I was so excited when Owen Mullen and Bloodhound Books contacted me and asked me if I wanted to be a part of the relaunch of Games People Play – the first in his Charlie Cameron P.I Series, I didn’t need to think twice about my response – it was a hell yeah!
Being a kind of back to front kind of gal I had already read “Old Friends and New Enemies” so my introduction to Charlie Cameron wasn’t new – however, this was a brilliant chance to brush up on my character stalking side – what makes that damn Charlie tick and just what are the skeletons in his closet!
What the blurb says:
On a warm summer’s evening thirteen month old Lily Hamilton is abducted from Ayr beach in Scotland, taken while her parents are yards away. Three days later, the distraught father turns up at Glasgow PI Charlie Cameron’s office and begs him to help. Mark Hamilton believes he knows who has stolen his daughter. And why.
Against his better judgement Charlie gets involved in a case he would be better off without. But when a child’s body is discovered on Fenwick Moor, then another in St Andrews, the awful truth dawns: there is a serial killer out there whose work has gone undetected for decades. Baby Lily may be the latest victim of a madman.
For Charlie it’s too late, he can’t let go. His demons won’t let him.
The stunning first novel featuring Glasgow PI Charlie Cameron. Games People Play will have the reader guessing to the very last page.
My review: 5/5
Well what a read and as the last line of the synopsis says it kept me guessing right up to the very end!
Games People Play is a fast paced multiple plot read; the reader is taken from the drama of a near drowning and child abduction from Ayr beach to the disappearance of a teenage girl from the family home. Despite warnings from police to leave the investigations alone, Charlie is determined to see them through to the end no matter the consequences. It is through these plots that we learn what drives Charlie to do what he does and what it is about his background that will haunt him until he gets the answers he is looking for.
I loved Charlie, Owen has created a strong and complex character in this Private Investigator; he has his own demons to chase yet it doesn’t prevent him from taking on cases where the similarities are bound to stir up those demons; his relationships with the other characters are complex yet intriguing. We have Jackie the bar manager at New York Blue who has a love/hate relationship with him and he depends very much on her support for his office space; Patrick – his on/off assistant with a bit of a drink problem and some serious marital relationship struggles! DS Andrew Geddes is both a friend and a thorn in the side to Charlie and the two collide and clash over ongoing investigations. I found all the characters to be well-rounded and realistic. They engaged me and I and really want to get to know them more as this series develops.
Running through this book are themes of infidelity and the tangled web weaved by those deceiving; dysfunctional families and the far-reaching impact that this can have on family members.
I loved the fact that it is set in places I know – from the area around the Exhibition Centre to the Willow Tea Rooms in Glasgow, this novel will introduce you to my favourite city in the world. A sense of place is important to me in a book, I want to be able to see where I am, hear the sounds around me, inhale the essence of the location and this novel picked me up and placed me smack bang in the middle of my home town. I got a real sense of place and belonging when I read this book. Full of plot twists and turns this is a book that keeps you guessing right up to the end.
To buy the book, click on the image below, get over to Amazon and get those fingers clicking!