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The Game Changer

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Haunted by a past she can't remember ... When criminal psychologist Dr Kate Pearson was twelve years old she was abducted, but she has no memory of the time she was held. Over twenty years later, an anonymous note is pushed under her door ... I REMEMBER YOU, KATE. And suddenly Kate's distant past becomes her present. When Kate discovers that her parents lied to her about the le Haunted by a past she can't remember ... When criminal psychologist Dr Kate Pearson was twelve years old she was abducted, but she has no memory of the time she was held. Over twenty years later, an anonymous note is pushed under her door ... I REMEMBER YOU, KATE. And suddenly Kate's distant past becomes her present. When Kate discovers that her parents lied to her about the length of time she was missing, she is forced to question everything about her childhood. Could the suspected suicide of an ex-headmaster in Dublin and a brutal murder in New York be connected to her abduction all those years ago? And was her father involved? While Kate delves deeper into the recesses of her memory to uncover the truth, a murderous cult leader is bearing down on her. THE GAME CHANGER is out for revenge. Someone has to pay for the sins of the past.


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Haunted by a past she can't remember ... When criminal psychologist Dr Kate Pearson was twelve years old she was abducted, but she has no memory of the time she was held. Over twenty years later, an anonymous note is pushed under her door ... I REMEMBER YOU, KATE. And suddenly Kate's distant past becomes her present. When Kate discovers that her parents lied to her about the le Haunted by a past she can't remember ... When criminal psychologist Dr Kate Pearson was twelve years old she was abducted, but she has no memory of the time she was held. Over twenty years later, an anonymous note is pushed under her door ... I REMEMBER YOU, KATE. And suddenly Kate's distant past becomes her present. When Kate discovers that her parents lied to her about the length of time she was missing, she is forced to question everything about her childhood. Could the suspected suicide of an ex-headmaster in Dublin and a brutal murder in New York be connected to her abduction all those years ago? And was her father involved? While Kate delves deeper into the recesses of her memory to uncover the truth, a murderous cult leader is bearing down on her. THE GAME CHANGER is out for revenge. Someone has to pay for the sins of the past.

30 review for The Game Changer

  1. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Madden

    Dr. Kate Pearson is back. Entering a new stage in her life, she has taken time off work to spend her days with her son and new partner. However, the clinical psychologist in her does not take long to surface when she receives strange notes at her home. Meanwhile, a murder in New York is linked in someway to a death in Dublin and Kate's father is among the names linked with the victim's past. When she hears of her father's involvement in a research group back in the 1980s, it brings back some long Dr. Kate Pearson is back. Entering a new stage in her life, she has taken time off work to spend her days with her son and new partner. However, the clinical psychologist in her does not take long to surface when she receives strange notes at her home. Meanwhile, a murder in New York is linked in someway to a death in Dublin and Kate's father is among the names linked with the victim's past. When she hears of her father's involvement in a research group back in the 1980s, it brings back some long suppressed memories. But can she remember enough to connect her traumatic childhood with the present-day death? DI Adam O'Connor is dealing with some strange disappearances. A random mixture of adults have chosen to leave their friends, families and homes but not before withdrawing large amounts of cash from their bank accounts. While they all leave messages to assure their safety, the DI is unconvinced. All the missing had been attending spiritual guidance and meditation classes, setting off alarm bells for O'Connor and his team. Is there something more sinister at play? This is Louise Phillips fourth crime thriller book featuring Dr. Kate Pearson and DI O'Connor. They are now living together and trying to find their feet as a couple, as well as parents to their respective sons. Kate is on a sabbatical but is not switching off so well. Anonymous notes are delivered to their home and are causing her many sleepless nights. Adam is tied up with a transatlantic murder inquiry and is not telling her the whole story. The missing persons list is growing and growing, yet there doesn't seem to be any signs of foul play. Just a lot of missing cash. Why does Kate feel so scared and unsure of herself? Is her past finally catching up with her, without her even remembering what happened back then? This is a novel of twists, turns and roundabouts. A new roadway is discovered around every corner and you just don't know what is around the bend. You think you are finally getting somewhere, then, bang....a new sign appears. There are many marking on the map of this story, but can you trust your judgement? Can you believe what you see? There are really two main threads to this novel. There is the mystery of Kate's past and the Irish connection to a New York murder, then the story of the missing persons and their reasons for leaving. Kate and Adam seem to be ships passing in the night and their earlier electricity has now faded to a glow. They both seem far too set in their own individual ways to work well as an equal couple, ready to give up a piece of themselves or their chosen careers. The chapters on individual characters, who have left their homes suddenly, were the strong ones in this book. Each person has a reason for leaving. They are vulnerable and prime-picking for users of clever mind-games. Phillips cleverly shows how minds can be moulded when a person is at their weakest. The idea of 'belonging' or of being 'understood' is so strong that some people will not see what is blatantly obvious to a more content and centered person. There are facts, figures and real-life examples dotted through the novel, perhaps unnecessarily, but it is up to the reader whether to read more into the real-life stories or not. The chapters are short and snappy, flicking back and forth between Kate, The Game Changer and a host of other characters. Louise Phillips is not afraid of shocking her readers. Once again, there is murder and mayhem along the bumpy ride. This is a crime writer who is not afraid to lead her readers off the beaten path...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tazkatie

