An Emily Stone Novel

Over the years I have developed many theories about books. One of those theories involves what I call ‘the hook’. It is generally something that occurs in the first 20 or so pages, it is often just a single paragraph, it has a single function, it ‘hooks’ the reader into the book. If You do not ‘hook’ the reader in a few pages, most will give up and move on to more fertile ground. Jennifer Chase has taken this concept to new heights, one only has to look at the back cover to see the tag line”

In This Video Game, ‘Game Over’ Means You Are Dead

Jennifer Chase first introduced us to the investigative team of Emily Stone and Rick Lopez in Compulsion. Although Dead Game is a stand alone work I would recommend Compulsion as a good place to understand the background of the two leading characters.

Emily and Rick specialize in catching child killers, it is a shame that these people are fictional, the world could certainly use their services!

Dead Game takes us on a slightly new direction, there is a serial killer loose in the San Jose area, but unlike most serial killers there seems to be no commonality between the victims, both men and women are being killed. The only link is in the modus operandi. The crime scenes are in peoples own houses, and indentations in the carpets lead them to believe that the killer likely had a video camera and tripod to film the event. Does the killer obtain some perverted pleasure from replaying his actions?

When Milt, a friend of Rick Lopez dies under some questionable circumstances the sleuths investigate. Milt has not died in vain, he has left them a valuable clue in the hunt for the serial killer. There is a commonality between the victims, and it seems to be an online video game called EagleEye. But how could this game be involved? That is the riddle that Emily and Rick must solve.

To share more of this great story would be to spoil it for the reader. Dead Game is a deftly crafted piece of writing. All I can say is that Jennifer Chase has an evil mind! I suspect that her having a masters degree in Criminology might be a contributing factor.

Her style of writing is one that flows well. In the book world we use terms that the average person likely has not stumbled upon. The ‘shape and structure’ of a book is a critical element. That phrase has nothing to do with the physical product, but rather how the author has developed the plot line and how well the components fit together. We also talk about plot and character development. These are critical aspects that need to be in harmony. Well Jennifer Chase scores high marks in all of the categories.

I do hope that she will continue the Emily Stone series, this character has been so well developed that it would be a sin to drop her.

You can order your copy of Dead Game from Amazon, but take my advice and at the same time order a copy of Compulsion at the same time.

Simon Barrett

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