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The Thief

(The Gameshouse #2)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  1,442 ratings  ·  134 reviews
The Gameshouse is an unusual institution.

Many know it as the place where fortunes can be made and lost through games of chess, backgammon - every game under the sun.

But a select few, who are picked to compete in the higher league, know that some games are played for higher stakes - those of politics and empires, of economics and kings . . .

In 1930s Bangkok, one higher lea
Published November 3rd 2015 by Orbit
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Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,442 ratings  ·  134 reviews

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Dec 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of hide and seek, Claire North
Recommended to carol. by: Paul Sparks

Tag–you’re it!

This is the most adult version of hide-and-seek. The boundaries are Thailand, the resources, only what is available in-country. The goal: to stay free as long as possible, and then the tables will be turned. The stakes, substantial and risky: twenty years of young Abhik Lee’s life to Remy Burke’s memory.

Remy Burke was drunk when he took the bet, but that does not excuse him. He had been a player for some fifty years, though he looked not a day over forty, and should have known bett
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Serpent which was part one in this trilogy was very good. The Thief is part two and it is brilliant. On this basis the final part should be really outstanding!
This middle book follows a 'game' 0f hide and seek set up between two master players. As one player seeks, using all the advantages available to him, the other, with scarcely any resources at all, attempts to hide within the borders of Thailand for as long as he can. The penalty if he is caught is to have his entire memory taken by th
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. Another terrific entry in the Gameshouse series, in which Remy Burke must elude another man and his men in a game of hide-and-seek throughout Thailand. Remy faces the terrifying prospect of losing his memories if he loses. The chase takes place through cities, country roads, villages, train stations....There is a nice connecting thread with the first novella in the persons of Thene and Silver, both still alive and playing still. They don't figure hugely in the story, but it's nice to ...more
Sep 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: speculative
The second novella in a brilliant series, The Thief is just as awesome if not better than the first, The Serpent. Two expert game players of the Gameshouse challenge each other to a game of hide and seek with the board being Thailand in the 1930s. One player, the hunter has massive resources while the other, the hunted, has only his wits. Nevertheless, the game is thrilling and totally engaging. ...more
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Combined review of a Superb novella series:
The Serpent
The Thief
The Master

As usual with my reviews, please first read the publisher’s blurb/summary of the book. Thank you.

Once again Claire North provides superb prose, great intellect, astounding knowledge of foreign places and times, and a growing insight into the human heart.

I was astounded at her intimate knowledge of Renaissance Venice and pre-WW-2 Thailand. These are living places and peoples. The rural areas of Thailand are beautifully pai
Nov 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I enjoyed the first but the second of this novella series had me absolutely hooked. The setting is pre-WWII Thailand, and the game is hide and seek. Our hero is a conspicuous Westerner, hiding for his memories. And the game is deepening.....
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novella, thriller
The Thief by Claire North is the second novella in the Gamehouse trilogy, and it tops The Serpent

Set in the 1930s Thailand, The Thief follows Remy Burke - a veteran player of the Gameshouse. One night he gets drunk and makes a risky bet – he wagers his memories against 20 years of his challenger’s life. The game? A hide and seek. Thailand becomes the playing board, and Remy’s odds look bad. Remaining unnoticed as a six foot tall white man in pre-WWII Thailand is difficult. Especially when his
Dec 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-ebooks
Watcher and reader take again part in a high-stake game of uneven balance, this time in a a hide-and-seek race across Thailand.
There are more details about the Gameshouse, the higher-league players, the played-upon, and the mysterious narrator. We follow Remy, a British with a code and every disadvantage, and Abhik, a man with open ambitions and a sure plan. Through it all, the Gamehouse, a character in its own right.

A game isn’t fun if it’s merely the inevitable destruction of an opponent.

Nov 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Another superb novella in this series.

Remy Burke is an half-English half-French six foot tall European man living in Thailand in 1938. He's also a Game player and has unwisely agreed to a game with a hungry young man. And what a game. Unlike Thene in the first novel, Remy is an experienced player who has maybe lost the sharpness for the game that he has had in earlier years. Thene's game in the first novella was unbalanced. Remy's game makes that one look like a paragon of fairness, and the cent
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Thief is the second book in the Games House trilogy by award-winning British author, Claire North. In pre-WW2 Bangkok, at the Gameshouse, a very drunk Remy Burke has made an unwise wager. He has agreed to a game of Hide-and-Seek with Abhik Lee. The Board is the whole of Thailand and the stakes are high: if Remy wins, he gains twenty years of Abhik’s life; if he loses, he forfeits his own memory, all of it.

Abhik Lee is a local with many resources, even without considering the cards the umpir
Stefan Fergus
Oct 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Marvellous. And better than THE SERPENT. Love the idea behind this series. And of course the writing.
I read The Serpent back in 2018 and liked it well enough. I remember being convinced that I would finish this series soon after, as the novellas are all fairly short, but for one reason or another I never actually got around to it. Fortunately, I finally decided it was time to give this second novella a go.
Personally, I thought that The Serpent was a bit boring at times, which is why I could not really focus on it and often found myself easily distracted. Therefore, I gave the book a more or
Elizabeth A
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio, novella, 2017
Book blurb: In 1930s Bangkok, one higher league player has just been challenged to a game of hide and seek. The board is all of Thailand - and the seeker may use any means possible to hunt down his quarry - be it police, government, strangers or even spies ....

