Thursday 1 September 2022

The Blame Game by Sandie Jones @realsandiejones @panmacmillan #TheBlameGame @BeccaKBryant #BookReview


There are two sides to every story.

He came to me for help with his marriage.

I was alone and afraid. She was there when I needed to talk.

I needed to make him understand that he had to get away.

I knew what I needed to do. I just couldn’t do it on my own. I trusted her.

Now it has gone too far. And I can’t tell anyone what I have done.

Now I have nowhere to turn and I just pray they find me before she does.

And then there's the truth.

The Blame Game by Sandie Jones is published by Pan Macmillan on 1 September 2022. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review. 

I read The Blame Game in a couple of hours whilst sitting on a sunbed by the pool in Malta. People who walked past may have heard me swearing under my breath as the story took twist after unexpected twist and totally screwed my head! 

I have to admit that at first, I just got really annoyed by lead character Naomi, but as the story progressed, I was able to forgive her lack of professional boundaries and all round common sense because I became so intrigued by the plot that I could forgive anything!

Naomi is a counsellor who specialises in domestic abuse. She works from a converted shed/office in the garden of the home that she shares with her husband Leon.Their house is in the grounds of a stately home, where Leon is managing the estate and at the moment is totally caught up in organising a concert in the grounds. 

The reader learns about Naomi's two clients; Jacob and Anna. Jacob is a schoolteacher who says that he is being abused by his wife Vanessa. Anna is from New York (Naomi's home city, before leaving to live in the UK), and is struggling to come to terms with the recent death of her child. Anna claims that her husband has become abusive towards her. 

Naomi has no boundaries! Despite being an experienced counsellor and going against the advice of Leon, she oversteps the mark with both of her clients, so much so that she ties herself into multiple knots, with lie after lie being told by Naomi and Leon become ever more suspicious about what she's up to. 

Let's just say that this one is gripping. I may veer a little toward the 'hard to believe' sometimes, but nevertheless, this author certainly knows how to keep her readers engaged. Despite my misgivings about Naomi's practices, I couldn't help but turn the pages furiously to discover just what was going on. 

There's a little of Naomi's own back story here too which goes some way to explaining her behaviours, but I would have liked to know just what did happen at the end with her own family member, although being left to guess and surmise often makes a book more memorable for me, and I'm certainly not going to forget this in a hurry!

Fast, furious, sometimes frustrating, but always startling and unexpected, The Blame Game is a totally entertaining read full of characters that one cannot, and really should not trust! 

Sandie Jones is the author of the bestselling The Other Woman, The First Mistake, The Half Sister and The Guilt Trip.

A freelance journalist, she has contributed to the Sunday Times, Daily Mail, Woman’s Weekly and Hello magazine, amongst others. If she wasn’t a writer, she’d be an interior designer as she has an unhealthy obsession with wallpaper and cushions.

She lives in London with her husband and three children.

Twitter @realsandiejones

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