*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. All thoughts below are my own. Also, this blog post includes affiliate links which means I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links.
Murder, suspense, betrayal and forgiveness…
This exciting new novel by Robin Caroll will not disappoint. With mystery and intrigue wrapped up in a message of the beauty of forgiveness, this book proved to be a fast paced novel that readers will love.
★★★ || There is nothing better than a good suspense novel! Stratagem, a new release by Robin Caroll, was just that. It was a refreshing read that kept me on my toes until the end. Set in modern day, this mystery carries readers along a mind bending journey as the main character, Grayson, becomes the prime suspect in his ex-wife, Anna Belle’s, murder when she suddenly dies while competing in a game he created for her company. Not only do readers enjoy this story from Grayson’s point of view, but they also discover interviews and learn pertinent information from the viewpoint of detective Brandon Gibbons, a friend of Grayson’s as he interviews those who were present when Anna Belle died.
I enjoyed the glimpses author Robin Caroll allowed into Anna Belle’s mind and from her perspective as well.
The story not only has a fast paced plot that thickens around every turn, but are there many characters that are introduced at relevant times making readers feel like they may have figured out the murderer, but Robin Caroll likes to keep you guessing until the very end. In the end, there is a sweet surrender to forgiveness that was so necessary from the beginning of the book. It is a beautiful display of faith and love.
I gave this story three stars because I did enjoy the story and the creativity behind it. The game that Grayson creates, how it works and the unique way the author weaves the characters together is fantastic. What kept me from a higher rating is Anna Belle’s character. She lacked so much… I was actually glad she’d passed away, she sounded like such a miserable person. I feel like readers might have been more concerned for her death and interested to find out “who’d done it” if she was a more likable character. However, in the same respect, had she been more likable, there wouldn’t have been the necessity for Grayson’s inclination toward forgiveness.
Over all, I would recommend this book to those who enjoy a good mystery! While this is classified as a suspense novel, Stratagem doesn’t involve over the top, descriptive violence or malice. It does however, deal with sensitive subjects such as divorce, abortion and addiction so if those are tender points for readers, they may want to proceed cautiously.
A High-Stakes Simulation Adventure Leaves Grayson Thibodeaux the
Prime Suspect . . . for Murder.
Deep in the gritty underbelly of New Orleans, psychologist Grayson Thibodeaux loses everything when his wife leaves him to climb her company’s corporate ladder. He buries himself in his job of creating mind-bending adventure games for businesses as team-building explorations. When his ex-wife’s company hires Grayson’s to create an elaborate game, he doesn’t see how things can get worse. Until she dies during the course of the game he created…making him the prime suspect for murder. - Synopsis from Stratagem
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Robin Caroll grew up in Louisiana with her nose in a book. She still has the complete Trixie Belden series, and her love for mysteries and suspense has only increased with her age.
Robin’s passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others and come alongside them on their faith journey—aspects Robin weaves into each of her published novels.
Best-selling author of thirty-plus novels, ROBIN CAROLL writes Southern stories of mystery and suspense, with a hint of romance to entertain readers. Her books have been recognized in several awards, including the Carol Award, HOLT Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, RT Reviewer’s Choice Award, and more.
When she isn’t writing, Robin spends quality time with her husband of nearly three decades, her three beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons, and their character-filled pets at home in the South. Robin serves the writing community as Executive/Conference Director for ACFW.
Lastly, pick up your own copy of Stratagem or borrow it from your local library. Then, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on the book in the comments below!