A rich, eccentric family. A time-honored tradition. Or a lethal game of survival? One woman finds out what it really takes to join the 1% in this riveting psychological thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of Something in the Water, Mr. Nobody, and The Disappearing Act.
Harry is a novelist on the brink of stardom; Edward, her husband-to-be, is seemingly perfect. In love and freshly engaged, their bliss is interrupted by the reemergence of the Holbecks, Edward’s eminent family and the embodiment of American old money. For years, they’ve dominated headlines and pulled society’s strings, and Edward left them all behind to forge his own path. But there are eyes and ears everywhere. It was only a matter of time before they were pulled back in . . .
After all, even though he’s long severed ties with his family, Edward is set to inherit it all. Harriet is drawn to the glamour and sophistication of the Holbecks, who seem to welcome her with open arms, but everything changes when she meets Robert, the inescapably magnetic head of the family. At their first meeting, Robert slips Harry a cassette tape, revealing a shocking confession which sets the inevitable game in motion.
What is it about Harry that made him give her that tape? A thing that has the power to destroy everything? As she ramps up her quest for the truth, she must endure the Holbecks’ savage Christmas traditions all the while knowing that losing this game could be deadly.
Hi and welcome to my review of The Family Game!
Thanks to Anne Cater for the tour invite and to the publisher and NetGalley for the eARC.
The Family Game is Catherine Steadman’s fourth novel and it’s easily my favourite one of the three I’ve read. I just love tales about disgustingly rich people, especially when an “ordinary” person is dropped in their midst and that is exactly what The Family Game is all about.
Set in New York City, The Family Game is told from the perspective of an English novelist, Harry (short for Harriet), who has fallen in love with an American businessman, Edward, the eldest son of an impossibly wealthy and eccentric family, the Holbecks.
Think Gossip Girl (without the teens) or The Inheritance Games (again without the teens), maybe even Dallas or Dynasty, the Holbeck family hide their secrets (and quite possibly a rather rotten core) under a glossy veneer and they like their games, especially Edward’s father.
Recovering from a covid booster and feeling rather poorly, The Family Game offered me the perfect escape from reality. It hooked me right away and I just couldn’t stop reading. I loved the Holbecks and their creepy games. (Krampusnacht, anyone 😳) Seeing them only through Harry’s eyes, I couldn’t quite figure them out, because she can’t. How sincere are they? Is she in danger from her future father-in-law or is this just another one of his games? And what is that man’s deal anyway? Many questions to spur the reader on and despite my muddled brain, I breezed through it.
I had a fantastic time with The Family Game from start to finish. With its atmospheric and vivid setting, its intriguing characters, its many secrets to uncover and its suspenseful finale, The Family Game is a great thriller I would happily recommend to fans of the genre.
The Family Game is out now in digital formats, paperback and audio (narrated by the author).