Book Review / Reviews with Spoilers / Sandie Jones

Sandie Jones | The Blame Game

The Book: 

The Blame Game by Sandie Jones
Published August 16th 2022 by Minotaur Books
Date read: August 11, 2022

The Characters: 

Her clients Jacob and Anna

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Buy it on | Amazon

The Plot (from Goodreads):

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.

Click here for book spoilers for The Blame Game
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read The Blame Game, I suggest you turn back now.

The Twist:

Naomi’s client Jacob was really named Michael Talbot. Her client Anna was really Michael’s wife Vanessa.

Naomi received a call from Vanessa’s phone, in which a man threatened her down the line. Naomi could tell from the music in the background that the caller was on the estate that she was also on. She finds Jacob tied up in the stables. He says Vanessa did it and only just left. As Naomi is untying him, Anna shows up, and this is when Naomi realizes Anna = Vanessa. Vanessa claims Michael is the dangerous one.

Naomi wonders if Anna/Vanessa is also her sister Jennifer.

When Naomi releases Michael, he seems to attack her. Michael and Vanessa fight, and Michael seems to stab Vanessa. Naomi runs away. When she gets to the police, Detective Robson tells her that they found Michael’s body, not Vanessa’s. Vanessa was fine.

Vanessa claimed she’d never met Naomi before that night. She didn’t have an American accent. The police found Naomi’s underwear at the beach hut and Naomi’s footprint in Michael’s kitchen. They arrested Naomi for his murder. As Robson was reading Naomi her rights, Naomi saw Jennifer standing there.

The Ending:

In the epilogue, we see Vanessa’s POV. She set Naomi up. She had put the camera in Naomi’s office to spy on her sessions with Michael, to see if he would remember what really happened the night Ben died. She was the one who had left the door unlocked for Ben to wander into the ocean, because she had snuck out to cheat on Michael.

While questioning Vanessa, Robson realized that she had set Naomi up because the shoes Vanessa stole from Naomi were her mother’s, and not the size Naomi wore.

The Review: 

In Sandie Jones’ newest book, a therapist with no boundaries gets way too involved in her clients’ lives. This book was a delightfully quick read, and I finished it in a single day while on vacation. It was full of twists, but ultimately I was somewhat underwhelmed. It was a little too convoluted, and the plot points I was most interested in didn’t get resolved. Although I’m glad this was a quick read, I would have liked to see a little more attention paid to Naomi’s backstory.

Audio Review: Karissa Vacker has been all over my audiobooks lately! I liked how quick and to-the-point this audiobook was. However, for a book set in London I was questioning the lack of British accents. I figured that maybe since Naomi was American that explained why the narration wasn’t done in a British accent, but none of the characters she encountered in London did either!

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