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I was nervous going in to the this one after reading various terrible reviews for it and I ve come out the other end feeling very much the same way as other readers.I haven t read And Then There Were None but I ve watched the BBC mini series and this novel definitely did feel like a very uninspired copycat of the world famous Christie story A kind of re telling of the classic novel could be really well done if it was brought up to date, but this attempt fell flat on its face There was no shock I was nervous going in to the this one after reading various terrible reviews for it and I ve come out the other end feeling very much the same way as other readers.I haven t read And Then There Were None but I ve watched the BBC mini series and this novel definitely did feel like a very uninspired copycat of the world famous Christie story A kind of re telling of the classic novel could be really well done if it was brought up to date, but this attempt fell flat on its face There was no shock or tension throughout the entire thing.Our main two characters for the most part of this novel are Anna and Henry Both are did characters with little to no character development, which makes them really hard to get to know and form an opinion on From what I did grasp about them, they were both very unlikable, as were all of the other side characters, except maybe the Colonel.Unfortunately, the plot for this one was really slow and unexciting The synopsis would have you believe this is a psychological thriller that s tense and sinister, when in reality it s a drab political thriller I can t stand political thrillers myself, even if they re not drab, so maybe other readers who are into military spy government themed thrillers would enjoy this one, but it really wasn t the right match for me view spoiler The twist for this one is really the most uninspired thing I ve come across in a book in a long time The Government as a woman to spy on candidates for a job by pretending to be murdered The Government send a group of people away and they all start to die, one by one The Government aren t on the secluded island so they don t know this is happening The Government come to the island right after the big catastrophe happens The Government claim they had nothing to do with any of it Can ya guess who did it hide spoiler Last but not least, the writing It was fine in some areas but got irritatingly repetitive in others The end few chapters were especially poor The lead interrogator nudged the second interrogators side , the second interrogator made a motion with her finger to the lead interrogator , the lead interrogator didn t say anything but the second interrogator did Over and over again Avdic should have just given them names I never want to see the word interrogator again.In the end, this novel really wasn t for me I didn t find it thrilling or sinister or even clever Like I said before, maybe a political thriller reader will enjoy this book, but I did not Thank you to Penguin Cornerstone for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. I won a copy of The Dying Game in a Goodreads Giveaway and I was excited to receive it And then I read it The cover copy is misleading it is not a mystery, nowhere close to it, butabout basic political machinations that revolve around a former civilian aid worker named Anna.Anna is a single mother recovering from her traumatic ordeal in a war torn country where she provided medical aid and supplies After a violent incident forced her return to her country and suffering from PTSD an I won a copy of The Dying Game in a Goodreads Giveaway and I was excited to receive it And then I read it The cover copy is misleading it is not a mystery, nowhere close to it, butabout basic political machinations that revolve around a former civilian aid worker named Anna.Anna is a single mother recovering from her traumatic ordeal in a war torn country where she provided medical aid and supplies After a violent incident forced her return to her country and suffering from PTSD and drug dependency, she is called into the office of the aptly named Chairman to pose as his spy in an special intelligence competition on an isolated island Her death is to be staged and Anna s task is to observe how these seven participants react to her untimely demise and write reports on their behavior and capabilities.The only problemWell, there are a lot of problems with this bookone of the participants is a former co worker and crush, Henry.From the very beginning, Anna is an unappealing character She is stern and capable, but drab and bland, much like the autocratic country the plot takes place in She is a single mother and due to the pressures of her government job, has to leave her daughter with her mother so often her daughter barely knows her.The character s point of view volleys back and forth between Anna and Henry, for the most part, and becomes almost a corny story of unrequited love, and their sexualchemistry as they summarize how they met at work, none of which I cared about.There is very little suspense and tension involved, the characters are barely sketched in so you barely know anyone, including Anna, and you don t need to be a genius to figure out that everything was staged and who was involved Duh, the government.I didn t like The Dying Game because it was boring I didn t like Anna because she didn t impress me, not as a particularly intelligent individual, damaged, yes, but brilliant, no I didn t like Henry and I couldn t see why they wanted to be together Under a different title and setting, the story wouldn t be far from chick lit where the main character s love goes unrequited The Dying Game is about a fragile, emotionally