Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Killing Game” as Want to Read:
The Killing Game
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Killing Game

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  923 ratings  ·  162 reviews
Publicist JJ Johnson is having lunch when a masked, armed gunman walks in and takes everyone hostage – including Hollywood’s hottest stars. JJ can make any problem disappear and turn ordinary people into global superstars. But this is one situation way out of her control.

As word spreads of the siege, the hostage victims are bargaining for their lives against a twisted indi
ebook, 380 pages
Published October 13th 2016 by Bookouture (first published October 11th 2016)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Killing Game, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Killing Game

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  923 ratings  ·  162 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Killing Game
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A Traveling Sister read with Brenda!!

I’d been searching for something just a bit different, something outside of my regular dose of thrillers. Bingo! This one fit the bill perfectly! An edge of your seat nail-biter that will leave you scared and thinking twice about dining out!

The setting: An exclusive restaurant in Los Angeles, California where the rich, beautiful and powerful gather to strut and mingle. Just another day in LA? Well... not today!

JJ, a publicist to the Stars, is enjoying a pow
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Killing Game by J.S. Carol is a 2016 Bookouture publication.

The book cover says it all: “A tense, gripping thriller you DON’T want to miss”

Alfie’s is an upscale restaurant in Los Angles catering to movie stars, agents and producers. But, when the clientele are taken hostage by masked gunman wearing explosives that will detonate if his heart rate gets too low, the media descend, determined to cash in on the situation.

JJ, a publicist, was at the restaurant to keep an eye on her client, but s
Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
Traveling Sisters read with Kaceey

I read The Killing Game with Kaceey and we were lost in the traumatized dark murky coulee and not wanting to be found until we finished this chilling, fascinating yet disturbing killing game. At times we wanted to crawl on out as we became a little uncomfortable in all the grimy, muddy violence but we couldn’t bring ourselves to actually start crawling out. Instead, we were lost in this captivating and unsettling story. Our hearts were racing and I am sure at ti
Veronica ⭐️
Mar 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime, 2017, a
When a suicide bomber enters a top LA restaurant and holds some of Hollywood’s top names hostage J.J., a highly sort after PR expert, realises this is one situation she can’t control.

Carol shows us the low side of humanity with people betting on which hostage will be killed. There is also a large focus on the media using underhanded tactics to get a story and the heartless way they think of the scoop more than a person’s life.

Overall the writing is impeccable however the attempts at backstory ke
Nov 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the first book I have read by author James Carol and I was impressed enough to want to read more of his work.
A great action packed read that is set in Alfie’s, a restaurant for the rich and famous. Publicist JJ Johnson is having lunch when a masked, armed gunman walks in and takes everyone hostage. The gunman has a bomb strapped to his chest and makes it clear that he must be obeyed by killing the first person who questions his authority.

The novel starts at pace and that is continued rig
As Jody Johnson (her friends called her JJ) made her way to the luncheon she’d booked in Alfie’s, her favourite restaurant in Hollywood, she thought about what was ahead. Her lunch companion was an arrogant, egotistical man, but it wasn’t him she was going to observe. And once she was seated on the upper level she could see Alex and Simone seated down below her; things were going to plan.

But in a matter of seconds, everything changed. The masked gunman was wearing a vest and carrying a submachin
Oct 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, thriller
I previously read James Carol's thriller Broken Dolls which featured Jefferson Winter, the son of a serial killer. So I was really happy to receive an ARC of this standalone. And it delivered on all aspects.
The setting is an exclusive restaurant in Los Angeles frequented by Hollywood's elite. The story covers the 4 hours during which a masked gunman holds a group of patrons hostage and starts playing terrifying games. Who is he? What does he want?
Intense, frightening, and very brutal in parts,
Oct 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Actions have consequences.

A gunman bursts into Alfie's, an exclusive L.A. restaurant where several A-listers are having lunch. These Hollywood VIPs, used to answering no one, are now his hostages. The gunman has a bomb strapped to his chest, attached to a heart rate monitor and set to detonate if his pulse goes too far above or below its normal range. If he gets agitated, if a swat team takes him out... his hostages will explode, along with the rest of the city block.

JJ is used to being able to
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
Well I read Broken Dolls & thought that was good but my goodness this one was so different that I was holding my breath right from beginning to end. J.S Carol had me turning the pages so fast my head was spinning such a dynamic plot that had my heart racing.

JJ was a publicist for the stars having lunch at a swish restaurant Alfie's in L.A when a gunman burst in & took everyone hostage, actors directors etc they were all fearing for their lives, JJ who was getting over the death of her husband To
Jülie ☼♄ 

Excellent! Fantastic! Wow!

If you like edge of your seat thrillers then buckle your seatbelts people because this is one book you won't want to put down!

This is a seriously nail biting hostage situation in a very private and exclusive top notch Hollywood restaurant.
With a reputation for its privacy and discretion, and a waiting list that spans years, only a small number of the very elite can afford to dine here.
On this day there are a number of very important people, many of whom have had occasio
Linda Strong
J J Johnson is a publicist .. she's worked so long and so hard to become a success. Now she can make or break careers of the rich and famous.

