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Child's Play (Elle Harrison Thriller, #3)
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Child's Play

(Elle Harrison Thriller #3)

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  149 ratings  ·  61 reviews
Since her husband’s murder two years earlier, life hasn’t been easy for Elle Harrison. Now, at the start of a new school year, the second grade teacher is determined to move on. She’s selling her house and delving into new experiences―like learning trapeze.

Just before the first day of school, Elle learns that a former student, Ty Evans, has been released from juvenile det
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 3rd 2017 by Oceanview Publishing
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3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  149 ratings  ·  61 reviews

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Linda Strong
Oct 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Ellie Harrison, a second grade school teacher, has had a rough couple of years. Her husband was murdered, she sees his ghost in her house and now has put it on the market. A former student has been released from juvenile detention where he served several years for killing his abusive father. Now her real estate agent has a thing for her, and is basically stalking her.

The first day of school, Ellie goes in early to get her room ready for the onslaught of new students. She stumbles across the body
Louise Wilson
Dec 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. Elle Harrison's life has not been the same since her husband was killed 2 years ago. Her home is up for sale and a school year is about to start.

Elle is in class preparing the room for her second grade pupils. Before she leaves school she decides to stop by and say "hi" to the headmistress. To her horror the headmistress is dead.

We also discover one of the schools former pupils has been released from juvenile detention after spending time for killing his abusive father. Then there is
Heena Rathore P.
Child's Play by Mary Jones is a thriller and suspense read with a strong plot and great build-up.

The plotline of this book was really good and the pacing was great, but the suspense was quite predictable. There were a lot of red-herrings, and I did like them, but certain situations gave away the main culprit a bit too early for my taste. This is one book I have mixed feeling for because in spite of enjoying the read overall there were a couple fo things that bothered me. For example, when the mu
Sep 19, 2017 rated it liked it
I don't recommend this book unless you read the book that were first in the series. I was not caught up in this book and it was hard to get into, for me. I was about 55% through the book and still was not really excited about it. The for me was very slow. I was not scared by this book and I was hoping it would be a great book. It was ok but I wish I had more things to say than that. The characters were a bunch of great life long friends which I admire but that is about all I can say about them. ...more
Lynda Dickson
Feb 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Ages 17+
Shelves: adult
Just before the start of the school year, second grade teacher Elle Harrison discovers the body of the school principal stabbed to death in her office. Detective Stiles, who interviewed Elle two years earlier following the murder of her husband, heads up the investigation. With the help of her friends Becky (a fellow school teacher), Susan (also her lawyer), and Jen, Elle navigates her way through a series of murders, a persistent real estate agent who seems to be a bit too interested in her, an ...more
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

A fantastic and twisted story that portrays the effects of tragedy accurately. I found the main character's blackout moments frustrating only because I could relate to them and because you can feel the characters own nervousness and frustration in her own responses.

I loved the relationships between the women and the children in the class were vibrant and well written, also.

A great thriller.
May 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
I'm in the middle of a chapter and I don't think that I can finish the chapter let alone the book. The main character Elle Harrison is such a twit that this book is almost painful to read. Hate to waste any more time on it.
Lynn Mccarthy
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Exciting and Fun I was guessing the whole time.
Creepy and Scary book.
Childs Play is a mystery and thriller read.
I need to go back and read books 1 @ 2 in the series but not reading them didn't spoil the book for me.....
A must read.

