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Games People Play

(Charlie Cameron #1)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  481 ratings  ·  143 reviews
On a warm summer's evening thirteen month old Lily Hamilton is abducted from Ayr beach in Scotland, taken while her parents are yards away. Three days later, the distraught father turns up at Glasgow PI Charlie Cameron's office and begs him to help. Mark Hamilton believes he knows who has stolen his daughter. And why.
Against his better judgement Charlie gets involved in a
Kindle Edition, 405 pages
Published January 16th 2016 by B01MS8FQDC
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Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: The Water was cold; colder than in the afternoon. When it was waist high she kicked her legs and headed out. Jennifer caught a glimpse of Mark and Lily standing on the sand: her whole universe. She loved them so much. That thought almost made her turn back. Instead she took a deep breath and dived.

It happened so fast. One minute she was swimming, the next the current was dragging her to the bottom. Seawater flooded her mouth. She fought, thrashed to the surface and tried to shout; a
Mar 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Christine by: Sandy personally 5, very strong review
Games People Play is a solid debut novel by British author Owen Mullen. It was good enough that I immediately ran to Amazon and purchased book 2 when I finished.

The tale is basically about the disappearance of a little girl in broad daylight and the myriad of repercussions that follow. I have to admit it took me about a third of the novel to be totally drawn in, but it was worth it to get to what came after. This book features the infrequent combination of a first-rate crime plot plus excellent
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the main character, PI Charlie Cameron, and his cohorts. Charlie’s childhood trauma made me sympathetic. Charlie specializes in finding missing persons, but not usually children, so this is the focus in the book. The missing toddler, the recovery of remains in a cold case, the missing mistress, and the missing teacher all played out in a satisfactory ending.

It took me quite awhile to get used to the writing style, mostly because of the incorrect use of commas. Some were inserted between
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
Games People Play is a strong novel from an author to watch. I read a lot of crime fiction so this was a refreshing change to have the central character be a Private Investigator and have characters from the police force in the background to his role. It gave a complex edge to the character representation within the book.

The synopsis of this book really excited me and the plot itself is tense and really well written.I was absolutely hooked on certain scenes but then at other times would find
Veronica ⭐️
Mark and Jennifer’s lives are in tatters after their baby daughter, Lily, is abducted. Mark knows who took her but if he tells police and his wife it will destroy his marriage forever.

Charlie Cameron, a PI specialising in missing persons, is asked to help find Lily. Charlie has his own nightmare-causing demons and has a no missing children policy. Will he put his fears aside and take this case?

Games people play is a taut mystery thriller with multiple plot lines that weave throughout the story.

Apr 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On a warm summer’s evening, thirteen-month-old Lily Hamilton is abducted from Ayr beach in Scotland, taken while her parents are yards away. Three days later, the distraught father turns up at Glasgow PI Charlie Cameron’s office and begs him to help. Mark Hamilton believes he knows who has stolen his daughter. And why. Against his better judgement Charlie gets involved in a case he would be better off without. But when a child’s body is discovered on Fenwick Moor, then another in St Andrews, the ...more
Linda Strong
Feb 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
He's pushing his baby daughter in a stroller. His wife wants to take one more dip into the water. When she's sucked under by the current, he runs to keep his wife from drowning. In his rescue attempt, baby Lily is taken ... and no one has seen a thing.

Charlie Cameron is a Private Investigator hired by the father to find his daughter. He feels that a woman he had an affair with is the culprit. Because of his background, Charlie knows he should not take this case ...not any case involving a child.
Mar 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Sometimes you win; sometimes you lose. Sometimes it depends on how you define winning, or losing. Games People Play by Owen Mullen has many more moments of “the agony of defeat” than it does of “the thrill of victory,” because, well, life is hard, especially when one encounters twisted, evil, or misguided people. When a thirteen-month-old girl is snatched in broad daylight on a beach in Scotland, her distraught father turns to Glasgow PI Charlie Cameron. He is absolutely certain that he knows ...more
May 11, 2016 rated it really liked it

This was a bit of a slow burner for me, I took about halfway through to really get my teeth into it.

If your wife was drowning before your eyes and you took your eyes off your baby in the stroller just for a moment, you look back..............gone.
And what is stranger, no one has seen a thing.

