Bad Games by Jeff Menapace
(Bad Games Series Book 1)
The Lambert family is heading to Crescent Lake, a rural cabin community in western Pennsylvania, for an idyllic weekend getaway. Some fishing, some barbecue, some games...
The Fannelli brothers are heading to Crescent Lake too. Some stalking, some kidnapping, some murder, definitely some games...though not necessarily the type of games the Lamberts had in mind.
But it doesn't matter. The Lamberts are going to play whether they like it or not.
An intense psychological thriller, Bad Games has the dark, mind-bending terror of Cape Fear, combined with the fish-out-of-water dread and suspense of Deliverance.
So let Jeff Menapace's bestselling thriller keep you up all night as it delves into the mystery of nature versus nurture when comprehending the evil in man, along with the will and determination an innocent family must summon to fight back against horrific odds.
Review by Brittany:
Wow. My first reaction to this book is simply WOW. I am a horror film fan and consider myself one who is capable of stomaching some pretty brutal scenes, but this book really tested that.
It starts out with Amy and Patrick Lambert taking their two children (Caleb and Carrie) on a family trip. From the time they stop for gas in the first chapter, unsettling events start to happen. It starts small - a stranger pays for their gas, a man hits on Amy in a grocery store - but events soon escalate. Before long, Amy and Patrick are abducted and in a battle for their lives and the lives of their children.
The suspense in this book is spot on. Things move along at a nice pace, and I felt the urge to keep reading. This author understands little things that might unsettle people and uses those to keep the reader interested. There was also good relationship development, both between Amy and Patrick and between the Fannelli brothers.
The violence in this book was pretty spot on as well. The images in this book are gruesome, so keep that in mind if you plan to pick this one up. The level of violence did make the villains seem bad and the Lamberts seem desperate, so it does play its role in this book. However, some scenes are a bit hard to read, and certain levels of torture and abuse are hinted at and explicitly spelled out in this book.
Overall, this was a good fit for me. Being a horror fan, this book is right up my alley. If you are also a horror fan, you should definitely pick this up. If horror/thriller isn't your genre, then this book definitely won't be for you.