Meeting a client at a very exclusive restaurant, she's pleased to see several famous people she either loves or hates.

But her life, as she knows it, is about to change.

He walks into the restaurant wearing fatigues, a face mask, a bomb jacket and carrying a really large assault rifle. He knows almost everyone in the restaurant .. who they are.. how much mon
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
As Hollywood's elite are dining at an upscale restaurant a masked gunman walks into the restaurant taking everyone hostage. Now begins the fight for their lives as the gunman makes a game of their fear and the stakes are who will live and who will die. With a bomb strapped to his chest so that if he dies then everyone dies the games seems to be in the favor of the gunman so will anyone make it out of the restaurant alive??

The Killing Game was an incredibly fast paced thriller from start to finis
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, thriller
This is an excellent, heart stopping thriller! The drama starts when a suicide bomber bursts into Alfie's, a top end restaurant frequented by Hollywood's A list celebs. He's not a religious fanatic so why is he there and what does he want? He loves to play games and at some stage the hostages will all have to bargain with him for their lives. He thinks he's totally in control but there's a secret in Alfie's that he needs to find for his plan to work.

Such a good, high tension read, told from dif
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, crime
Lights, cameras, action!

What an intense, terrifying and unputdownable book.

If something looks too good to be true, it is.

The story takes place in the span of 3 hours in an exclusive restaurant frequented by the rich and famous.
Everybody is enjoying their meal, until a masked suicide bomber enters the restaurant and takes them hostage.
And then the nightmare begins.

Is this a case of wrong place, wrong time? Who will survive? Who will die?

It doesn’t matter how sparkling the future is, the past
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have found a new author and I am very excited about it, James Carol you really know how to write a great yarn. If you are about to start this book then hang on as you are in for one hell of a ride. This story starts with a bang and continues to do so over the duration of the book in which the story is told in a four hour period. Adrenaline will be pumping as you put yourself in these characters shoes. A group of celebrities are dining out at a top restaurant, they are rich, good looking and to ...more
Nov 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
At an Hollywood elite upscale restaurant a masked gunman walks in taking everyone hostage. As bodies begin to pile up the gunman makes a game of who will live and who will die. Who is he and what does he want? Will anyone make it out of the restaurant alive?
The Killing Game by J.S.Carol is a fast paced heart-pounding tension filled tightly packed thriller. Lots of twists and turns in this twist ride. Highly recommended for all intense thriller lovers !

I would like to thank Bookouture & NetGalley
Oct 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction

Do you know that feeling of adrenaline that is mixed with fear and excitement that you get from those new rides at the themes parks? Well that is exactly how I felt the whole way through this novel. My heart is still pounding even now just thinking about it. Instead of it being over in seconds though like a ride would be, I felt it for the few hours that it took me to devour this book. I actually think it should come with those warning signs that you get at the theme parks a
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Full review on

Let’s start by talking about that cover and blurb. The cover is striking and immediately caught my eye, then when I read the blurb I was instantly fascinated. Hostage situations are always good for high intensity and drama. This was another book that I just had a feeling about, I knew that I would love it based on the blurb/cover combo alone and was I ever right!

Everyone that was eating lunch at LA hotspot Alfie’s is suddenly taken hostage by a crazed, masked ma
Joanne Robertson
Oct 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm a HUGE fan of James Carol and his Jefferson Winter series featuring the FBI profiler, so it was with great curiosity to see what else he could come up with and, I am happy to tell you that this standalone book is absolutely brilliant! The description "rollercoaster ride of a book" can't even begin to depict the total adrenaline rush of this fast paced thriller. I felt like I had to keep my heart rate as high as the suicide bomber just in case it affected the outcome of this catastrophic even ...more
The Book Review Café
Oct 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Review first published on my blog

**A word of warning** you may want to clear your schedule before you start reading this book, because once you pick it up there’s no way you will be able to put it down until you reach the explosive ending. The Killing Game is a standalone thriller written under the pseudonym JS Carol, now anyone whose a huge crime thriller fan will know J.S Carol is in fact James Carol the number 1 best selling author of Broken Dolls, the first in a
Joseph - Relax And Read Reviews
Purely terrifying!!

And... breathe!! OMG!! I've just finished reading this book and honestly I'm still waiting for my pulse rate to return to normal. J.S. Carol took me on a claustrophobic, adrenaline-pumping, hair-raising ride that's left me an emotional wreck.

"From this moment on I am God."

What would you do if while dining in a restaurant, a masked, armed terrorist wearing an explosive vest comes in and says the above? I'd surely pee in my pants and die of a heart attack there and then. An
Kate~Bibliophile Book Club
Oct 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
When I got contacted by the lovely Kim Nash at Bookouture with a super secret ARC to read and review, I knew I’d be a fool to say no. One of my favourite authors, James Carol, was signed to Bookouture earlier this year and Kim gave me the opportunity to read his newest standalone novel, The Killing Game. Cue smiling like a loon and being all giddy at the thought of reading this book before release!

