Reviewed by Gail McDonald
Sandie Jones, the author of The Blame Game, is a freelance journalist and has contributed to the Sunday Times, Daily Mail, Women’s Weekly and Hello magazine.
She is also the author of many other novels such as: The Half Sister, The First Mistake, The Other Woman and The Guilt Trip.
This book, The Blame Game, is a psychological thriller in which the main character Naomi, who is a psychotherapist, becomes too close to two of her clients who are in domestic violence situations. The author grabs the reader’s attention from the first page through to the last, building on the suspense and tension as the storyline progresses.
The Prologue sets the scene for the story and you get the feeling that this psychotherapist gets too involved in her patients’ lives. She hides the truth from her husband Leon, which eventually leads investigators in a local murder in the wrong direction.
The Blame Game is set in England. The scene is set in the first page when Naomi reveals that her office has been broken into and file is missing. It isn’t anywhere in the office or in the house. Naomi’s husband Leon is the manager of the estate on which they live and her office is in a separate building on the estate.
Jacob is the first character we meet. He is a victim of domestic abuse by his wife who, according to Jacob, frequently belittles him and physically abuses him. Jacob is desperate to move out of the family home.
Leon had frequently warned Naomi of becoming too close to her clients, getting too involved in their lives and putting her own live at risk. She wants to be everything to everyone but making herself indispensable is dangerous.
Anna is also a victim of domestic violence. She discloses that her husband’s neglect was responsible for the death of their youngest child a year previously. Anna claims to be an American, building an affinity with Naomi who grew up in America and left following the incarceration of her father.
Eventually Jacob goes missing and the police are called in to find him, questioning Naomi at length about her relationship with him and uncovering much of the information that she has been given is not true.
The book is an easy read and intrigue is maintained throughout the story with a surprising twist at the end. Adding to the intrigue is the discovery that some of the characters in the story who get close to Naomi are not who they say they are.
It is important that the reader reads the book to the end, including the Epilogue because it is here that the mystery is cleared up and the person the police originally arrested for the murder of a central character is exonerated and the rightful killer is exposed.
I would recommend this book – it kept my attention to the very end.
The Blame Game
by Sandie Jones
ISBN 978 152908 638 6