and mentally scarred woman living in a totalitarian government who is being used and manipulated by the government and a deceitful politician and is forced to make a choice to save her life.Trust me, my summary is about as exciting as it gets.Oh, and what s with the long paragraphs Here s a tip paragraph breaks are your friend. I really loved The Dying Game but I think it might be a little divisive considering the blurb which leads you to expect a kind of ode to Christie s And Then there were None which I suppose given the isolated setting and the actions there it kind of is but this is also a dystopian novel, set in an imagined future where wars have changed the landscape and Sweden is under the implied rule of a mysterious intelligence service So go into it with no judgement and you ll find a terrifically atmo I really loved The Dying Game but I think it might be a little divisive considering the blurb which leads you to expect a kind of ode to Christie s And Then there were None which I suppose given the isolated setting and the actions there it kind of is but this is also a dystopian novel, set in an imagined future where wars have changed the landscape and Sweden is under the implied rule of a mysterious intelligence service So go into it with no judgement and you ll find a terrifically atmospheric hybrid of mystery and political thriller.We hear mostly from Anna and Henry two people who know each other and have a kind of will they won t they relationship that is teased throughout Anna is suffering PTSD, the reasons for this are only half told but it s obvious that she is an intelligent yet tortured human being Henry meanwhile is all cold lines and cleverness, I enjoyed reading their differing points of view as the plot developed.The island portions are somewhat creepy there are obviously political machinations at play and perhaps nobody there is quite as they seem The author plays on various fears very well here, layering possibilities and putting the characters into difficult circumstances, especially Anna who comes to realise that her role there is not what she had prepared for.The background is well imagined if a little loose on detail I was especially engaged by Anna s relationship with her Mother and daughter and I genuinely didn t know where it was going until it ended up there which is always a plus for me.Its a bit like a horror movie on the page with people disappearing and the reader never seeing the full picture, even really with the resolution but I found it to be a proper page turner and therefore I would definitely recommend it especially if you are looking for something different and unusual.I ll look forward to this authors next book with some anticipation see if she can keep that edge of creativity that made this book work for me Thoroughly enjoyable especially if you just go with the flow First, a bit of scene setting this might look and sound like a thriller, but context is important and may be crucial to enjoyment where this novel is concerned In the world of The Dying Game, it s 2037 There was a Second Cold War in the early 2000s , leading to the creation of the Union of Friendship, of which the Protectorate of Sweden where this novel is set is a part The political situation is less clear, but we know there is an all seeing, all knowing Party whose influence exte First, a bit of scene setting this might look and sound like a thriller, but context is important and may be crucial to enjoyment where this novel is concerned In the world of The Dying Game, it s 2037 There was a Second Cold War in the early 2000s , leading to the creation of the Union of Friendship, of which the Protectorate of Sweden where this novel is set is a part The political situation is less clear, but we know there is an all seeing, all knowing Party whose influence extends far beyond government The protagonist, Anna Francis, works for a foreign aid organisation and has recently returned from a major aid mission to Kyzyl Kum By all accounts, it was a success, and has even made Anna a little bit famous But an early scene shows the Party has information they can use against her, and her interior monologue suggests she s experiencing undiagnosed and untreated PTSD Anna s narrative also reveals her infatuation with an inscrutable colleague, Henry Fall.With all that in the background, the plot is as follows Anna is asked i.e instructed to go to Isola, a tiny, largely inaccessible island, where she will help with the recruitment process for an elite Party unit, the shady RAN group Her task to pose as a murder victim Only she and a doctor, who ll examine Anna and confirm her death , will be in on the fact that it s a setup the rest are candidates Once she s dead , Anna will be concealed in a hidden observation area from which she ll watch the others and report on how they cope with this high stress scenario.Things begin to go awry when Anna sees a familiar face among the candidates, and from there the situation spirals wildly out of control There s a bit of a And Then There Were None vibe to it people getting picked off, nobody knowing who to trust, and, of course, the remote island.Perhaps the soft dystopia angle serves to make the main thrust of the plot believable, but let s face it, there have been farimprobable thrillers with farmundane settings The details of this backdrop are what made the story work for me, but may be offputting for those who would prefer a straightforward thriller I loved some of the smaller details one of Stockholm s most buzzed about restaurants is popular partly because of its reputation for almost never having power failures and I felt Anna s coldness worked perfectly for her character arc.Intriguing and surprising This is Avdic s fiction debut I ll