I am not going to go into details because, this story had been weaving for the entire first half of my read and I didn't realize it, it was only halfway through that it all came together for me. I then saw
debbicat ☮~Traveling Sister
I have not read many crime/thriller novels. In my opinion this is a winner! I would like to actually give it a 3.5 star rating. Charlie Cameron is a haunted good guy. He is witty, compassionate, and sympathetic to others. I would want to hang out with him. He is a PI with some secrets and a painful past. Because of that past, he takes a very disturbing case where an 13 month old little girl, Lily, is stolen from her parents in broad daylight at the beach. We will learn this is a little too close ...more
Whispering Stories
The story begins with the abduction of baby Lily at the beach of Ayr, Scotland. Her father Mark Hamilton has to leave her on the beach in her pram in order to save the life of his wife who had went for a swim in the ocean.

Charlie Cameron, the protagonist of the book, is a Private Investigator in Glasgow and gets involved into the abduction of Lily because Mark mandates him to find his Ex-Affair Donna Morton, who he believes of having taken his daughter as a revenge for him leaving her for his
Mar 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, series, scotland
Glasgow PI Charlie Cameron finds people, but not kids. However, when the father of an abducted toddler asks for his help, Charlie gets involved although he knows that, due to his own history, it's not a wise decision.
When he is then also asked to look into the disappearance of a young female student who vanished after a night out, the plot thickens. With the two different storylines, a detailed character study of Charlie, and all the goings-on at the New York Blue, the place from where Charlie
Vicki Hobbs
Feb 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Games People Play by Owen Mullen

There is a line early in this book that sums it up perfectly - "Guilt never leaves, it never lets go, not really, and it hadn’t with me". That single thought echoes through the whole book, by blending Charlies personal story with ongoing cases.

The story is well paced (it doesn't plod, doesn't race ahead of itself), this isn't a cozy mystery, but isn't a full on gritty Glaswegian crime novel either. I enjoyed the writing style, it cleverly entwines a number of
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
All of my reviews can be found on

This book opens with the abduction of baby Lily and my anxiety about what had happened to her and where she ended up never dissipated. Charlie Cameron is a PI in Glasgow and his speciality is finding missing people, but he doesn’t take cases where there is a child missing. Ever. Mark Hamilton is Lily’s father and when he begs Charlie for help, he can’t resist despite knowing that this is exactly the type of case he should steer clear of. As he
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
The story starts off with quite a dramatic start with baby Lily being abducted while her dad is fighting to save her mothers life. What a way to start a book off and it had my attention straight away.

Charlie Cameron is a private investigator who has been asked by Lily’s father to find her. Right from the start it’s apparent that Charlie has something that lurks in his past which causes him to have a strained relationship with his parents and to why he is working as a private investigator. I was
M.A. Comley
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an opening!

This is the first book I've read by this author and it was a gripping read from the very first page until the last. I had no idea what the outcome was going to be, an absolute must read for that very reason. Owen is a talented author who knows his craft really week, when to add tension to the plot, when to give the reader breathing space to let their heart rate revert to normal.

I love the fact that this novel takes place in Scotland and we get to see the area through the
Chris Nolan
Mar 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Charlie Cameron is a private detective working in Glasgow whose speciality is finding missing persons. We learn from very early on in the novel that there is something in his past that drives him on and this is gradually revealed in the course of this excellent, fast-moving and involving story. A baby snatched on a beach, a student who disappears from her college and other interesting strands make for a grim and enticing tale, in the course of which we learn about the narrator's own life and ...more
Alfred Nobile
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was really good. The writing was taut, tense and made you want to keep turning the pages.
Set in central Scotland, an area I know well I could identify with the characters and settings. The characters are well drawn and have imperfections and flaws that make them all too human. A book that is worth five stars and I recommend you to read it.
Colette Lamberth
Feb 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
When I read the blurb for this book and realised it was set in my local area I was a bit excited but also a bit apprehensive that the author had sufficient local knowledge to pass my microscopic examination. I'm pleased to report that he nailed it with his descriptions of the places and he created characters that I feel I could have met. There is a lot going on in this book as it covers not just Charlie Cameron's latest investigations but also his past and present personal life. He was an ...more
J. Kahele
Apr 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
3.5 stars.