    This is the fourth book in this series. It lives up to all expectations, I look forward to the next chapter.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cleopatra Pullen

    I am a huge fan of Louise Phillips and so I was delighted to be given a review copy of The Game Changer by her publishers, Hachette Ireland. This is the fourth in the series featuring criminal psychologist Kate Pearson.Kate Pearson really is the staring character of this novel, despite having decided to take a break from working with the police after her last case. Kate is now spending more time with her son Charlie and enjoying a domestic partnership, without the complications of work, with DI I am a huge fan of Louise Phillips and so I was delighted to be given a review copy of The Game Changer by her publishers, Hachette Ireland. This is the fourth in the series featuring criminal psychologist Kate Pearson.Kate Pearson really is the staring character of this novel, despite having decided to take a break from working with the police after her last case. Kate is now spending more time with her son Charlie and enjoying a domestic partnership, without the complications of work, with DI O’Connor, and as the book opens in Dublin we get the feeling that life is on the up for Kate. Of course this isn’t going to last, and following an anonymous note Kate begins digging into her own past, to a time when she was abducted, a time that she is simply unable to recall. Meanwhile DI O’Connor working to confirm whether the recent death of a retired headmaster is a suicide, he is contacted by Detective Lee Fisher in New York about a gruesome murder there – it appears that there is a link with the dead man. Lee Fisher is an excellent addition to the characters we have come to know and love from the previous books, I’m hoping we are going to meet him again in the future. I am fascinated by the way memory works so the element of the book that concentrates on the blanks in Kate’s past were always going to be a winner as far as I am concerned, and Louise Phillips deals with this subject in a realistic way; there is no magic key that suddenly brings the past back to life, but that’s not to say that the lack of memory means that the pieces of the puzzle can’t be put together again. To do this Kate needs to start retracing her childhood steps, to talk to her former neighbours and to start writing down what she is certain are facts. These facts lead Kate in many directions all while she is becoming increasingly paranoid that she is being watched. Is her mind playing more tricks on her? There is such a lot packed into this book including the device where the reader is treated to words from the killer, a risky step for an author to take although I’m pleased to confirm that their identity remains a mystery. Our killer treats us to their chilling ‘20 Steps to Self-enlightenment Programme’ which even the most sheltered of readers will be able to identify with the behaviour of leaders of cults. We soon meet some of the ‘Game Changers’ recruits, chilling not only because of the experiences that have made the 20 steps appealing, but because we know that this decision isn’t likely to end well. To back up how realistic the manipulation of a group can be, we are treated to the tragedies caused by this type of leadership, with references to both the murders committed by Charles Manson and the Jonestown massacre. So we have cross jurisdictional murder, missing memories and a cult all interweaved to create an exceptional in-depth psychological thriller and not only that but it is well-written and features a couple of likeable investigators. Why don’t you go and get yourself a copy?

