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Bad Games Paperback – 27 Feb 2013
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About the Author
A former school teacher in the Philadelphia area, Jeff has published multiple works in both fiction and non-fiction. His short story "Sugar Daddy" was the recipient of the 2011 Red Adept Reviews Indie Award for Horror. His most recent release, BAD GAMES: HELLBENT, is the third and final installment in the acclaimed BAD GAMES SERIES. Free time for Jeff is spent watching horror movies, The Three Stooges, and mixed martial arts. He loves steak and more steak, thinks the original 1974 Texas Chainsaw Massacre is the greatest movie ever, wants to pet a lion some day, and hates spiders. Stop by and say hello on his website www.jeffmenapace.com Follow him on Twitter http://twitter.com/JeffMenapace And visit his FB page https://www.facebook.com/JeffMenapace.writer
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Bad Games was my first encounter with Jeff Menapace and it won't be my last, of that I'm sure.
The overall story is quite different from anything I have read for a long time and it was suspenseful and a little graphic. After realising the book was described as a horror I wasn’t sure how far I would get (horror stories aren’t my thing). Luckily what I did find was a brilliantly written psychological thriller about nature versus nurture and just how far mum and dad would go to save their children.
The book started off a little slow to begin and I nearly stopped reading. However, I don’t like quitting with books and told myself just one more chapter. I’m so glad I did as things escalated pretty quickly soon after.
The story follows Patrick and Amy Lambert and their two children, Carrie and Caleb. They are on their way to the family lakehouse in the woods when they have a bizarre encounter at the gas station. Several further strange occurrences leave Patrick and Amy feeling spooked and vulnerable. They try to put the unusual happenings behind them and continue with their vacation. However, things soon take a more sinister turn when the Fannelli brothers put their sick and twisted plan into action, leaving a trail of death as the go.
The characters were developed perfectly and I connected instantly with the Lamberts. I thought the scenes between Patrick and Amy worked well to establish their personas. However, there were a couple of times when I did think that their actions were a little questionable. I was forced to wonder if they didn’t deserve what was about to rain down on them due to what, Patrick in particular, was willing to overlook.
The Fannelli brothers were clever and evil in equal measures. They are testing the theory that genetics and environment having nothing to do with their sadistic tendencies and enjoying every minute of it.
One thing that left me a little perplexed was the cliffhanger at the end. I was anticipating it by the final couple of chapters but wasn’t really sure what it achieved. I would maybe like to see this explored a little more.
I love a book that makes me think, and this one did. As I was reading I was asking myself what would I do in the same situation? Would I be able to do what Amy did? At the end I was left with the big question: are serial killers the product of nature v nurture?
Overall Bad Games is a good read for anyone who likes dark, disturbing novels full of suspense. I will definitely be adding the second book, Vengeful Games, to my TBR list as soon as I have some space.
Overall the writing isn't bad for a free book - I just wouldn't want to read another like it.
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