Games People Play by Owen Mullen

Action with twists     

My rating:  3 out of 5     

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An explosive start to this thriller set, mainly, in Glasgow, sets the scene for the rest of the book.

To Games People Playsave his wife from drowning Mark is forced to leave their baby alone on the beach.  When he gets his wife back to shore the baby is gone.   Mark seeks help from private detective  Charlie Cameron, as he has secrets he’d rather not share with his wife or the police.

Charlie Cameron is a great character, gritty and down to earth with an on/off relationship with the police.   He works in an unconventional style, using interesting methods to help him solve his cases. His character is very real and is a great centre focal point of the book.

Whilst the hunt is on for Mark’s baby,  other crimes are being committed and whilst Charlie and the police are attempting to solve these, so the reader gets to learn more about Charlie,  his background and personal life.

I love this author’s writing style (previously I’ve read, and given 5*s to, Old Friends and New Enemies).  His characters are completely alive, there is a subtle humour, and the reader is always “right there” in the midst of the action.  However in this book I felt there were too many other sub-plots distracting from the hunt for Mark’s daughter – which had plenty of brilliant threads of its own.  I appreciate that this is very true to life, but I found myself impatient to get back to what I saw as the main story.   By the end the book everything tied together very well, with some clever twists.

This is the first book published by this brilliant author.  I suspect if I had read this book first I might have rated it higher.  As it is I enjoyed this book, loved his second book Old Friends and New Enemies, and am definitely looking forward to reading Owen Mullen’s third book Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead.

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