The Players by Darren O’Sullivan

A spine-chilling page turner that will have your heart racing!

I was kindly gifted a copy of this from HQ Stories in exchange for an honest review.

The Players by Darren O’Sullivan
431 Pages
Out Now

Opening Line: The Host watched with anticipation. He was clear in his instruction. The rules of The Game had been relayed and understood.

A stranger has you cornered.
They call themselves The Host.
You are forced to play their game.
In it one person can live and the other must die.

You are the next player.
You have a choice to make.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

If you’re looking for a book that will have your heart racing, give you nightmares and have you turning those pages as fast as possible then The Players is the book for you!

The synopsis reminded me so much of the ‘Saw‘ films (which I loved) so I couldn’t wait to start reading this and it definitely had the ‘Saw‘ vibes throughout.

The story is told from a number of points of view, The Host who arranges these games, DI Karen Holt who is currently on restricted police duty due to a previous incident (however this doesn’t stop her from investigating) and her colleague Howard Carlson.

The book gets straight into the action and we are introduced quickly to the first game and the intensity of it all only builds as the story unfolds. The games played were horrific and I really felt uneasy reading the descriptions. It definitely played out just like a horror film would, with the videos The Host leaves, the clues and the urgent need to find him before the clock counts down.

Whilst the police procedural parts were great as they figured out the clues, I think what made this book for me were the ‘games’. Despite them being gruesome I weirdly couldn’t wait to find out what The Host was going to do next and they were really emotional at times, especially when a husband and wife were pitted against each other. It’s a book that makes you think and question what you would do if you were in that situation…..kill or be killed….and by your partner, brother, sister or friend?

Of course I had to give this five stars as soon as I started crying like a baby. As always if a book makes me cry then it scores highly. I won’t spoil anything but there was one particular game that I was not expecting at all, it shocked me to the core and made me ugly cry.

This book is intense with no let up, to the point where I even had nightmares! It’s a very similar style to Cara Hunter books with the news articles, Facebook messages etc but that’s where the similarity ends. The Players is dark, twisted and will have you feeling nervous as soon as the first game begins.

Overall if you’re a fan of ‘Saw‘ and like your serial killer books dark and twisted make sure you pick up a copy of The Players!

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