Thank you Netgalley the Publisher and Author for a chance to read this book....
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
I want to take a minute to thank Oceanview Publishing and Merry Jones for my advanced copy of Child’s play. I enjoyed it more then I initially thought I would. I will be honest I picked this up not knowing anything about the author or even that this is actually the third book in a series. I am so glad that the series centers around Elle Harrison I loved her as a character. She has gone through so much hardship that I almost feel like she is a magnet for sadness.
The first day of school, Ellie go
Aug 13, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Just awful. Two hours of my life I'll never get back reading this drivel! I'd give it zero stars if I could. Extremely poorly written, boring dialog. All they ever talked about was drinking wine and criticizing each other and one character had to preface every sentence with effing. The characters were not only unsympathetic but down right irritating and unbelievable. The main character had some serious mental anxiety disorder yet continued to stay home alone when her life was threatened. Running ...more
Linda Zagon
Oct 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
I would like to thank Netgalley and the Publisher for the ARC of "Child's Play" by Merry Jones. As a retired teacher, I have to say this is a terrifying, horrifying mystery story set in a school-type setting.,as well as the main character's home. Can you imagine finding the principal murdered? Then another teacher? You find your name on a list with the former. There is a former student who just got out of jail, and everyone seems suspicious.This novel kept me guessing,and on edge. This is a perf ...more
☘Tara Sheehan☘
Jan 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Having a background in psychology and suffering through my own blackout related episodes post trauma I felt really connected to this book. It very much felt like Merry Jones accurately captured that kind of trauma in her main character including the frustration with people around you not understanding to the point of judging you or believing you about what you're experiencing. The way she developed not only the main character but her friends showed a real understanding and compassion for this ty ...more
Jessica Bronder
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Elle Harrison is having a tough couple years since the death of her husband. She sees her husband in her house and although she knows he is just a vision she plans on selling the house. But this is going to be the least of her trouble. It is the day before school starts and she is preparing her classroom for the second graders when she stumbles upon the body of the school principal, then another teacher.

Elle learns that a former student, Ty that was accused of killing his father has just gotten
Melanie Lewis
Sep 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: audible-books
I was very much looking forward to this story as I'm a school teacher working in the same grade as Elle Harrison. I feel upset that I've only given this book 3 stars, but, for me, and let's be honest here, all books relate to the reader in different ways, this story didn't work. I realised who the villain was after their first conversation with Mrs Harrison. I thought Elle was an unbelievably weak character, and for a primary school teacher, knew very little about safeguarding. Who lets their ra ...more
CrazyCat (Alex)
Nov 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Elle Harrison is a second grade teacher, at the beginning of a new school year. Standing outside the school she is thinking about her life as a teacher and her private life. And I must say I found her a little but annoying. She was doubting just about everything, not believing in what she did,said or saw, and why did she drink that much. I really had a problem with how much alcohol she and her friends was consuming. Like there is nothing else to do after you come home after work or when meeting ...more
Bernice Rocque
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What did I love most about CHILD'S PLAY? Definitely, the excellent array of suspects lurking around this somewhat dark “who-done-it.” The author, Merry Jones, has assembled a bunch of distinct and delectable “characters” connected in one way or another to 2nd grade teacher, Elle Harrison, and/or the elementary school where she teaches.

With a brisk pace that alternates sudden mayhem with short-lived mellow moments, this mystery offers few spells to relax from the suspense. I met Elle in a previo
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is the definition of a fast-paced thriller. Things just kept happening, one after another. There is no getting bored with this book. I quite enjoyed that the author kept things interesting in that regard. My main problem with the book is how weak the main character seemed, mentally. I believe there are previous books that might explain what's going on a little more thoroughly. Without that extra foundation, she was a bit frustrating at times because her actions didn't make sense to me. ...more
Teresa Kander
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This is my favorite book so far this year. It sent me on several false leads as to who did what....and the reveal at the end scared the heck out of me!

Elle is an interesting character. While she appears level-headed and responsible most of the time, she also has moments when she gets lost in her own head, which her friends refer to as "pulling an Elle." She also sees and hears her dead husband, as well as several of the murder victims from this story--but realizes they are figments of her imagi
The Reading Bud
Jul 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Child’s Play by Mary Jones is a thriller and suspense read with a strong plot and great build-up.

The plotline of this book was really good and the pacing was great, but the suspense was quite predictable. There were a lot of red-herrings, and I did like them, but certain situations gave away the main culprit a bit too early for my taste. This is one book I have mixed feeling for because in spite of enjoying the read overall there were a couple of things that bothered me. For example, when the mu
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Becky suffers from disassociation disorder. That's what she's been blaming her daydreaming and absence of time on. It still doesn't explain why three people have been murdered at the elementary school where she teachers. Neither does it explain why her name is on a list with other women; some already found dead. Her name is next. Her best friends are convinced she's in danger. She's not convinced but rather confused. Will she be next? Who can she trust?

