Title: The Murder Game
Author: Carrie Doyle
Publication: April 6, 2021
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: YA Fiction, Thriller, Suspense
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
What if your best friend and roommate killed a teacher at your prep school? Or what if he didn’t do it, but he’s being framed, and you’re the only person who can save him?
Luke Chase didn’t mean to get caught up solving the mystery of Mrs. Heckler’s murder. He just wanted to spend alone time with the new British girl at their boarding school.
But little did he know someone would end up dead right next to their rendezvous spot in the woods, and his best friend and roommate Oscar Weymouth would be the one to take the blame. With suspects aplenty and a past that’s anything but innocent, Luke Chase reluctantly calls on his famous survival skills to solve the mystery and find the true killer.
**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
The Murder Game by Carrie Doyle first caught my attention because of its name. I’m all about “murder stories”, as I like to call them. Most know them as mystery, thriller, or suspense novels. I am also a fan of YA fiction novels and so this book combined a few of my favorite things, I was all in.
The story follows Luke Chase at his boarding school in the woods where a staff member is killed and the murderer is not immediately found. Luke, being well known for his kidnappin when he was a bit younger, at first has no big interest in helping solve the case. He is interested in who did it because he happens to be keeping secrets in fear of getting in trouble, but all that changes when his roommate is accused.
The characters in this book are my favorite aspect of this book. They are all so quickly and interesting in their own ways that it makes the story that much more enjoyable to read it. Luke seems like your average teenage boy, but he’s also kind of nerdy and more empathetic than other teenage boys. Oscar, the roommate, is definitely your typical teenage boy and a bit refreshing. He’s a bit of a ladies man, he doesn’t always follow the rules, and his room is a mess at almost all times. Pippa is mysterious and secretive. I wasn’t sure I liked her at first but she grew on me. Then you have all the teachers who have the strangest lives and personalities but they all seem very comfortable in their own skin and I love it. All of these characters really added to the story. A good plot line is one thing, but great characters to fill it seals the deal.
Doyle wrote a thriller that gripped me from the first chapter and held me up until the very end. I love when I cannot guess the ending of a mystery novel early on and Doyle accomplished that. There are a magnitude of twists and turns and a lot of suspenseful moments where I found myself holding my breath thinking something huge was about to happen. Just when I thought I had guessed it, another twist had me second guessing myself. While this book is labeled for Young Adult readers, it’s a mystery/thriller anyone could enjoy and will enjoy if they take the time to read it. Doyle’s writing style flows really nicely. There is no jumping around. You get a few flashbacks for Luke, but otherwise its just flowing until you hit the big reveal.
I’m so glad I picked up this novel. It’s an astounding story packed full of thrills and suspense. An absolute must read this spring. I had never read anything by Carrie Doyle before, but I will definitely be adding her to my list of authors to watch for new releases and all of her previous releases. I’ll be busy reading.
STAR RATING: 5/5
Pick up your copy of The Murder Game by Carrie Doyle on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or check your local bookstore. Also make sure to add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you are finished. Check out more from author Carrie Doyle on her website HERE.