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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Murder Game

the Murder Game

ISBN: 9781534755895

Publisher: Lawsome Books

Publication Date: 11/1/2016

Format: e-book

My Rating: 3 Stars For fans of The Secret History and How to Get Away With Murder comes an exciting new voice in suspense fiction. Ten years working as a prosecutor have left Meredith Delay jaded and unsure of what she wants out of life. She’s good at her job, but it haunts her. Her boyfriend wants her to commit, but she keeps him at arm’s length. Then Meredith is assigned to a high-profile prosecution involving the violent murder of a fallen hockey star.

At first, it appears to be just another case to work. But when her old friend Julian is accused of the murder, it takes on a whole new dimension.

Meredith, Julian, Jonathan, and Lily were a tight-knit group in law school. But now, Jonathan’s defending Julian, and Lily’s loyalties aren’t clear. And when Julian invokes a rare—and risky—defense, Meredith is forced to confront their past.

Has something they played at as students finally been brought to death?

Years ago, when I was in law school, and long before I ever thought I might write a novel, I wondered if it was possible to plan a perfect murder. Not because I wanted to pull one off—I promise!—but as an academic exercise. That idea never went away. So when I thought about the kind of novel I might want to write, that idea stayed with me, and bloomed into The Murder Game.

Did I plan the perfect murder? You tell me

Read More EW Why Fractured author Catherine McKenzie wrote an entire book within a book


My Review

Julie Apple (AKA Catherine McKenzie) returns following Fractured (2016) where we met Julie Apple, with her bestselling novel--now featured in the clever twisty THE MURDER GAME, part legal drama, part thriller, and a perfect murder plan resurfaced. Confused? Don’t be. First, read Fractured then circle back around and enjoy, TMG. Four friends make their way through law school, in the mid- nineties, learning the ins and outs of the criminal law system They plot the perfect murder. Ultimately later, becomes a reality. Facing the past. With dual time frames that span twelve years, The Murder Game explores the powers of the unconscious mind with the history of a group of law students, and friends- planning the perfect murder. Busy law students, tossing around possibilities for months. They would have breaks and would call one another for a rendezvous and set a topic of discussion. Poisoning, suicide, an accident – the perfect murder. Nothing was perfect. But you had to get away with it. Why not when you knew your way around the law, right? Meet Meredith, Lily, Jonathan, and Julian, a group of friends who first met at McGill University Law School. They play a game where they each try to create the perfect murder. Flash forward ten years, the son of a Montreal Canadian hockey player Nick Alan has been murdered in his sleep. Meredith, now a prosecutor, has been assigned the case. The case seems straightforward. The alleged perpetrator has confessed and is in custody. But Meredith is shocked to find out that the perpetrator is her old friend Julian McCarthy and that Jonathan is defending him. Conflict of Interest? The game becomes a reality. There are so many questions, doubts, who is guilty, who is innocent, who is involved? Julian, is the accused and Lily is his girlfriend, and Jonathan Sayers, Meredith’s on and off boyfriend. Meredith was kind of an outsider of the group. Meredith never truly feels like she belongs in this group. The other three come from money and the lifestyle that it brings. Whenever it suits them they let her in. Their terms. Nick had destroyed his chance at a great hockey career by overindulging in cocaine, hookers and a toxic lifestyle until he was finally arrested for the sexual abuse of a young boy. Meredith had prosecuted that case and now it would seem that someone has taken justice into their own hands. How did she know what would follow? Why does this seem familiar? Sleepwalking . . . Part One tells the story of the history of the friends back in law school in Montreal. Flashing back and forth, to present day from the college days. Part Two features the trial with Meredith, prosecutor, and Jonathan as the defense attorney representing Julian. There will be familiar circumstances—connecting the past with the present. Part Three ties it together with the closing arguments of the trial, sentencing and the final closing with a twist. Would classify this as a cozy murder mystery/legal drama; not a deeply psychological or intense suspenseful legal thriller; however, it was a lot of fun; highly creative and twisty - connecting both books. Those who enjoy the TV series: (available on Amazon) “How to Get Away with Murder” A group of ambitious law students and their brilliant criminal defense professor, become involved in a twisted murder plot that promises to change the course of their lives—"will enjoy" THE MURDER GAME. A special thank you to Lawsome Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. PS. Catherine/Julie, can we move to Canada with you if Trump wins tonight? It is looking very scary. Looks like you will have "plenty of company."


Review Links:

Advance Praise

The Murder Game is “fun … with a pleasantly complicated protagonist.”—Kirkus Reviews

Part legal drama, part thriller, Julie Apple’s shrewd debut takes readers on two gripping trips to get to the heart of one grisly murder. Unfolding in dual time frames that span twelve years, The Murder Game brilliantly explores one’s mastery of manipulation and the powers of the unconscious mind. A smart and compulsive read.—Mary Kubica, NYT bestselling author of The Good Girl

Catherine McKenzie

Compulsively readable, The Murder Game ups the ante for psychological thrillers. Apple’s brilliant story keep readers guessing until the final pages.—Paula Treik DeBoard, author of The Drowning Girls

The Murder Game is a pitch perfect legal thriller with a frightening twist. Fans of John Grisham and Donna Tartt will love this exploration into the history of a group of law school friends planning the perfect murder. I couldn’t put it down.—J.T. Ellison, NYT bestselling author of Field of Graves and No One Knows

The relationships between a group of friends in the past will determine the course of justice in the present in Julie Apple's court room mystery, a character study with more twists and turns than a Grand Prix race circuit. Buckle up and enjoy the ride!—Lisa Brackmann, NYT bestselling author of Rock Paper Tiger and Go-Between

About the Author

Catherine McKenzie

A graduate of McGill University in History and Law, Catherine practises law in Montreal, where she was born and raised. Catherine's novels, SPIN, ARRANGED, FORGOTTEN, HIDDEN and SMOKE, are all international bestsellers and have been translated into numerous languages, including French, German, Portuguese, Polish, Turkish, Slovakian and Czech. HIDDEN was also a #1 Amazon bestseller and a Digital Bookworld bestseller for five weeks. SMOKE was named one of the Top 100 Books in 2015 by Amazon and one of the Best Books of October by Goodreads, and was an Amazon bestseller.

ARRANGED has been optioned for film, and SPIN has been optioned for a television series. A short film of ARRANGED was made in 2014 and won a Canadian National Screen Institute Award. Catherine was on set while they filmed it. It was one of the cooler experiences of her life.

Catherine’s sixth novel, FRACTURED, will be published by Lake Union on October 4, 2016.

An avid skier and runner, Catherine climbed the Grand Teton in 2014.

And if you want to know how she has time to do all that, the answer is: robots.

Visit her online at, on Facebook and on Twitter at @cemckenzie1 Read More






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