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The Cruellest Game Paperback – 12 Sep 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pan (12 Sept. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1447218736
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447218739
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 12.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 379,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hilary Bonner is an English crime novelist, best known for her psychological thrillers.
Her latest novel, Friends to Die For, published by Pan Macmillan is a kind of Friends UK meets Ten Little Indians, and tells the story of a group of chums living in London's Covent Garden who become the victims of a dangerous prankster. At first, whilst always disturbing, the tricks are funny. But as they continue they become more serious and violent. Then the deaths begin.
The group call themselves Sunday Club and meet every Sunday evening in a basement restaurant called Johnny's Place - not unlike the legendary Joe Allen! And to mark the paperback publication (October 2014) Joes have created a suitably lethal Friends to Die For cocktail.
In real life Bonner regularly meets with a group of chums at Joe's for Sunday supper. They call themselves Sunday Club. But so far there have been no murders and no violent psychopath lurks amongst them - as far as they know...
Almost all Bonner's novels are inspired by real life events and locations, often drawing on her journalistic past. No Reason to Die, her most controversial book, focuses on the notorious series of unexplained deaths at Deepcut Barracks and elsewhere within the British Army. Bonner worked with the families of several of the dead soldiers in order to produce a complex conspiracy theory which, while presented as fiction, was believed by some to have come uncannily close to the truth, and led The Times to describe her as 'keeping on the public agenda the stories our masters would prefer buried.'
When The Dead Cry Out draws on her real life experience of living next door to a murderer. Its inspiration is the case of John Allen, Bonner's friend and neighbour during the 1980s, who in 2003 was found guilty of the murder of his wife and two children 27 years previously.
The Cruellest Game (published 2013) charts the cataclysmic collapse of a woman's apparently perfect life when she finds that almost everything in it is based upon a lie. It was inspired by a newspaper article about a family torn apart after the terrible deceit of one family member is revealed.
Bonner has just finished Death Comes First, to be published by Pan Macmillan next year, focusing on a widowed mum who receives a letter from her dead husband which turns her entire world upside down.
Bonner, a former chairman of the Crime Writers Association, was brought up close to the North Devon coast in the estuary town of Bideford, where her father was a local butcher and ran a tea shop. She was educated at the town's Edgehill College, and went on to be accepted for the Daily Mirror Training Scheme as a 17 year old school leaver. She acquired her first job in Fleet Street aged 20, ultimately becoming show business editor of three national newspapers, The Sun, The Mail on Sunday, and The Daily Mirror, and assistant editor of one. She left Fleet Street in 1993 and became a full time author.
Her published work now includes eleven novels, five non fiction books, two ghosted autobiographies, one ghosted biography, two companions to TV programmers, and a number of short stories.
She lives in Somerset and London with her partner, the actress Amanda Barrie.

Product Description

About the Author

Hilary Bonner is a full time author and former chairman of The Crime Writers’ Association. Her published work includes nine previous novels, five non fiction books: two ghosted autobiographies, one biography, two companions to TV programmes, and a number of short stories. She is a former Fleet Street journalist, show business editor of three national newspapers and assistant editor of one. She now lives in the West of England where she was born and brought up and where most of her novels are set.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By V Wawman on 14 Nov. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not a particularly likeable main character and I wasn't keen on the author's style of writing - a bit stilted and formal for me. The story became increasingly predictable as it went on and i won't be rushing to read any more books by this author.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Pauline on 22 Nov. 2013
Format: Paperback
This book started out well and full of promise but quickly slipped into being predictable and so far fetched. Unexpected addition of genetic condition Huntingtons disease. Which was very far fetched and unnecessary and inaccurate with regard to the second daughter being tested for the condition and I should know as I am a genetic counsellor! I would not rush to read any more of this authors books.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Steveatki on 10 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback
I was a bit short of cash and in need of a new read. This was £1.95 in Tesco.(sorry amazon)
So i bought it.
I was not sure what to expect and still having finished don't quite know what i made of it.
What was sadly a problem throughout was the way the main character spoke. And her husband who was a rough and ready oil rig worker. It was all darling this and darling that.
The story carries intrigue and keeps you reading but i did start to adopt a I don't really care attitude towards the end.
For the record i did not see the twist coming mainly because the ending is flawed and does not fit with what we have previously been told.
My advice is to give it a miss there are a lot better out there.
Try Robothams Say you're sorry or Weavers Never coming back. Both in a different league.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mrs Lynne Griffiths on 14 Nov. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The ending really spoiled the book for me. Without giving the storyline away, the "twist in the tail" seemed to have been written by someone who either hadn't read the book properly or who had forgotten the sequence of events!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By love reading TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 Nov. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I quite enjoyed reading this book and it was a bit of a page-turner but I had guessed the whole plot well before it all concluded, so it was very predictable and obvious. I also didn't find Marion a credible or likeable character, but I don't suppose she was meant to be particularly likeable. The whole pre-crisis family was also very unbelievable as was Robert both before and after.
I don't think this is a very well-written book but, to be honest, I quite enjoyed reading it and it kept me entertained for a few days.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Miskatonic_Foxy on 9 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback
I had to keep checking that I was in fact reading the same book as the one getting glowing reviews here.
I just found the pace very slow, contrary to everyone else here it seems.
I also found the character of Marion very hard to bond with, like or even care about. Even though she was supposed to be in her early forties she spoke as if she was nearer pension age. I haven't ever heard anyone speak in the way that Marion was voiced.
There was plenty of mention of iphone's, ipod's and smart tv's but they seemed so out of place in this dated environment.
The story was nothing spectacular, the twist ending I could see a mile away. I had also figured out the identity of her supposed best friend after the first interaction between Marion, Robert and Bella.
I found myself skipping chapters of waffle just to get on to the next active part of the story. I honestly felt it should have been condensed into a short story and none of the important points would have been missed.
I suppose there was a reason this book was for sale for under £2 in Tesco's.
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By Liz Wilkins TOP 500 REVIEWER on 6 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
THE LIE WAS JUST THE BEGINNING . . .
Marion Anderson lives the perfect life.
She has a beautiful home, a handsome and loving husband, and an intelligent and caring son.
But as easily as perfect lives are built, they can also be demolished. When tragedy strikes at the heart of her family, Marion finds herself in the middle of a nightmare, with no sign of waking-up.

As anyone who follows my reviews knows, I do love a good twisty tale and this one looked as if it might fit the bill, as indeed it did.

When tragedy strikes at the heart of Marion's world you would have thought that there was nothing worse that could happen to her - in some ways you would be right but as her life disintigrates around her, and she falls ever deeper into a nightmare beyond imagination, you would also be wrong..

One of my favourite things about this book was character development. I really wasnt that fond of Marion to start with, whilst at the same time feeling inordinately sorry for her - her emphasis on "home" a theme running throughout the novel..not only hers but those of other people - sometimes seemed to border on the obsessive. And yet, as she realises just how much of the life she has always known has gone, she develops a much harder "edge", loses her doormat status and becomes ever stronger...

Her Husband Rob is an amazingly well drawn character and possibly one you will immediately loathe from the very first sentence that is written about him (as was the case for me) and once again he goes through some cleverly written and subtle changes througout the story. The peripheral characters also - you are never sure where they will ultimately fit into the "whole" and this makes it an intriguing and compelling read.
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By JM VINE VOICE on 9 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this dark tale.
Marion thinks she has the perfect life, she has a wonderful remote home which she shares with her teenage son and husband Robert, and a seemingly wonderful marriage and close family unit. Until one day she arrives home from work to make a shocking discovery. This tragedy is only the beginning of the unravelling of her life, suddenly she cannot trust those closest to her and things go from bad to worse until she is living in a nightmare. I cannot go into too much detail without revealing the plot but suffice to say this is an excellent pyschological thriller, with a good twist at the end (although like a couple of other reviewers have commented the ending is a little hard to comprehend at first, I think you have to read between the lines). Very highly recommended.
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