‘Killing Game’ – Kirsty McKay

Killer Game


This should have been so much better…

The game of Killer is something that’s been played every year in Cate’s isolated boarding school. Only selected students are allowed to participate, and the ‘fun’ comes from trying to establish the identity of the killer. Nobody gets hurt, and it’s tolerated by the staff as something the students do.

This year is different. This year, students are actually injured/killed. Who is responsible?

Personally, I found the assembled group of players too large. We never get more than a surface glance at some of the characters, and those we get to know a little more about are seen through Cate’s eyes. Her own shortcomings/issues mean things that might have been obvious are overlooked.

There are some well-written moments – Emily’s ‘accident’ for example. However, once the real killings begin there is just so much going on that it all feels too much. We are bombarded with information and some of the red herrings planted are frustrating. The casual sexism inherent in this was totally unnecessary, and doesn’t force the readers – who are intended to be teenagers – to question certain attitudes and beliefs. My biggest gripe, however, was that for a group of teenagers that we are painstakingly told are very intelligent, they were actually pretty stupid! The big reveal was glaringly obvious, but I’d hoped I’d be proven wrong and something really spectacular would happen. It didn’t.

Not a game I’d be keen to recommend to people…