Review

The Murder Game

by Beverly Barton

Like
some of her contemporaries, Beverly Barton has become a master at
combining two popular genres --- romance and suspense. With THE
MURDER GAME, Barton definitely is at the top of her game. She
achieves the perfect balance between a heartwarming,
falling-in-love romance and a heart-pounding, nail-biting suspense
novel. FBI agent Nicole Baxter and billionaire private investigator
Griff Powell have had a hate-hate relationship since they worked
together on a previous murder case. Now they are forced together
again as the serial killer phones each of them with clues about his
next victim.

The story is set in the Deep South that Barton knows so well. While
she doesn’t overdo her descriptions, she produces a flavor so
rich that you can almost smell the magnolias. Even the minor
characters are well-mannered and full of Southern charm. With the
exception of the killer, the author has created a charismatic cast
of supportive and capable individuals who we would be glad to have
on our side if we ever had to fight for our lives or our sanity. As
for the Hunter, as he wants to be known, we always hope in our
heart of hearts that such people do not really exist, but one look
at any large city’s daily newspaper will confirm that they
do. There in fact are conscienceless predators who have no regard
for anyone but themselves and what gives them pleasure.

The murder game that is being orchestrated by this monster, who is
quite capable and devious himself, begins with the kidnapping of a
woman who is strong and intelligent --- in other words, one who
will provide him with the most challenge as they play out his sick
scenario. The Hunter manages to remain one step ahead of the law
because no one can find his “hunting ground.”
Meanwhile, he continues to taunt Griff and Nicole with obscure
clues that take them too long to figure out. By the time they know
who the next victim will be, he already has kidnapped her.

The improbable attraction between Nicole and Griff affords another
storyline that includes a mysterious 10-year period in
Griff’s life that he has yet to talk to anyone about. The
only ones who know what happened are his two closest associates
because they went through it with him. Nicole feels at once drawn
to and repelled by this self-sufficient trio; she has decided that
she would never be close to anyone who might be a threat to her
independence. Agent Nicole Baxter has some mysteries of her own
lurking in the past. Doesn’t that make for a delicious
backstory? Trust me, it does.

THE MURDER GAME is guaranteed to keep you turning pages well into
the night as you discover how this talented author works it all
out.

Reviewed by Maggie Harding, a substance on January 7, 2011

The Murder Game
by Beverly Barton

  • Publication Date: February 1, 2008
  • Genres: Fiction, Romantic Suspense
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Zebra
  • ISBN-10: 0821776908
  • ISBN-13: 9780821776902