I love books with dark, suspenseful storylines that keep you guessing right to the end. After reading the blurb for ‘A Harmless Little Game’ I knew that this was a book that I’d be reading ASAP. For the most part, it lived up to my expectations. However, there were definitely some things that I thought could have been executed better.
First of all, as my friend Bibi pointed out in her review, the likelihood that Lindsay could have been held involuntarily for four years, is not likely. Sure, her mental status might have rendered her an imminent danger to herself or others at some point after the brutal rape, when she experienced a total emotional breakdown, but it is highly unlikely that this would go on for a period of four years. I can’t say that I believed it, especially since Lindsay is presented as a character that clearly has decision-making capacity, and has for quite some time.
Then again, I remind myself that the uber-wealthy don’t necessarily play by the same rules as every other person. If anyone has any doubt of that, do a Google search for “Jeffrey Epstein” and you’ll have a perfect example of this. If that deplorable man and his equally despicable rich friends can (still) get away with their crimes, then the scenario painted by this author is certainly possible. In fact, this is hardly a blip on the radar in comparison…but, I digress.
I was able to get past the involuntary commitment, with some reservations. Yet, there were other things that rubbed me the wrong way. Some of the information presented seemed contradictory or just implausible.
First off, I had a hard time buying Lindsay’s instant attraction to Drew. Wasn’t she supposed to be terrified of this guy? Didn’t she believe that he had been complicit in her brutal gang rape? I don’t know about you, but if I thought that my boyfriend had stood to the side and let a bunch of his friends rape and torture me, I’m not going to be lusting after him like a schoolgirl with a crush! Nope. Not buying it.
The other big plot hole that I struggled with was the description of the actual rape. It seemed to evolve and become less believable as the story progressed. First, we’re told she is raped on video. It goes viral because she is a Senator’s daughter. Then we’re later told that the rapists wore masks and even placed a mask on her. Say what? To me, that is a clear contradiction. If nobody watching could see her face, and everybody involved seemed to want to make this disappear, then why not just deny it was her? It was too illogical for me.
Yet, despite these problems, I found myself completely sucked into this story. I am still dying to know what happens to Lindsay and Drew. I want the responsible parties – and there seem to be many – held accountable. I want Lindsay’s parents to pay also. Needless to say, this book made me feel a need to exact vengeance on her behalf.
All in all, it was a promising story and I will be reading the next book. There are some things that the author needs to iron out, but I still enjoyed this one.