ARC REVIEW: The Killing Game – by J.S. Carol


Title: The Killing Game
Author: J.S. Carol

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: October 11th 2016
Publisher: Bookouture
Finished reading: February 22nd 2017
Pages: 380
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! ***


I actually feel REALLY bad I didn’t manage to read this title by J.S. Carol sooner, because I was supposed to pick it up over FOUR months ago… I guess book alone was enough punishment for that fact already, because this was one hell of an intense ride! The Killing Game is not just another fast-paced, action packed and intriguing thriller full of surprises. Sure, it has all those elements and more, but what is more important than that is the originality of the plot. After one too many crime thriller (don’t get me wrong; I love the genre), The Killing Game is like taking a refreshing dive in the sea on a hot summer day. Because instead of your typical thriller plot, this story is centered around a very messy and dangerous hostage situation. To make things even more interesting, you learn more about the POV of both the bad guy, the victims and the press as the situation evolves. This multifaceted aspect of The Killing Game made the story just that much more intense to read, and then I’m not even talking about the explosion of plot twists and excellent writing! I wasn’t sure about the Hollywood setting before I started reading this story, but I was easily convinced by the more than twisted start. I guess money really can’t buy you everything… If you are looking for an excellent and refreshing thriller you won’t be able to put down, this one is a great option.


JJ Johnson is a very talented publicist and can make any problem just about disappear… But even her skills have a limit. When she is having lunch in a famous restaurant along with a few of Hollywood’s hottest stars, a masked and armed man walks in and takes them all hostage. The man is more than dangerous and carries a bomb; word soon spreads of the hostage situation and both the victims and the police will have to bargain for the lives of those inside the restaurant. Killing him is no option, because if his heart rate changes too much the bomb will go off… How will they be able to save everyone before it’s too late? The clock is ticking…


I have to be honest and say I wasn’t sure about the Hollywood element at first, but it fit in brilliantly with the rest of the story. The famous characters work in perfect harmony with the whole hostage situation, press chaos and backstory in general, and I can garantuee you the ending will be a surprise. Well written, fast-paced, full of twists and impossible to put down; The Killing Game is without doubt an excellent thriller read!


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Month In Review: February 2017


It’s March 2017 already, and the summer is slowly coming to an end… February was quite a busy month for me, and it shows in the amount of books I was able to read. A wedding, Carnaval weekend… I guess it took away some of my reading time, but I’m not complaining. 😉 I did manage to read 13 books in February and I continued enjoying my new Instagram account as well. Bookstagram is seriously addicting! These nine photos are my personal February favorites; I’m still trying to find my own style, but I’m having lots of fun anyway! 😀


 As for the bookish numbers:

  • Number of books read in February: 13
  • Total number of books read this year: 35
  • Total number of pages read in February: 4.524
  • Total number of pages read this year: 11.081

February was still a good reading month despite the three low ratings, and I had no less than five 4,5 star ratings, which isn’t bad at all. I’m definitely not complaining!


4.5 STARS: This one was almost perfect. Surely fantastic! 
The Impossible Fortress – by Jason Rekulak // Rebel Of The Sands – by Alwyn Hamilton // Traitor To The Throne – by Alwyn Hamilton // The Killing Game – by J.S. Carol // The Song Of Achilles – by Madeline Miller


4 STARS: Wow, this was really good. Close to amazing!
Little Girl Lost – by Carol Wyer // The Truth Will Out – by Brian Cleary // A Gentleman In Moscow – by Amor Towles


3.5 STARS: Great read. Really entertaining!
The Rest Of Us Just Live Here – by Patrick Ness // The Five Stages Of Andrew Brawley – by Shaun David Hutchinson


2.5 STARS: I give this one the benefit of the doubt. Nothing too exciting. 
Missing – by Monty Marsden


2 STARS: It was ok. But mostly ‘meh’.
The Paris Mysteries – by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro


1.5 STARS: The story wasn’t horrible, but there still isn’t another word to describe it but ‘bad’.
The Light That Gets Lost – by Natasha Carthew

A new year means new challenges… I ended up joining way more challenges than usual, but at least I’ve already made a lot of progress with the ABC challenges so far. The other challenges are on track as well, although I should read a few classics for my Reading Through The Centuries challenge just in case.


As for my other goals…No real progress in February, mostly because I’ve been reading quite a lot of ARCs. Hopefully March will be better, although it will be a tough one!


  • Read at least 5 classics (rereads don’t count) 0/5
  • Complete at least 5 series (rereads don’t count) 0/5
  • Reread at least 3 books 0/3
  • Bring my physical TBR pile below 250 books 307/250
  • Read at least one book over 800 pages (maximum at 562 pages)
  • Read at least 2 books in Spanish 0/2
  • Read at least 1 book in Dutch 0/1
  • Join at least 5 challenges during the year
  • Keep my Netgalley ratio above the 80% currently at 78%
  • Start a Twitter account and use it regularly
  • Reach 5km running! 2000m/5000m

Happy March and Happy Reading! 


You can also find me at Goodreads. Twitter. InstagramBloglovin’.