keep an eye out forfrom her I received an advance review copy of The Dying Game from the publisher through NetGalley.TinyLetter Twitter Instagram Tumblr ( Download Book ) ♶ The Dying Game ☦ A masterly locked room mystery set in a near future Orwellian state, in which seven people are brought to a remote island to compete in ahour test for a top secret intelligence position, and one woman must stage her own deathThe year is , and on the tiny island of Isola, seven people have been selected to participate in ahour competition for a top secret intelligence position with the totalitarian Union of Friendship One of them is Anna Francis, a workaholic bureaucrat with a nine year old daughter she rarely sees and a secret that haunts herAnna is not actually a candidate for the position in fact, she s the test itself Her assignment is to stage her own death and then to observe, from her hiding place inside the walls of the house, how the six other candidates react to the news that a murderer is among them Who will take control Who will crack under pressure But then a storm rolls in, the power goes out, and the real game beginsCombining suspense, unexpected twists, psychological gamesmanship, and a sinister dystopian future, The Dying Game conjures a world in which one woman is forced to ask, Can I save my life by staging my death I enjoyed reading this book and thought the ending while frustratingly open and hazy was one that fit the story I would have hoped for aconclusive and satisfying finish, but at the same time, I feel like the ending of The Dying Game was purposefully constructed to enhance the feeling of hopelessness and confusion, and in that it succeeded fully The action of this book takes place in 2037 Stockholm and on a remote Isola Island It s a near future totalitarian state that is part of Uni I enjoyed reading this book and thought the ending while frustratingly open and hazy was one that fit the story I would have hoped for aconclusive and satisfying finish, but at the same time, I feel like the ending of The Dying Game was purposefully constructed to enhance the feeling of hopelessness and confusion, and in that it succeeded fully The action of this book takes place in 2037 Stockholm and on a remote Isola Island It s a near future totalitarian state that is part of Union of Friendship, and that brings to mind a dystopian society much like the ones described in Orwell s 1984 absolute government control, manipulation, top secret projects ran in the background, surveillance, government organizations controlling everyone and everything It s a scary, but completely realistic vision that is quite unsettling.The story revolves mainly around Anna Francis, a former foreign aid worker suffering from PTSD, who is asked to play the role of an observer during a top secret test designed by the government to select one person for the intelligence position RAN It s a stress test for the other competitors Anna is to fake her own death it is staged as a murder by strangulation , and she then is hiding away at a secret level of the house, where she can observe the reactions of all of the candidates What s supposed to be a relatively simple 48 hour task quickly turns out to be a muchcomplicated and dangerous one when, one after another, all of the other contestants begin to vanish into thin air and Anna begins to suspect that something muchsinister is going on.The Dying Game, while set in a dystopian world, wasof a political high stake thriller and a mystery than it was a typical dystopian novel I d go as far as to call it psychological thriller The action was slow moving and there was a lot of foreshadowing of Anna s character, but not much in terms of the other characters at all We didn t get a whole lot of details about the society set up either, just the vague and bone chilling impression of the government being all powerful, unstoppable, manipulative and highly dangerous I enjoyed the plot of this book, the sinister atmosphere and the underlying, ever present tension It was a good read overall, and I would definitely recommend to anyone who likes political thrillers, mysteries and not so good endings Couldn t get on with this one at all Took way too long to get started, and there was no real suspenseful or thrilling bits to this book I did not find this to be a well written book and I gave up at page 80 Maybe the plot redeems the poor writing later on, but I was just too annoyed by this book to continue Near the beginning of the book, the protagonist Anna Francis, an aid worker and neglectful mother of a young daughter travels through a sleet storm to get to a meeting Once there, she hears the hum of the air conditioning unit Really I should have stopped reading there but I continued Anna is offered a ton of money to I did not find this to be a well written book and I gave up at page 80 Maybe the plot redeems the poor writing later on, but I was just too annoyed by this book to continue Near the beginning of the book, the protagonist Anna Francis, an aid worker and neglectful mother of a young daughter travels through a sleet storm to get to a meeting Once there, she hears the hum of the air conditioning unit Really I should have stopped reading there but I continued Anna is offered a ton of money to help evaluate candidates for the secret RAN project She is to pretend to be a candidate and then fake her murder to determine how the real candidates handle a stressful situation This seems like a pretty easy job and the fact that she was singled out for it and then offered a lot to take the job should have been a giant red flag, but apparently Anna is terminally stupid Since I didn t finish the book I don t know how things turned out for Anna, but I m guessing not well.On the island, one