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A Game for All the Family

3.11  ·  Rating details ·  4,979 ratings  ·  818 reviews
You thought you knew who you were. A stranger knows better.

You've left the city - and the career that nearly destroyed you - for a fresh start on the coast. But soon after the move, your daughter starts to withdraw, because her new best friend, George, is unfairly expelled from school.

You beg the principal to reconsider, only to be told that George hasn't been expelled. Be
Paperback, 432 pages
Published August 13th 2015 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published 2015)
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Elizabeth I completely agree with Katherine's comment. I finished the book primarily because it seemed impossible that it could be that bad and not have a decen…moreI completely agree with Katherine's comment. I finished the book primarily because it seemed impossible that it could be that bad and not have a decent resolution....but..(less)

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Average rating 3.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,979 ratings  ·  818 reviews

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Aug 24, 2015 rated it did not like it
Like obsessively desiring someone for months only to find they're a terrible kisser and walking away, stunned and disappointed, as you wipe their saliva off your face with your sleeve.
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: Perrine Ingrey dropped Malachy Dodd out of a window. She wanted to kill him and she succeeded. Later, no one believed her when she screamed 'I didn't do it!' Both of their families, the Ingreys and the Dodds, knew that Perrine and Malachy had been in a room upstairs together with no one else around.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Justine thought she knew who she was, until an anonymous caller seemed to know better...

After fleeing London and a career that nearly destroyed her, Justine Merrison plans t
Jun 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
I should probably preface this review by saying that I've read a couple of Sophie Hannah's books in the past and quite enjoyed them.

This one started off OK - a family leaving London to live in South Devon, excited about their new life, and an interesting 'deja vu' moment for the mother with regards to a random house she spots from the road.

Unfortunately, for me it was downhill all the way after the start. The actions and behaviour of the characters were so far-fetched, and the storyline so incre
Liz Barnsley
A standalone novel from Sophie Hannah and as I just said on Twitter, unravelling her mysteries is akin to searching for a particular needle in a pile of identical needles. It just ain't happening.

So we meet Justine then, moving to the country with her family, having left a high powered job behind, she is determined to do nothing. The only thing she wants to do is tell anyone that will listen that she does nothing. But a strange event on the way to their new home, coupled with some disturbing pho
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-crime-2015
Sophie Hannah once again triumphs as the queen of quirkiness and off beat psychological crime in ‘A Game For All The Family’.

It all starts with a family relocating from London to a posh huge house in Devon. Justine Merrison, her daughter Ellen and husband Alex find themselves in the perfect location. Strange things start happening, like abusive phone calls to Justine and Ellen becoming obsessed with a boy, who according to her school does not exist. What on earth is going on? Justine is determin
Debra Komar
Jan 23, 2017 rated it did not like it
Never before have I seriously considered abandoning a book with only 20 pages to go but here, it was a fight to keep this thing in my hands. It begins well enough, because the beginning is relatively sane. A woman moves her family to the country to begin a new life. Weird things happen, including some threatening phone calls. Then the story begins to go downhill.

Hannah (sadly) choses to include a B-line about a story the teenage girl is writing. Then, she makes the disastrous decision to blend t
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, british
This is a Bernadette book. I loved it to pieces but I'm afraid that practically everyone else in my entire life will think it's insufferable pap. I fear that if I recommend it to anyone, I will have to read lukewarm to scalding reviews on this book that I've adopted forever into my own heart. I will therefore NOT recommend that you read this book, but I will say that I found it to be brilliant, unique, refreshing, hilarious (both in dry humor and the ridiculous laugh-out-loud type), creative, im ...more
Jan 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars actually, like stated previously, mystery books are always made or destroyed by their conclusions, and this one disappointed me. We never get a clear ending, I'm still not sure what happened towards the end, it felt like the ending was forced and rushed . This books started good and it did a good job of world building up to 3/4 of the book but then it all goes south . The characters start acting completely different from how they been behaving before , the book feels rushed and the end ...more
Kris - My Novelesque Life
2015 (UK) and 2016 (North America); William Morrow

