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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Blame Game

ISBN: 978-1250836908

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Publication Date: 08/16/2022

Format: Other

My Rating: 3 Stars (ARC)

In the vein of the Reese's Book Club x Hello Sunshine Book Club pick The Other Woman, Sandie Jones’s heart-pounding new novel The Blame Game will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Games can be dangerous. But blame can be deadly.

As a psychologist specializing in domestic abuse, Naomi has found it hard to avoid becoming overly invested in her clients’ lives. But after helping Jacob make the decision to leave his wife, Naomi worries that she’s taken things too far. Then Jacob goes missing, and her files on him vanish. . . .

But as the police start asking questions about Jacob, Naomi’s own dark past emerges. And as the truth comes to light, it seems that it’s not just her clients who are in danger.


"Enjoyable . . . The twisty plot offers plenty of surprises."―Publishers Weekly

The Ultimate Summer Read List: Crime Edition―Novel Suspects

"A brilliant page-turner that will keep you guessing and guessing! Secrets, lies and deception…Sandie Jones is the queen of the twisty thriller and The Blame Game is no exception. I devoured this book and was kept guessing the whole way through. With every turn of the page, my suspicions changed and I had no idea which direction the story would take me. A terrifically compelling novel."

―Sarah Pearse, New York Times bestselling author of The Sanatorium

"A twisted rollercoaster ride that delivers twists and surprises you won’t see coming. A riveting storyline about a therapist and the secrets her patients hide with an ending that will leave you breathless. Sandie Jones never disappoints!"

―Liv Constantine, bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish

"Sandie Jones weaves a tangled web of domestic deceit in this tense, absorbing and unpredictable thriller."

―TM Logan, author of The Holiday and The Curfew

"The Blame Game is a true puzzle box of a mystery ― twisting, suspenseful, artfully tricksy. I had no idea idea who to trust and absolutely loved how Sandie Jones kept me on my toes and entertained the whole way through. A great summer suspense.”

―C.M. Ewan

My Review

Sandie Jones' latest THE BLAME GAME is a popcorn thriller, but unfortunately, the popcorn may be more binge-worthy than the novel.

If you like crazy, unreliable characters and a lot of drama, this one is for you. A twisty tangled web of deceit and lies.

Our main character is Naomi Chandler, a psychologist (if you can call her that), specializing in treating victims of domestic violence after her father killed her mother when she was a child. She moved to England from New York to be with Leon and works out of a garden office of their home. Naomi's husband works as an events organizer for the estate where they live. Before the book ends, Leon is put out with her for getting too involved in her clients' lives (as well he should).

Naomi is an unreliable narrator. She is secretive, lies, and untrustworthy. The lines are blurred between professional and personal. She gives her patients places to stay and gets herself in trouble. She also has a MAJOR problem—she does not set BOUNDARIES and becomes too personally invested in her clients' lives. No professionalism, but maybe with the specific storyline she is not meant to.

THE BLAME GAME focuses on Naomi and her treatment of two specific patients, both victims of domestic violence.

Jacob is a victim of his wife’s abuse, and after ten years, he wants to save their marriage. Anna and her husband lost a young son a year ago, which is when his abuse of her started, and she is increasingly concerned that he will begin to abuse their other two boys. But she is terrified of trying to escape him. She bonds with Naomi over their shared past.

The backstory is intriguing, influencing why she became a psychologist.

When she and her sister Jennifer were young, their mother was killed by their father, and Naomi's testimony sent him to prison. Naomi and Jennifer went into foster care, Jennifer was adopted, and they were separated because Naomi was a teenager at the time. Later she met Leon and moved and got her license.

Jennifer became a drug addict and showed up at an aunt’s house when she turned 18, looking for Naomi. She was resentful. Now years later, Jennifer has it together and reached out to the aunt to get Naomi's contact info after the father has been released from prison.


This is one crazy, wacky book, and Naomi (highly annoying with no common sense) makes one wrong decision after another until it is almost comical yet frustrating. There is no conclusion. I have never been a big fan of this author and think it is time to move on after several attempts. I know she has an extensive fan base, but everyone has different tastes, making the world go round. I prefer my thrillers to be more sophisticated. I am being generous with the 3-star rating.

Thank you to #MinotaurBooks and #NetGalley for an ARC to read, enjoy, and review in exchange for an honest review.

@JudithDCollins | JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: Aug 16, 2022

My Rating: 3 Stars ✨✨✨

About the Author

Sandie Jones is the author of The Half Sister, The First Mistake and The Other Woman which is a Reese Witherspoon Bookclub Pick and New York Times bestseller.

Her novels have featured in Entertainment Weekly, Good Morning America, Good Housekeeping, Prima and more.

She lives in London with her husband and three children.



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