~ A slow start but soon this book had me in
Brittany Hively
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Holy angst and murders, batman!! This book was intense! It was suspenseful and it was holy wow! I could not get enough of this book and I didn't want to quit reading until I knew what was going on. I don't read a lot of stories like this anymore, so it was a nice change of pace.

There were a few times I thought we could be moving faster, but not enough I wanted to quit. I had different theories all through out the story and they kept changing. Interesting read for sure!

Narration was perfect, as
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
"This book was given to me for free from the author at my request for my voluntary and unbiased review."

Not really my cup of tea. Thought I would try this one out as a change of pace on my usual read. I didn't feel like I, as the reader, was left to create the image of what was happening in my head. Everything was explained 3 or more times and then rehashed later in the story. There were some spots that I felt everything was picking up but then I felt deflated as the story went flat. This was an
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was the first book I ever read of Merry Jones and I was impressed with her work - so impressed that I found her previous book in the series: "The Trouble with Charlie." I like the main character Elle. I think that she is believable, especially after reading her backstory in the previous book. The author kept me in suspense and the ending was not what I expected. I like books that give hints as to who the "bad guy" is and it can be one of several choices. Then the author reveals the actual b ...more
Koji Sakai
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I heart this book a lot. I don't usually listen to mysteries so I was dubious but gave it a chance anyway and was pleasantly surprised. It was quick, complicated enough to keep my interest (but not so complicated that it was difficult to listen to), and the voice of the narrator was perfect. In other words, it was the perfect audiobook.

I don't want to spoil it for anyone, so I won't go into too much detail but it had me until the end.

Please note that I received this title for free in exchange f
Jennifer Nowak
Jan 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
* I received this ARC from Oceanview Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Child's Play by Merry Jones is the third book in the Elle Harrison Thriller series. Having not read the other two books, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this book could easily be read as a stand-alone book.

The book was well-written and contained characters that you felt as if you actually knew. The setting of an elementary school heightened the thrills and the ending was certainly unexpected.

Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not one for murder mysteries, but I enjoyed this one! It was suspenseful and well written, fast paced, and just tossed out enough clues to keep me reading (although I have to admit, I did eventually skip to the end to discover the culprit I just couldn't wait!). The characters were nice mix an well developed. Mystery lovers will enjoy this story.
As this was the 3rd in a series, maybe I'll have to look into the others sometime. I wonder if they all tie in?
I received a Kindle ARC from Netgalley i
Oct 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Good book that kept me entertained the whole way through. Such a creepy concept for a plot!

Elle is an elementary school teacher just minding her own business when random deaths keep popping up around her. Suspicions arise that the kid who just exited juvie for murdering his father is the culprit- I mean who else would commit such heinous crimes? Elle is on a list that people assume to be a “hit list”. Can she remain safe before her name is up?
Not base groundwork for a truly horrifying story, unfortunately this author missed the mark. I like the basis for the plot but the author just didn't weave the story right. First, kind of made the main character appear slightly pathetic and not entirely mentally reliable which was as turnoff then just when you had a nice list of usdoects going, the events suddenly made a turn for the outlandish and became unrealistic. Not a book I'd recommend to family or friends
Sandra Scheff
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have never wanted to smack a lead character more

This was a frustrating book that I could not put down. I wanted to shake the protagonist by the shoulders as she blundered thru this plot. I did not guess the murders though, until the last when they finally showed themselves. Good read.
InD'tale Magazine

Wow! Ms. Jones sure can ratchet up the goose bumps.

Read full review in the 2017 May issue of InD'tale Magazine.
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AKA Merry Bloch Jones.

Merry Jones has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. "If I don't write," she says, "over time, I get agitated and irritable, as if energy is building up inside and I have to let it out."

Accordingly, over the years, she has written a wide range of material, in a variety of styles and for diverse media. She began her career by spending about fifteen years wri

Other books in the series

Elle Harrison Thriller (3 books)
  • The Trouble With Charlie (Elle Harrison Thriller, #1)
  • Elective Procedures (Elle Harrison Thriller, #2)