For some reason Justine and her family (husband and daughter) are moving to another city, and she is excited to not be working. As we move a few chapters into the book, we find out that Justine's daughter, Ellen is devastated that her friend (that no one knew about) George has been expelled. Also, Ellen has been working day and night on a short story assignment from school. Justine decides to visit the principal and finds out that
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
My View:
Unfortunately this was not a book that I particularly enjoyed- in fact I had to force myself to finish reading it, ever the optimist thinking which each page I read it might redeem itself, it didn’t. I loved the premise and the introduction was brilliant…a hint of mystery that needs unravelling, Deja vu perhaps, a little bit eerie. However I was unable to suspend my disbelief and go along with the ridiculousness of the convoluted plot and the only likable character in this book was Figgy
Jun 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: borrowed
This is the book that I've been waiting for Sophie Hannah to write: an intricate, complex, impossible mystery that seems unsolvable and yet has an utterly logical solution, free from the encumberances of a series

At least, it's nearly that book. It was intriguing, it was compelling, but it wasn't quite as perfect as it might have been - as it needed to be to really work.

The set-up is brilliant:

A family is moving, out of London to a big house set deep in Devon, in the Dart valley. Justine has give
Justine Merrison, a former television executive, has resigned from her high pressure career and moved to a manor house in Kingswear, Devon with her husband Alex (an opera singer) and her teenage daughter Ellen. This family was very interesting and I loved the parts of the novel in which they featured – in other words the parts that were ‘in the real world’. I enjoyed the part where Justine brings home a Bedlington terrier puppy who is called Figgy. Also, I liked that Justine was newly free of he ...more
India Marshall
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
The last book of Sophie Hannah's that I've read, Lasting Damage (I've read a couple of her books), was excellent, so as this is her newest book I thought I'd read it.

It was terrible. Justine Merrison, the main character, is rude, immature, and self-righteous. She swears whenever she feels like it, no matter the consequences or the situation; she also feels that, just because her daughter, Ellen, complains about her new best friend. George, being expelled from school, that it's perfectly okay to
Aug 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cleopatra  Pullen
This is a stand-alone book from Sophie Hannah, a woman who creates stories using the most unlikely but not, unbelievable, disturbances of the mind.

On the way to their new home in Devon, the Merrison family; Justine, Alex and Ellen spot a house that resonates inside Justine for no apparent meaning. Justine has just left the world of TV drama and is determined to spend her days doing nothing. Ellen is enrolled into a quirky private school and Alex will continue to sing in Operas around the world.

Aug 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I really don't know what to say about this book. It has to be one of the most strangest books I have ever read.

To start with I have to say I did struggle to get into it. The story flicks between Justine and her family and the story of another family where some very strange murders have occurred. I was really struggling with the concept of the book and to be honest I really thought I wasn't going to like it.

Then came a part where Justine finds herself under protest, becoming the owner of a new pu
Shoot. I really wanted to like this book. I struggled to hang because I thought the author was messing with my head and she'd pull things together in the end. Nope. Didn't happen and I'm sad about it. I don't know. Maybe psychological thrillers just aren't my thing. No. On second thought, I'm not taking this one. Darn it, Sophie Hannah, what happened, girl?
Wendi Lee
Justine moves away from London and her lucrative career in TV. She strives to do Nothing (she's actually a newly SAHM, but her daughter is in high school), but instead she stumbles into a strange, dangerous game with someone who insists on calling her by a different name, and warns her to move back to London, or Justine and her family will regret it.

In the meantime, Justine's daughter, Ellen, seems to be unraveling. There is doubt cast upon everyone, including Ellen's teachers, and even Justine
Every time I finish a Sophie Hannah book I tell myself I'm never picking up another one as I don't get on with them and really struggle. Whoever writes the blurbs are geniuses because whenever I read one I always want to read the book! A Game For All The Family was no different; intriguing blurb but let down of a novel.

Full of irritating characters; Justine, Alex, Ellen, the police officers, the teachers, Olwyn. Every single character really wound me up and I didn't care about any of them.

Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Maybe my expectations were too high, but I didn't like this book nearly as much as I thought I would. The story started out well enough, and I was curious enough to finish it. But I could set it aside easily to do almost anything else. Unusual for me and not the sign of a compelling read. I couldn't make myself care enough about Justine, the main character, and I think it was because her reactions to events were implausible, or at least they were to me. Plus the whole premise of the similarity b ...more
Marc Bougharios
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

I became an instant fan of Sophie Hannah immediately after reading Keep Her Safe and knew that she was a talented author. Every single one of her books is just amazing and to also be able to take on the new Hercule Poirot series, I mean how genius is she? Not anyone can pull off Agatha Christie. So when I saw this book for 8$ on the shelves I knew I had to buy it and I was not disappointed at all.

