but I can assure you that Ffion Morgan is still a fantastic lead female figure for this book. And her relationship with Leo is still something as a reader you are fully invested in until the very last page. This is as much part of the twists and turns as the mystery unfolding at the foot of the Welsh mountains.

This is a well-constructed, thrilling read; I did not solve it until Ffion Morgan and her team did, and I am okay with that, because I do not read these books to solve the crime – I read these books for the escapism from the real world. And if you want the chance to do the same, then pick this book up. I hope that we are going to meet her and Leo again, because they are a rather fantastic crime-fighting duo.

Hostage by Clare Mackintosh

I have only recently discovered the books of Clare Mackintosh and I am so glad that I have as she writes a great thriller. And my thriller and crime phase does not seem to have left me yet – it must be the escapism of it all.

‘Hostage’ was a little bit of a slow burn of a book but once the pace picked up I could not put it down and needed to know what was going to happen next. I do not want to give any of this story away, it definitely needs to be read to be appreciated without any spoilers. However, I was impressed that the real twist came at the very, very end of the book. And it was a twist that I genuinely did not see coming; it was a very clever move by Clare Mackintosh.

I am not sure the characters were particularly likeable in this book but they were fascinating. You needed to find out more about them and try to understand the decisions that they make. I was often left contemplating what I would have done in some of their situations. It was definitely a strong study of human nature and emotion.

Despite this book having been published in 2021, it is one that still felt very bang up to date, with some of the references made to some of the social and political issues within the plot are ones that we seem to still be and possibly always will be facing in the twenty-first century.

Just with the last book I read by Clare Mackintosh (The Last Party), I am keen to read more. Maybe they will pop up in my summer reading over the next few weeks, although I must remember that I should be shopping my shelves – haha!