#BookReview and #AppReview – Playing with Death by Simon Scarrow @SimonScarrow and Lee Francis @_leefrancis @annecater @JessFarrugiaPR @headlinepg
Playing With Death by Simon Scarrow, Lee Francis
Series: FBI Agent Rose Blake #1
Published by Headline on 26th July 2018
Genres: Thriller, Crime, Suspense
Add to Goodreads
FBI Special Agent Rose Blake has faced evil and survived.
Haunted by a failed undercover mission, Rose can't shake the memory of her close encounter with a ruthless serial killer - one who could strike again without warning.
Then comes the call to investigate a suspected arson attack that's left a man dead. Rose fears the worst: that a cold-blooded killer has carried out the perfect murder. A killer with a terrifying imagination and the intelligence to stay one step ahead at every stage. She knows only one thing about him: that he will kill again.
Rules will have to be broken. And the clock is ticking...
You are in for a treat with this post…not one review but two! When the email came round this book, two reasons I picked up this book, Simon Scarrow and the opportunity for one lucky blogger to review the app. Guess what that I am that lucky blogger. *Happy dance over here*
I will start by reviewing the app, you will realise why shortly.
So, the app “Catch a Killer” opens and you are Rose Blake, FBI. You are on the case of tracking down Shane Koenig, a serial killer, tracking men and women through a dating app. The game becomes Rose’s phone, where you can read some emails, but you pretty much can only go on the dating app. Although I knew this was a game and I wasn’t Rose, I still felt like I was being a bit naughty being on a dating app! This is how realistic it feels. Shane pops up to talk to you (I didn’t feel guilty for too long as it’s my husband’s name lol) and you select your answers from a choice of three. Your boss will randomly pop up if you going in the right or wrong direction. If you are going in the wrong direction he signs off and you get given newspaper articles to show you he has gone killing – way to make me feel guilty!!
The bit I loved and made me so nervous at the same time is when you have enticed Shane into making a date, he rings you so you have his number….when the phone rang I didn’t want to answer! Then he started to talk to me! I was sitting there gobsmacked as if I was talking to the serial killer aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
The game finishes abruptly when you arrange to meet on a date, with the arrogant man! I spoke to Lee Francis back and forth on Twitter, and I said I wanted more from the game, as in I wanted it to be longer. I thought the interface and interaction with the game were so riveting like I said, you feel like you are Rose! When I picked up the book, I then realised why the app ended where it did…….it ended at the beginning of the first page of the book!
And on to the book, it is go go go go from the very beginning and I loved it! I was invested, I mean I set this date up with Shane, I needed to see it through (don’t worry I know its not real life!!). We fast forward a few months, and things are in a bit of disarray for Rose, struggling with what happened that night.
She suspects her husband of having an affair with the pretty young secretary on the campaign he is working on, her son is withdrawn from her, and to top it off a frightening new case is being handed to her, is she ready for this?
We have about four different storylines going on at once and I loved it as it felt rather realistic within the working environments of the Violent Crime unit in the FBI, because things are not static, cases overlap and life in general gets involved. This book is fast-paced, and I really needed to be buckled down for this bumpy ride.
This book gets dark, and this book flies into the technological remit, which makes it just a bit too realistic and scary. A suit called Skin, (which I admit being a geek and loving my tech sounded epic) takes gaming to another level, where you wear the suit and it immerses you in to a virtual reality game, but this suit being a “skin” you feel everything, all the physical sensations (Let’s stay away from games where you get shot or stabbed them please!). So when Rose and the team are called to an awful scene where a man has been burned alive whilst wearing this skin, it looks like murder. But how? Doors are all locked from the inside? How did they get in? Who is this man? And how does everything link together, especially when a serial killer gets a calling card? Dun dun dun
I was intrigued to see how Simon Scarrow would do stepping away from his remit of historical fiction, and collaborating on a techy crime thriller, and I have to admit between the two of them, they have created a thrilling journey of crime and suspense. Can’t wait to see what else these two can do!
Hope I have done somewhat enough to get you to check this out! I hope you won’t be disappointed, I know I have not been!
*Thank you so much to Anne at Random things through my door, Headline and the author Lee Francis and Simon Scarrow for a copy of this book*
If you enjoyed my review or any of my other reviews, please share it on Twitter, Facebook, anywhere for other people to enjoy or if you fancy a chat stick a comment below. Thanks for stopping by! ♥
About Lee Francis
Lee Francis worked for several years in the world of film, TV and advertising as a script reader and assistant director. PLAYING WITH DEATH, written with his former lecturer Simon Scarrow, is his first novel.
About Simon Scarrow
Simon's Eagles of the Empire novels are legendary amongst readers of historical fiction, and all his novels, have been acclaimed by reviewers and readers alike. Prior to writing fiction Simon worked as a teacher and lecturer; he is now a full-time writer.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: