Audiobook, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

The Family Game by Catherine Steadman @CatSteadman @PRHAudio

the setup…

Harriet (Harry) Reed is a British expatriate, a novelist living in New York with one successful book under her belt and behind on the second. A chance encounter at her publisher’s event has her now engaged to Edward Holbeck, the heir to the family fortunes, but currently estranged from them. He’s old money with the proverbial eccentric family that typically entails. But the Holbecks take that to a new level with their tradition of game playing, spearheaded by the magnetic patriarch, Robert Holbeck. Edward’s parents and three siblings seem to welcome Harry with open arms, reaching out to her directly. But at the end of their first meeting, Robert secretly gives her a cassette tape that reveals shocking information. Let the ultimate game begin!

the heart of the story…
Well, now. This family takes the strange to a new level. Everyone, on the surface, seems friendly and welcoming but I never could shake off the feeling that it was just a veneer to mask an agenda. Harry’s desire to embrace them when her fiancé seemed diffident about them at best was also unsettling. Suffice it to say that I wasn’t trusting anyone pretty early on and knew I should keep my wits about me. When Harry finally got around to listening to that cassette tape, it was a game changer. Why did Robert give it to her; why reveal what he did, and why did it take her so long to listen to it???

the narration…
The story is narrated by the author and I had some initial trepidation about that but from the start, she showed she had not only the skills but knew how she wanted this story told. Steadman kept me off balance through the last sentence.

the bottom line…
This was one weird story with a mystery I couldn’t organize into neat little pieces for the life of me. Was Harry an unreliable narrator? Was someone trying to do her in? Why was Edward estranged from his family? Every time I thought I’d figured it out another wrench would be thrown into my theory. In the end, though, my initial misgivings were confirmed, but I was completely off base with the “why.” The story completely lived up to my expectations and turned out to be a confounding mystery with an explosive conclusion. Loved it on audio.

Book Info

  • Release Date: October 18, 2022
  • Narrator: Catherine Steadman
  • Audio Length: 10 hours, 51 minutes
  • Publisher: Random House Audio


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