Wednesday 18 September 2019

The Stranger Game Book Review

The Stranger Game is the latest novel from author Peter Gadol. This is an inventive and intuitive story that explores a creepier side of socialising when a viral game goes from something interesting to something more criminal - out of control.


Rebecca's on-again, off-again boyfriend, Ezra, has gone missing, but when she notifies the police, they seem surprisingly unconcerned. They suspect he has been playing the 'stranger game' a viral hit in which players start following others in real life, as they might otherwise do on social media.

But as the game spreads, the rules begin to change, and disappearances are reported across the country.

Hoping that she might track down Ezra, Rebecca tries the game for herself. Here. she meets Carey, who is willing to take the game further than she imagined possible, and soon she finds that the life she once lived has become a distant memory . . . 

Set in Los Angeles, we are first introduced to Rebecca when she is describing following someone, a little boy, and I'll admit in this first chapter, I wasn't sure quite which direction this book would take. Was Rebecca a criminal? A stalker? Or merely a lonely person seeking comfort in others interactions?

Rebecca has found herself trapped within 'The Stranger Game'.

Are you ready to play?

Rebecca, after a few weeks of no contact with her sporadic boyfriend Ezra decides it's time to track him down. He left abruptly, with no warning, his job knew nothing of his disappearance, and when she lets herself into his now empty flat, she discovers everything still in its place.

Deciding to report him missing to the police, they don't appear to be overly concerned, instead assuming he has found himself caught up in the latest craze, the stranger game.

"Always remember the three simple rules....

1. Pick your subjects at random.
2. NO contact.
3. Never follow the same subject twice!"

In order to track Ezra down, Rebecca decides to embark on her own stranger game, trying to think as Ezra would but she quickly finds herself sucked in and the game begins to take over her life both at home and at work.

As Rebecca's own game progresses she discovers that it is becoming increasingly difficult to know who to trust. To know just who is playing the game.

And then the rules begin to change.

"And then I wondered how many kinds of games people played with strangers every hour every day."

This game that has begun from the need to connect without contact, to distinguish feelings of loneliness, to enable others to feel some sort of connection to civilisation has started to change into something more sinister and altogether terrifying.

So many questions that now need to be answered. What is reality and what is the game? Who can you trust if anyone? Are the police here to help or are they part of the game? 

As more questions arise, less seem to be answered and the mystery deepens.

"The world was a world of strangers, and all anyone wanted...was to be seen and to be known, truly known."

The Stranger Game is unique in it's concept and the writing style is different somehow too.

This is a psychological thriller like no other. Filled with many twists and turns, a novel that I did not want to put down. Thought provoking and utterly Random, Peter Gadol has produced a book that will have you re-thinking the human connections you already have and just how you socialise with the ones you don'y yet know.

This is the first book that I have read by this author and it most definitely will not be my last.


  1. The book really appeals but at the moment with my menopausal mood swings and questionings I don't think I am quite ready for it. I know that sounds daft but I am holding anxiety at bay which has to even more vital than a good book. Hope that makes sense. Sounds a riveting read though #ReadwithMe

  2. Wow what a bizarre concept to come up with. Certainly think I'd enjoy reading this

  3. This sounds like a really good read and pretty scary too. I will have to look out for it!


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