The Blame Game

Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Aug. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9781250836908. $27.99. THRILLER
Jones follows up The Guilt Trip with another pulse-pounding thriller. Psychologist Naomi Chandler specializes in domestic abuse cases in an English seaside resort town. She dedicates herself to helping her clients beyond the bounds of her profession—much to her husband Leon’s dismay. When a client, Jacob, claims his wife wants to kill him, she offers him refuge at the Chandlers’ bungalow—neglecting to tell Leon. Does her interest in Jacob go beyond the professional? Leon thinks so, and apparently so does someone else. After Jacob’s file disappears from her office—and an awkward meet-up with him at a bar—Naomi realizes Jacob might not be the only one in danger. Odd things are happening, signs from her dark childhood are popping up, bizarre videos appear on her laptop, and a long-lost sister resurfaces to make peace. Then Jacob disappears, and the police begin asking Naomi questions, showing her evidence of messages she never sent and calls she never made.
VERDICT As the “he said/she said” roller-coaster plunges to a shocking finale, readers may wish for a bit more backstory on ancillary characters and their motivations. However, aficionados of Jones’s work will find this tantalizing psychological fare worth their time.
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