Game

Mysterious Book Report No. 143

by John Dwaine McKenna

One of the greatest things about the Mysterious Book Report is its ability to jump around in time and place.  Thus, we can go from post WWII Vienna, Austria, to present day Stockholm, Sweden, in the blink of an eye, migrating from an introspective, complex and densely populated intellectual novel, to a fast-paced techno-thriller that will keep you glued to the edge of your seat until the very last page is read . . . at which point you’ll be howling for the next installment of the projected trilogy.

Game, (Atria/Simon & Shuster, PB $16.00, 386 pages, ISBN 978-1-4767-1288-8) by Anders de la Motte is a chrome-plated, no-holds barred, squinty-eyed, unblinking look at modern society and it’s infatuation with geekdom, gadgets and games.  As a former police officer and director of security for one of the world’s biggest information technology companies, de la Motte is an expert in the areas of crime and technology—two industries he blends together with unsurpassed skill in his exciting new novel simply entitled: Game.

In it, a young slacker named Hendrick “HP” Pettersson is heading home on a Stockholm train early one Sunday morning after a raucous night of partying.  He’s hung-over, sleep-deprived and broke when he spots an expensive-looking, high tech cell phone on the vacant seat next to him.  Thinking he can sell it for some quick cash, he steals it and gets off the train.  When he examines it, the phone lights up and a text message appears.  WANT TO PLAY A GAME? Yes.   No.  When HP answers yes, his life begins to be consumed with playing a ‘game,’ controlled by a ‘master,’ who seems to have an uncanny knowledge of everything HP is doing at all times.  Soon, HP is acting out instructions from the master that range from silly pranks to dangerous criminal felonies and he’s powerless to quit.  You, the reader, will find yourself powerless to quit reading, compelled to keep turning the pages, as you try to bring Game to its conclusion.  One of the best, most exciting techno-thrillers I’ve read in years!!!

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