This really was the novel I was looking for this year and so far it’s been my favourite re
A Game For All The Family is a very psychological, plot thickening mystery filled with twists and even has a second narrative going on throughout.

The story follows Justine Merrison as her family is moving to a new house in Devon to get away from her old life and career in TV drama production that nearly destroyed her. What happened in London to make Justine so desperate to get away? We are left wondering, while all we know for sure is that now Justine literally wants to spend her days doing not
Trish at Between My Lines
4.5 stars

This book is the ultimate mind game! Are you determined enough to filter through all the puzzling details and solve it before the reveal? I know I was up for that challenge!

Balancing the books is a quick fire review where I list the assets and liabilities of a book (as I see them)and leave you decide if you think this book is worth investing in.

The Assets of A Game For All The Family by Sophie Hannah

•Interesting characters: Justine has moved her family to the countryside and is resolute
Jun 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Top first -class British psychological thriller author that I am most proud of.

A strange family. Justine Merrison a TV executive living the high-life in London moves to Devon with her opera singer husband and their teenage daughter Ellen.

Strange thoughts occur to Justine as she was particularly looking forward to telling the hardworking people in Devon that she did nothing, not a single thing.

With a voice in Justine's head the strangest thing happen to her about the house in 8 Panama Row.

At t
Jun 30, 2015 rated it liked it
I can't believe I read the whole thing as it was quite long and tedious at times. Although there were a few funny parts, because clearly the author has a great sense of humour (my suggestion to her would be that maybe the next book she writes could be a "commedy-style book") most of it was just so-so. It seemed like it was a story within a story basically part fairy-tale-like/fantasy-like and part mystery and not at all what I thought it would be like. I think it would have been better if the fa ...more
Jun 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
“As someone with only two specialties—doing Nothing, and the internal politics of Lockhart Gardner, the law firm in The Good Wife” #relatable
Jul 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
A slightly different format to previous Sophie Hannah novels I've read, this is back on top form. the story id complicated and nothing/noone can be believed. I thought this was a really clever mystery and a proper thriller. It's nice that the semi predictable nature of some of Hannah's other mysteries has been abandoned and she is now back writing excellent stories like this, maybe her stint as Agatha Christie has been good for her :)
Kathleen Gray
I have a love-hate relationship with Sophie Hannah- I really like some of her books and others leave me cold. Unfortunately, this is one of the latter. Hannah is a good writer and she has a fine sense of plotting but this plot just didn't cut it as it was too far fetched. Justine is finely drawn complex character but she makes some strange decisions. I know I'll definitely read Hannah's next one because I know there's another, better book out there. thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC.
Nov 30, 2016 rated it did not like it
I have tried several Sophie Hannah books and overall found them decent to good but this one missed for me. Parents being okay with fourteen year old kids planning a marriage of convenience? Homework, being the basis for a hidden past that leads to murder?

The necessary suspension of belief to follow this one missed with me and in the end it just turned into a bad Lifetime channel movie.

I finished it just to see if it got good or there was some big reveal, but no, just a misfire.
Oct 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015-books-read
I've read all Sophie Hannah's psychological thrillers and one or two others by her and I love the way she writes but ... this book is just a bit beyond the realm of believability - one step too far? It was good to see a stand-alone but I wonder if she was trying to be too clever - sorry, but not the best.
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Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling writer of psychological crime fiction, published in 27 countries. In 2013, her latest novel, The Carrier, won the Crime Thriller of the Year Award at the Specsavers National Book Awards. Two of Sophie’s crime novels, The Point of Rescue and The Other Half Lives, have been adapted for television and appeared on ITV1 under the series title Case Sensiti ...more

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“If there’s an aspect of your life that’s making you unhappy and you can escape from it, why wait? Too many people stick around and try to improve things, which often means slogging your guts out to compensate for the deficiencies of others. Personally, I’m a fan of the discard: leave it; move on.” 2 likes
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