Warning – possible spoilers! (Tiny ones, though, and I’ll try to avoid even those; I swear I’ll give my best not to ruin it for you… :-))
A Caller’s Game by J.D. Barker – Book Details
TITLE – A Caller’s Game
AUTHOR – J.D. Barker
YEAR PUBLISHED – 2021
PAGE COUNT – 424
MY RATING – 3.5 of 5
RATED ON GOODREADS – 4.45 of 5
A huge thank you to NetGalley, as well to the author and publisher, for providing me with an audiobook version of A Caller’s Game in exchange for an honest review.
This book could not have come at a better time. I was so much in a mood for a thrilling, on-the-verge-of-horror story. Plus, I love listening this kind of books as audiobooks, so that turned out even better.
Also, I love stories that feature radio shows and podcasts. No particular reason, just always did. And I did read quite a bit of the books and watched the movies revolving around this concept. But not in a really long time.
Plus, A Caller’s Game is described as Talk Radio meets Die Hard. And Die Hard is one of those movies that I don’t consider as one of my favorites, yet somehow I end up watching it during pretty much every holiday.
All in all, I was intrigued by this story and was really happy when I got an opportunity to listen to it this weekend…
What It Is About
“I’m going to offer you a choice.”
Jordan Briggs is a successful satellite radio talk show host, but to get to the top, she had to make one or two ruthless decisions. Now her career is in full bloom, but apart from her daughter, her job is all she has.
On a morning that doesn’t seem much different than any other, a man named Bernie calls into the show and offers Jordan to play a little game. But what starts as a silly game turns out to be a death sentence for many people.
Live on the air, in front of millions of listeners, Jordan quickly starts to realize that everything that is happening is a punishment for events she tried to leave in the past. With the said past banging on the door, the question is not if some people are about to pay for what happened, but if Bernie will ever stop charging them for it…
A Caller’s Game by J.D. Barker – My Review
“Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night and wondered if this is it? If today is the day you’ll die?”
This book ended up being nothing like what I expected. I guess I just heard “radio show” and “ghosts from the past”, and pictured in my head the kind of thrillers I like the most – tense, suspenseful, slow building and very, very personal.
Though A Caller’s Game kind of checks some of these boxes, it was definitely way closer to Die Hard than I thought it would be. It was more a good old fashion action, action and then some more action than anything else.
I think this read would be great for people who prefer those kind of stories. Personally, I don’t. In fact, several times I thought – there’s just too many things going on too fast, how about a little break? But the action just kept going.
Other than that, the book was not bad written or anything. There was nothing never seen before, but I don’t really expect anything groundbreaking when I read fiction. It’s nice when it happens, but I’m also fine without it.
The characters (except for one) were pretty convincing to me. Jordan definitely seemed like someone half people would love and the other half would hate. She was equal parts infuriating and entertaining, opinionated, unapologetic and fun to watch under pressure.
The setting, the amount of details, all those technical stuff – nothing I can complain about. Even the pacing, that was a bit too fast for me, was exactly the way this kind of story required it to be.
I’m not quite sure if all details were adding up. A few times something would happen, and I thought – would it really happen that way, though? But then again, maybe it would, for all know.
All in all, though there’s a lot of fun in this book, I didn’t end up loving it. I missed the mystery part and the story didn’t feel as suspenseful as it could have been. It was a bit too much and after a while nothing can surprise you anymore.
But again – the writing was pretty good and the plot has a lot to offer to the true action lovers. Effective for what it was. Nothing that will stick with me for long, but great for when you just want to kill a few slow evenings.