This tale is about a young girl who vanishes during broad daylight and the steps and processes that are taken to find out what happened to her. The plot was basic and I found that to be a good thing, complicated plots sometimes make for complicated reading. The writing flowed excellent, the characters were written perfectly, but...yes that damn but. It was too long-winded and drawn out. Crime fiction is an extremely tough genre to write, you have to know when too much is too much. I
Susan Angela Wallace
Mar 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received this as an arc from shell in exchange for an honest review.
Baby Lily Hamilton is abducted from a beach in front of her parents while her dad is trying to keep her mum alive.
Absolutely fantastic read.
I loved the story and the characters.
I loved Andrew, Patrick and Charlie.
Patrick and Andrew had there own way of helping Charlie.
I liked Kate too.
I loved the ending.
Can't wait for next installment.
Highly recommended. 5 *.
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Theres a new PI in town!

And he has issues of his own to deal with, along with his job of locating missing people. The story grabs your heart strings right from the beginning with the abduction of a baby and never lets go. Great start to a series.
Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebooks

I was given the book by Mr. Mullen in return for my honest review; so that's what I'll do. I'll be honest.

Initially, when I started the book, I didn't think I'd like it half as much as I did. It took me a little time to get into it. And if I'm being completely honest I was more than halfway through the book when I got hooked. I was intrigued since chapter 2 alright but then again, I am a curious person. The writing, the story didn't interest me much. But as I
Susan Hampson
Mar 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Owen Mullen sucks the air out of your lungs in the opening pages of his novel and the standard of his writing that he has set here simply continues throughout the book. This is the first book in a series revolving around Charlie Cameron (well I know there is a second anyway) a Private Investigator specialising in missing person cases. Charlie puts conscience before money knowing all too well the consequences of failing.
There is a main story throughout the book with different threads
Mar 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-books
4.5 stars There is a lot going on in this book, but it is all very neatly woven together. Past and present storylines, all the gritty characters, especially our lead, Charlie, make this one an unforgettable read. There are plenty of plot twists and turns to keep you guessing and the characters are flawed but interesting enough so that you are rooting for them. I deducted a half star because for me, the "romance" between Charlie and Kate didn't really fit. They meet then they're living together? ...more
Owen Mullen
Jul 22, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Games People Play...The idea came when I was walking with my wife Christine on a lonely beach...she pointed to a young couple with a baby and said 'I wonder what would happen if she went swimming and got in trouble.' This is introduction to Charlie Cameron it let's us see what has brought Charlie to where he is now... he's a natural at finding missing people - or is he? What drives him to the point where he can't give up and he won't give in?
Oct 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Well what a read and as the last line of the synopsis says it kept me guessing right up to the very end!

Games People Play is a fast paced multiple plot read; the reader is taken from the drama of a near drowning and child abduction from Ayr beach to the disappearance of a teenage girl from the family home. Despite warnings from police to leave the investigations alone, Charlie is determined to see them through to the end no matter the consequences. It is through these plots that we learn what
Susan McMorrin
Mar 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Came across this when I was looking for something new and from the first page it got off to cracking start when a child is abducted from Ayr beach. I really liked the lead character, Glasgow PI Charlie Cameron,
and the supporting characters were well drawn, especially Charlie's sidekick, Pat Logue. At the beginning I imagined the story would just be about baby Lily. Not so. It moves from there to a wider series of crimes.
Good subplots and sharp dialogue. Great one liners. I read a lot of crime
Mary Snaddon
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
I'm giving this 5 stars as it is a debut novel and deserves a big recommendation. Granted I am biased being Scottish (but living down in England for the time being). I loved reading about all the familiar places from The Willow Tearooms, to the Finnieston Crane, Crammond, the Armadillo, the Forth Road Bridge, Pitlochry etc etc. But this novel is a roller coaster ride of twists and turns and is full of a great mix of characters. I can't wait to read what develops between the main character ...more
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful to find such an exciting new author. The characters are very real, set in skilfully described locations across Scotland, especially in Glasgow. The plot twists and weaves its way through the book, keeping you guessing until the very end. It becomes increasingly difficult to put down as the the tension builds.....
Sad to have finished it but can't wait to start Charlie Cameron's next adventure!
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Bestselling author Owen Mullen is a McIlvanney Crime Book Of The Year long-listed novelist.

Owen Mullen graduated from Strathclyde University, moved to London and worked as a rock musician, session singer and songwriter, and had a hit record in Japan with a band he refuses to name; Owen still loves to perform on occasion. His great love for travel has taken him on many adventures from the Amazon

Other books in the series

Charlie Cameron (3 books)
  • Old Friends and New Enemies
  • Before The Devil Knows You're Dead (PI Charlie Cameron Book 3)