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  • Writer's pictureTerrie

A Caller's Game by J. D. Barker - an action-packed thriller

A Caller's Game by J.D. Barker

Genre: Thriller

Publish date Feb 2, 2021, 424 pages

I received this book as an advance copy from #NetGalley and #HamptonCreekPress and the opinions expressed here are my own. I requested this book because I enjoyed an earlier book by him so much - She Has a Broken Thing Where Her Heart Should Be. But! These books are nothing alike!

Wow - this is an action packed story! At one point I was reading and snacking on some popcorn and I realized how fast I was gobbling the popcorn, totally in response to the action on the page!


The tense background of the story develops very quickly when a controversial (abrasive!) radio talk host takes a caller who proposes a "game". The caller asks her how she prefers to get around NYC - taxi or uber. She says taxi, of course, because they know the best routes. Quickly six cabs around her office building explode. And that's just the opening salvo.

Jordan, the ambitious, cut-throat woman, finds herself in a cat-and-mouse tangle with this obsessed caller who feels like he's getting revenge for a tragedy 10 years ago that she was party to. The set up for his revenge is outlandishly complex and layered and at one point about mid way through I felt like I was reading Die cop in a building that's under siege by bad guys and he's trying to save the hostages and a little girl. The disasters come fast and furious and with severe time constraints.

However, the motivation of the caller is very different than in Die Hard and Jordan is a different heroine (?) - a sharp tongued, fast-talking New Yorker so the initial dialog is very dynamic. As her shell cracks when her daughter is threatened, she loses some of her toughness and is more relatable.


As with most action, suspenseful novels, you have to suspend belief a bit because there are certainly a lot of coincidences that line up for all the disasters and saves to occur, but I didn't notice those till the end because I was so caught up in what was going on and what was coming next. There are a couple of well placed twists that surprise and propel the story forward in new directions. I always love a good twist!

If you enjoy fast-paced, well written, entertaining disaster/explosion-filled action, this is the book for you.

Reading Challenge: #BooklistQueen21: book published in 2021

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