James Carol is the author of the Jefferson Winter series, Broken Dolls, Watch Me and Prey. I can’t
Louise Wilson
Sep 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Alfie's is the restaurant where the rich and famous go to eat and this lunch time it is fully booked, filled with Hollywoods hottest stars. Then a masked gunman takes everyone hostage. He knows everything about everyone that is in the restaurant. He is also wearing a suicide vest that he's attached to a watch which measures his heart rate. If his heart rate goes to high or to low the bomb will automatically explode.

WOW this is well written, full of suspense and is disturbingly brutal. I highly r
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I have to be totally honest….when I first read this book, back in July (I think!) I really enjoyed it – but I did not love it…But time had passed, I had been on a serious #BookBingeOverload in May/June and I decided to give it another read – #BestDecisionEVER as I freakin’ LOVED it the second time around! The original title also put me off, but #TheKillingGame is by far the better choice - well I think so, anyway! Ok – now that I have got that
Shell Baker
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Can you imagine my excitement when a copy of this book drops in my email inbox with no cover, title or blurb all i know is, it's by J.S Carroll. I couldn't contain my excitement and got stuck in straight away reading it in a matter of hours. I simply couldn't put it down this is one hell of a page turner. I was hooked from the very first page.

A masked gunman walks in a restaurant filled with Hollywood's hottest stars and takes everyone hostage! And the story is written over fours hours. Sounds e
Best Crime Books & More
Oh my....Mr Carol! As many of you may know I am a HUGE fan of the series of books written by James Carol featuring Jefferson Winter. I wasn't quite sure what to expect when reading the synopsis but it certainly sounded like a thrilling book. So a very exclusive restaurant named 'Alfie's' in the heart of Hollywood which holds numerous high end celebrities and Industry stars is about to become a prison to its occupants. When a masked gunman walks in and takes them all hostage it seems its everybod ...more
Sarah Joint
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can not even imagine giving this book any less than five stars. I enjoyed it that much. Four stars from me is good. Five is exceptional.

This book primarily takes place over four hours. Four measly hours. Most of us can lose ourselves in a book or Netflix for about that long. It's relaxing, right? Well, this book isn't. It's nerve wracking, chilling, and creepy. The final twist was perfect.

The Killing Game takes place in the kind of restaurant most of us will never get the chance to dine at: an
Yvonne (It's All About Books)
Finished reading: February 22nd 2017
Rating 4,5qqq

“It didn't matter how sparkling the future was, the past always had a way of sneaking up on you when you least expected it.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Bookouture in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

(view spoiler)
Natalie M
Jan 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime
I know I’m going to be roasted for this review as the majority of Goodreads comments have been 5 star ratings but to me it felt like a Hollywood script.
Yes I get the interesting reason the suicide bomber takes a restaurant full of Hollywood big-wigs hostage but the characters themselves did not evoke an iota of sympathy from me, particularly the very one-dimensional JJ. It was just the ‘voice’ of this book that was irritating.
The three stars go to the plot. It takes a while to get there but wh
Sheyla ✎
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, 5-fangs, best-2016

‘When you get to the end, it’s not the things you achieved in life that you focus on, it’s all those things you didn’t do. All those missed opportunities. All those regrets. And the truth is that everyone’s got more than a few. Every last one of us. Let’s face it, nobody lies on their death bed and wishes they’d spent more time at the office. Nobody.’

The Killing Game had an excellent thread of suspense! It had me close to the edge of my sanity. I couldn't wait to find out how everything
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Broken Dolls (Jefferson Winter, #1)
  • Watch Me (Jefferson Winter, #2)
  • The Quiet Man (Jefferson Winter, #4)
  • Prey (Jefferson Winter, #3)
  • Open Your Eyes (A Jefferson Winter Thriller #0.7; The Jefferson Winter Chronicles #3)
  • 17 Church Row
  • Fragile (The Hollows, #1)
  • Your Truth or Mine?
  • Keep Your Eyes On Me
  • Presumed Guilty (A Jefferson Winter Thriller #0.5; The Jefferson Winter Chronicles #1)
  • Cypress Point
  • Die Frequenz des Todes (Auris, #2)
  • American Devil (Tom Harper & Denise Levene #1)
  • Hush Little Baby (A Jefferson Winter Thriller #0.6; The Jefferson Winter Chronicles #2)
  • Land of the Living
  • Love in Lockdown
  • 88 Killer (Tom Harper & Denise Levene #2)
  • I Am Dust
See similar books…
Author James Carol writing as J.S. Carol. ...more

Related Articles

If you're a fan of the mystery and thriller genre and young adult books, recent months have brought a bevy of great reads to your shelves! We...
142 likes · 20 comments
“Every last one of us. Let’s face it, nobody lies on their death bed and wishes they’d spent more time at the office. Nobody.” 0 likes
“It didn't matter how sparkling the future was, the past always had a way of sneaking up on you when you least expected it.” 0 likes
More quotes…