I listened to the audiobook which is wonderfully narrated by Peter Kenny.

This is the second novella in the Gameshouse trilogy and I loved it even more than the first one. If you have ever visited Thailand you'll get even more of a thrill a
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, novella
Reviewed on my blog - Books by Proxy

5 Stars

The Serpent, the first novella in The Gameshouse series, impressed with its enchanting and opulent setting and its calculated narrative which resonated with political intrigue and decisive manoeuvres. The second novella, The Thief, follows on from The Serpent several hundred years later in an equally beautiful but entirely different tale which is utterly gripping from start to finish.

The Thief is a heady, exotic and thrilling tale which takes the reader
Jessica Seguin
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Normally the second book in a series is never as good as the first. This one was better!
Tudor Ciocarlie
Nov 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Another excellent book by Claire North. As in her previous novels, you'll fall in love with her characters and you'll be amazed by what the writer is doing with the main theme. ...more
Feb 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant writing, story, and concept. A perfect book.
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club-reads
I liked this one more than The Serpent because I enjoy the cat and mouse plotline. This collection is very engrossing.
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Game's afoot - and such was my delight in the first of The Gameshouse Novellas I couldn't restrain myself from diving headfirst into the second.

The stakes may be more personal but no less enormous for the players, the game is Hide and Seek . One player seems to hold all the advantages - is The Gameshouse playing fair? And what of Silver? What are his motivations? Why is he risking so much? What is his end game?

As beautifully written as it's predecessor, you are utterly enthralled as the gam
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars
 Charlie - A Reading Machine
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Review to come.
Dec 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Thief is the second book in North’s Gameshouse series, a trilogy of novellas. I would recommending reading the prior story, The Serpent, before picking up The Thief.

The Gameshouse contains two levels, one where ordinary games are played and a more exclusive one with games of a much more extraordinary sort…

Remy Burke is a veteran player of the Gameshouse. Then one night he gets drunk and makes an unwise bet – his memories on a game of hide and seek. The playing board? All of Thailand, 1938.
Sep 20, 2016 rated it liked it
In the second novella of Claire North’s Gameshouse trilogy, the Player is Remy Burke, a Frenchman living in Thailand in the 1920s. One drunken night, he agrees to a game of Hide and Seek. The playing area is the entirety of the country. The stakes are his memories.

At first, I was disappointed in The Thief. Instead of focusing on the intricacies of the Games and the Gameshouse and the Players and Pieces, The Thief spent a long time on Remy’s miserable treks across the country. There’s a lot of h
Rosaleen Lynch
May 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Thief is a hide and seek game in the 30s in Thailand, the second of the Gameshouse trilogy, following on from The Serpent.

Not an ordinary game of hide and seek but one spread across a country with life and a lifetime of memories at stake. A journey of self discovery, through challenge and relationship leads to being mentally prepared for the turning of the tables. Whether it is wiser to know thyself before worrying about your enemy is well imagined and played out here.

Another good taster b
Hisham El-far
Dec 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The ultimate game of hide and seek, set during the tail end of European imperialistic ambitions in the far east.

Claire North does it again. I haven't read a single book or story that has been published with Claire North as the author that hasn't gripped me from start to finish, stretched my imagination and spat me out after I've finished it wanting more.

Give me MORE!

This is the second installment of the Gamehouse sequence of novellas. Each novella can be read separately, but for maximu
Paul Sparks
Oct 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Onto the last novella. I'm going to be sad when I'm done. ...more
Nov 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant second book of the trilogy, Claire North doing what she does best, weaving brilliant characters in intricate detail through a many layered story, can't wait for the third one! ...more
Jiny S
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book has the same enigmatic premise from the last story (the idea is just so freaking cool—I wish I could have the opportunity to acquire something like “appreciation of the taste of strawberries” through a game), and by this time it’s familiar like an old friend. The lack of background information is almost refreshing because the story wastes no time jumping right into the action.

This is the tale of hide and seek, the perfect blend of action and strategy. It starts it out with the heart-r
Stephanie Fleming
May 14, 2020 rated it liked it
This is the second novella in the series- it's quite brief. Basically, the story is structured around the players in a magical casino/Gameshouse/secret society. From there, they control the world's politics and business worlds through their bets and playing off their favours against each others. The players can also bet anything and everything- starting with 'low stakes' of all of your money to things like your appreciation of a colour or all of your memories.

This novella introduces new charact
Richard Wright
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
A second visit to the Gameshouse, where games are played in the real world, for the highest of stakes. This time the game is Hide & Seek, but the board is now Thailand in the Thirties. Remy is our player, and he has drunkenly entered into a mismatched contest in which he - a tall white man easily spotted in a crowd - must hide within the borders of the country while his Asian opponent draws on the resources of the police, the military, and the government to hunt him down.

Once again, the story i
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Claire North is actually Catherine Webb, a Carnegie Medal-nominated young-adult novel author whose first book, Mirror Dreams, was written when she was just 14 years old. She went on to write seven more successful YA novels.

Claire North is a pseudonym for adult fantasy books written by Catherine Webb, who also writes under the pseudonym Kate Griffin.

Other books in the series

The Gameshouse (3 books)
  • The Serpent (The Gameshouse, #1)
  • The Master (The Gameshouse, #3)

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