On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the latest novel by Caroline England, Truth Games.
She tries hard to be the perfect mother, the perfect partner, the perfect daughter – but Ellie never seems to get it right.
When an old friend from university re-enters her life, dark memories from Ellie’s past begin to resurface.
As Ellie starts to unravel some shocking and sinister realities, she realises that she must choose between keeping the family she loves – and facing the truth.
If you love a character-driven psychological thriller, then you need to add Truth Games by Caroline England to your TBR pile. It begins with a tense opening that immediately gets you thinking about the character and the situation they’re in. They’re asked to reveal their secret truth, but before she has the chance to answer it, Caroline England reveals more about who she is to us. It makes for such an intriguing opening, and I had to know what it was she was about to reveal.
Truth Games isn’t an action-packed thriller, it is more of a slow burn, but I really liked the pacing. I liked how Caroline gradually began to reveal more about Ellie’s life. The tension starts to build as we realise that many things are buried deep within Ellie’s past. A lot is going on in her life as she tries to give the impression that she is raising the perfect family.
The characters are all so well-drawn, and Caroline England brings them to life with brilliant dialogue. Ellie’s character is really intriguing, and there are many surprises along the way as we get to know more about her and her family. There are people who are keeping secrets from Ellie, and she becomes more and more frustrated as she believes people close to her are lying to her. I thought her relationship with her parents was particularly intriguing, especially with her father, Maurice. It becomes very difficult for Ellie to understand why they don’t want her visiting, and this unnerves her.
There is also tension between her and her husband, Cam. I thought the way how Caroline England wrote their relationship into her novel was done so well, and it felt very real. It brought Ellie’s character to life on the page as Caroline explored her frustrations with her Cam. There are some devastating scenes as this is played out. I also thought Ellie’s relationship with her children was well done too.
The twist that came right at the end of the book shocked me. It made for a very unsettling ending as Ellie comes to terms with some dark truths.
Truth Games is an unnerving psychological thriller. I wouldn’t go into it expecting a fast paced read, but if you love domestic noir novels with unforgettable and intriguing characters, I would highly recommend it.
Publication date: 19th November 2020 (kindle) 10th June 2021 (paperback)
Print length: 400 pages
Truth Games is available to buy: