Game by Anders de la Motte

By Ekta R. Garg

November 20, 2013

Rated: Bookmark it!

When a young man accepts the opportunity to participate in a new type of game, he thinks it will give him the recognition and riches he has always craved.  But things escalate to a level he didn’t expect and certainly didn’t want, and suddenly he finds out that his new past-time is anything but fun.  Swedish author Anders de la Motte makes his American debut with the fast-paced thriller Game, the first book in his “Game Trilogy.”

Henrik “HP” Pettersson does everything he can to get by without actually doing any work.  Like many people with minimal drive to exert any effort, he would rather spend his time partying with his friends while still enjoying all the accolades and benefits that steady employment brings.  But who needs employment when HP can borrow what he needs or steal expensive items and then sell them for a profit?

On a Sunday morning after a night out, HP travels home by train when he spots an unusual cell phone of unfamiliar make.  His first thoughts of selling the phone for cash quickly change when he begins receiving texts specifically addressing him.  The texts tell him about an alternative reality game and entice him to enter with the promise of money and scores of fans watching and cheering him on.  With his ego urging him on, he accepts the phone’s invitation to join the Game.

He becomes a Player and starts receiving assignments.  For each assignment completed he receives points and a cash prize, and HP becomes obsessed with becoming the number one Player in the Game.  His conscience pokes at his brain once or twice, but he manages to ignore it–until the Game Master assigns him a task that has far-reaching repercussions.  HP completes the assignment but starts to crack under the pressure, and that’s when he finds out that getting out of the Game was never really an option.

Author Anders de la Motte puts his experience as a police officer and a director of security to good use.  Game moves fast, taking readers through each of HP’s assignments and then the “make-or-break” moment that makes him discover the Game’s duplicity.  Readers will find an even balance between humor and the key elements of a good thriller, and the end will make readers want to jump into Buzz, the second book of the series.

While the profanity can lean toward the excessive, it fits HP’s profile.  And Motte stays true to the profiles of his other characters; not everyone curses with such exuberance as HP.  This minor distraction notwithstanding, readers will thoroughly enjoy Game.  I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys crime thrillers and mysteries.

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