of the candidates is described as being lovely in a worn sort of way, like an aging author What on Earth does that mean Once congregated on the island, the Chairman tells the candidates not to discuss with each other the reason why each of them is on the island Shouldn t he have told them this before they have all been chatting away with each other in a room waiting for his arrival The combination of bad writing, translation and editing of this book was going to drive me crazy.I received a free copy of this book from the publisher I have a major peeve, so let s get it out of the way first The blurb bills this as a masterly locked room mystery But The Dying Game IS NOT A LOCKED ROOM MYSTERY I have no beef about it being described as a mystery novel, in that there are untoward goings on whose causes are a mystery that must be solved, and within the unwritten rules of blurb writer s hyperbole the term masterly seems reasonable, but, to repeat, The Dying Game IS NOT A LOCKED ROOM MYSTERY.Hm I ve just realized that, II I have a major peeve, so let s get it out of the way first The blurb bills this as a masterly locked room mystery But The Dying Game IS NOT A LOCKED ROOM MYSTERY I have no beef about it being described as a mystery novel, in that there are untoward goings on whose causes are a mystery that must be solved, and within the unwritten rules of blurb writer s hyperbole the term masterly seems reasonable, but, to repeat, The Dying Game IS NOT A LOCKED ROOM MYSTERY.Hm I ve just realized that, IIRC, the last time it was obvious to me that a blurb writer didn t know what the term locked room mystery meant but blithely used it anyway, the book concerned was likewise from Messrs Penguin I wonder if it was the same idiot But a blurb writer s false claims are not the fault of the book So let me have a few curative drams of Twelve Year Old Cask Aged Olde Stag s Breath Single Malt to calm me down before I continue.It s 2037 The Iron Curtain never fell and Sweden is now a Soviet Protectorate Young single mother Anna Francis, who has spent years recovering from PTSD and happy pill addiction following a grueling service in a distant war zone, is one of a group of individuals sent to a house on a remote island Anna s role, aided by the group s physician, is to mimic her own murder then observe how her fellows react to the subsequent events But almost immediately things start going haywire.The setup is deliberately reminiscent of Agatha Christie s Golden Age classic And Then There Were None also not a locked room mystery , but Avdic has very different intentions with this tale Certainly it functions okay as a mystery novel, as noted, but really what she has set out to create is a political satire No, not a satire in the hilariously funny sense of the term A satire like Orwell s Nineteen Eighty four is a satire Very little is quite as it seems, and there are several different levels of manipulation going on.Presumably it s because of the stultifying effect of Soviet occupation I mean, protection that there seems to have been very little technological progress made between now and 2047 in fact, if we re to judge by the fact that the satellite phone that one of the characters owns is clearly both an uncommon piece of hardware and a fairly chunky object, the near future s technology is actually less advanced than today s we can guess that progress has been sluggish since the 1980s.There are quite a few oddnesses that may be from the original or may be artifacts of the translation a branch that rattles a window, for example, is from a tree, probably Otherwise the text is very readable, once it actually gets going it takes quite a while to do this, with the result that I probably spent twice as long plowing through the first eighty pages or so as I did pelting through the rest of the novel.Overall, I enjoyed The Dying Game very much But just don t go into it expecting a locked room mystery, d you hear For what it s worth, half the pages in the 220s, 230s and 240s of the library copy that I read were almost illegibly gray clearly one side of the relevant sheet suffered from inadequate inking Time was that Penguin had better quality control than this Trigger warnings death, murder, psychological manipulation , war, drug addiction.Sooooooooo let s start with my big problem here the blurb for the English edition totally bills this as a thriller, kind of a Scandinavian noir version of And Then There Were None But that s not even close to what this book is Instead, it s a futuristic dystopian semi thriller set in a Sweden that s now part of some kind of Communist esque conglomerate of countries following a second Cold War There s almost no Trigger warnings death, murder, psychological manipulation , war, drug addiction.Sooooooooo let s start with my big problem here the blurb for the English edition totally bills this as a thriller, kind of a Scandinavian noir version of And Then There Were None But that s not even close to what this book is Instead, it s a futuristic dystopian semi thriller set in a Sweden that s now part of some kind of Communist esque conglomerate of countries following a second Cold War There s almost no world building, and I honestly made it the whole way through without understanding what the point was with it being set in Sweden Like, you could easily have made it Russia or East Germany during the original Cold War and it would have worked just as effectively without the need to world build It s less than 300 pages, so there s barely any time to develop the characters and I wasn t keen on the writing either So I went in with really high hopes for this one and came out the other side pretty disappointed It certainly wasn t what it s being marketed as, that s for sure