Review: The Stranger Game by Cylin Busby

Quick review for a quick read. “The Stranger Game” by Cylin Busby was an intriguing read from beginning to end, and I’ll admit had me hooked to see how all the pieces of this fell into place. Nico Walker hated her older sister Sarah for the numerous times that Sarah tormented her in her youth, but when her sister goes missing one fateful night, it throws her entire family and community for a tailspin. Sarah becomes something of a tragic horror story, and while pieces of Nico’s life fall into better turns as time passes on, the lingering shadow of her sister remains in some measures.

At least until her sister all of a sudden returns into their lives. With retrograde amnesia and no insight as to the things that happened to her during her time missing, Sarah is welcomed back into the family with open arms and a path towards healing. There are many truths told here to Sarah’s horror and experiences in the mix, but the questions remain as to truly what happened and what secrets lie underneath the surface of Sarah’s sudden reappearance.

I thought the use of unreliable narrator in this tale was well played. While I had an idea that the ending would be what it was, I still thought the way all the pieces of the narrative fell into place were satisfying and intriguing, even if it meant some suspension of disbelief (there were still a few times when I thought that there were pieces of the case that should’ve been checked, but then again – it wouldn’t have ended in the way it did had those inquiries been made.) I’ll admit that while this narrative took some dark turns and ends on a rather eerie resolutions, I still found myself really rooting for the characters here. The narrative gives a sympathetic eye to both Nico and Sarah’s perspectives here, and as the narrative moves forward, you get the idea that each girl is holding something important back, taking their time in telling their stories up until the reveal that allows the reader to see the truth behind the smoke and mirrors of the case. It’s a well plotted and crafted mystery that had me hooked even long after I finished the story. I definitely want to read more of Cylin Busby’s works in the future.

Overall score: 4/5 stars.

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