A Game for All the Family

  • by Sophie Hannah
  • Narrated by Julia Barrie
  • 15 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Justine thought she knew who she was until an anonymous caller seemed to know better.... After escaping London and a career that nearly destroyed her, Justine plans to spend her days doing as little as possible in her beautiful home in Devon.
But soon after the move, her daughter, Ellen, starts to withdraw when her new best friend, George, is unfairly expelled from school. Justine begs the head teacher to reconsider, only to be told that nobody's been expelled - there is and was no George. Then the anonymous calls start: a stranger making threats that suggest she and Justine share a traumatic past and a guilty secret - yet Justine doesn't recognise her voice.
When the caller starts to talk about three graves - two big and one small, to fit a child - Justine fears for her family's safety. If the police can't help, she'll have to eliminate the danger herself, but first she must work out who she's supposed to be....

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Losing the plot


"Always keep a grip on the truth." So Justine advises her 14 year-old daughter Ellen at the end of this story. It’s sound advice which Hannah would have done well to follow. A psychological thriller which 'A Game for all the family' purports to be must be anchored in credible reality. Despite some research in the psychology of fantasists and pathological liars which sticks out awkwardly in the narrative, Hannah's vastly over-complex plot totally loses sight of reality. We are asked to accept far too much that is quite simply ridiculously far beyond the realms of even distant likelihood. The stories written by Ellen and her 14 year-old friend George which form a spine of the story display insights and language far beyond their years - 'the virgin and whore theory of Sigmund Freud'; 'mayhem and redemption'; 'high principles and protocol'; the Holy Grail as a metaphor... A headmistress is persuaded to pretend to expel a boy and then lie about it; a sane and successful university academic digs a grave in his neighbour's garden. We are asked to accept that the police will not trace the murderer after the victim's clothes and bits of brain are found; that a 14 year-old girl will assert that she’s engaged to 14 year old gay boy. None of the incidents and scenarios has a shred of credibility and consequently the listener is not engaged except to see what further absurdities Hannah will think up. Listen to the end and you will be rewarded with the most ridiculous.
But it isn't just the story - it's the narration which adds to the lack of credibility and absurdity of it all. Ellen is 14 but is given the intensely irritating voice of a 6 year-old; super-precocious George, also 14, sounds like a 12 year old child. The Headmistress sounds like a rather silly 12 year-old and would you take an adult nuisance caller seriously as did Justine who sounds like a deranged child with a lisp?
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- Rachel Redford "Writer and audiobook reviewer."

Well I thought it was excellent

Any additional comments?

Lots of negative reviews, which are a bit unfair to be honest. It is a great psychological mystery, with layer upon layer of things to keep you guessing right till the end. Well narrated too.

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- G

Book Details

  • Release Date: 13-08-2015
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton