Publicist JJ Johnson is having lunch when a masked, armed gunman walks in and takes everyone hostage – including Hollywood’s hottest stars. JJ can make any problem disappear and turn ordinary people into global superstars. But this is one situation way out of her control.

As word spreads of the siege, the hostage victims are bargaining for their lives against a twisted individual who will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

With the bomb designed to detonate if the gunman’s heart rate changes, killing him is not an option. But with only four hours to stop him, JJ will have to think fast to stop a terrifying nightmare becoming reality.


After seeing this book pop up on so many reviewer’s blogs, I decided I had to give it a try. This is a story that you really want to go into without reading a lot of book summaries or reviews because not knowing  – as far as who lives, who dies, how are they possibly going to get out of this situation…or won’t they? – is some of the best parts of the book. I would also add another big question of course…who is the bomber and why has he taken so many of Hollywood’s A-listers hostage?

The story started off very strong for me, I enjoyed the set up of the Hollywood who’s who lunching crowd. We are then catapulted into the action very quickly which I also loved..there’s no need for endless setting details or backstories here, you will be immediately engaged with the hostage situation which quickly becomes a very tense life or death standoff. The author writes with such detail and the pace is just fast enough that you almost feel like you’re there,  watching from your hidden corner of the restaurant. Then the killings begin.

And here’s where things get surprising for me because I felt myself pulling away from the story when the brutal killings began; rather than becoming more interested , I was becoming less. I don’t know if it was the brutality of the killings or just the fact that I hadn’t yet connected with any of characters . Then, as the story progresses, I think the flipping back and forth from the hostages to Alex King to the media may have further contributed to my disconnect but honestly I’m not sure. I just really wanted to connect to at least one character to have someone I was pulling for but that just didn’t happen;  I didn’t really like anyone and found the main character JJ slightly annoying.

I can see why so many people have loved the tension filled action of this story but it just didn’t work for me overall which is disappointing because I REALLY thought I would love this book. I do have to say I attribute some (or all ) of my disappointment to my current book mood so don’t let me stop you, there’s a lot to like in this action filled shoot’em up drama.

3/5 Stars

Many thanks to Netgalley , Bookouture, and the author for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review


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8 thoughts on “REVIEW:THE KILLING GAME by J.S. Carol

  1. Interesting… this is the second review I’ve read for the book.. the first one was 4 stars I think? Anyway, they liked it a bit more than you did so it was interesting to get another angle on the book, for sure! 🙂 Loved this review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting review! I love your honesty. I have seen this book around for some time now, and I admit the hype had me buying it. I find the hostage situation very interesting but your point is just as well. It is harder to enjoy a story when there is no connection with the characters, especially here where you are supposed to care for them and hope they don’t die!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am sorry that this didn’t work out for you. I loved the book due to the unending action/tension but I do get why you didn’t especially if you didn’t connect with the characters. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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