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mary Crawford

    Louise Philips takes us on a journey that includes cult experiences, weird group activity and a connection between a murder in New York and one in Dublin. Strained family relationships are well covered and developed although Kate and Adam's relationship seems a bit mixed with lines blurred between the personal and professional. Great read and looking forward to the next book. Louise Philips takes us on a journey that includes cult experiences, weird group activity and a connection between a murder in New York and one in Dublin. Strained family relationships are well covered and developed although Kate and Adam's relationship seems a bit mixed with lines blurred between the personal and professional. Great read and looking forward to the next book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Siobhán Cullen

    So I'm shattered tired, end up going to bed later than usual. I'll just read another chapter, then another, 2 hours later with a creak in my neck from lying in an uncomfortable position so I wouldn't fall asleep and The Game Changer is finished That says it all! Can't wait until next one So I'm shattered tired, end up going to bed later than usual. I'll just read another chapter, then another, 2 hours later with a creak in my neck from lying in an uncomfortable position so I wouldn't fall asleep and The Game Changer is finished That says it all! Can't wait until next one

  6. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    The Game Changer is Louise Phillips’ fourth novel, featuring once again the redoubtable Kate Pearson this time taking a background yet influential profiler role in solving another complex crime. Phillips’ books always hone in on a particular psychological theme and this time the central concern is narcissism expressed in the form of people control – suggestible characters lured into a dangerous cult by a vengeful sociopath. Phillips expertly structures her narrative, using multiple points-of-vie The Game Changer is Louise Phillips’ fourth novel, featuring once again the redoubtable Kate Pearson this time taking a background yet influential profiler role in solving another complex crime. Phillips’ books always hone in on a particular psychological theme and this time the central concern is narcissism expressed in the form of people control – suggestible characters lured into a dangerous cult by a vengeful sociopath. Phillips expertly structures her narrative, using multiple points-of-view interspersed with excerpts from an as yet unidentified cult leader’s evil manifesto and action plans. Readers of her earlier novels will remember Kate’s unhappy marriage and developing relationship with Adam, her colleague. One of the delights for lovers of this novel series is the opportunity to follow Kate’s ever changing personal life and with The Game Changer Phillips again achieves an adept continuity – bringing us into the domestic scenes of the now married Kate and Adam, from early on in the novel. Of course young Charlie is here too in this new apartment, and his mother dotes on him, as ever. One of Phillips’ many talents is to soften her toughened crime solver so that we see the vulnerable side of Kate as well. Kate’s vulnerability in motherhood features strongly in this novel, and makes her even more of a target for a disturbed individual. Another Achilles' heel is her past and because of childhood events she is being stalked. Or is just her imagination? The sense of destabilisation of the usually strong Kate engages and unsettles – Phillips, as always, is as interested in her characters’ inner selves, both psychologist, and criminals, as she is in the unfolding action of her intricately layered plot. She handles the slow reveal of her narrative with deceptive ease and is wonderful at building dramatic tension and keeping the reader guessing until the final disclosure. And it doesn’t end here – there are hints from the very inventive author of The Game Changer of lots more exciting developments to come…

  7. 4 out of 5

    Darren Darker

    This is the authors 4th novel and is by far her best to date. Her writing is growing and developing with her character – Dr. Kate Pearsons. Kate is taking a sabbatical from work but when she gets involved (on the periphery) in an international murder investigation, she is forced to go back and investigate her own past. This is made much more difficult by the fact that she cant remember much about that period. However as this is going on, throughout the novel, we are introduced anonymously to the This is the authors 4th novel and is by far her best to date. Her writing is growing and developing with her character – Dr. Kate Pearsons. Kate is taking a sabbatical from work but when she gets involved (on the periphery) in an international murder investigation, she is forced to go back and investigate her own past. This is made much more difficult by the fact that she cant remember much about that period. However as this is going on, throughout the novel, we are introduced anonymously to the Game Changer and his fledgling cult followers. I was initially a bit confused by the ‘20 Steps to Self-enlightenment Programme’ but came to realise how easy t can be to brainwash a group and sanitise psychopathic behavior in people. Its well thought out and researched and I would strongly recommend it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mary Lou

    I was initially a bit sceptical about the cult theme, but as time went on, and with the assistance of a nudge towards a couple of real life cases, I bought in to it completely. Louise Phillips’ clear, down to earth writing style provides both chatty dialogue to allow character development and often without missing a beat, blunt crime scene descriptions as well. Momentum gathers through the book towards a perfectly timed conclusion. How could there be a twist in this I thought?.... well, you’ll ha I was initially a bit sceptical about the cult theme, but as time went on, and with the assistance of a nudge towards a couple of real life cases, I bought in to it completely. Louise Phillips’ clear, down to earth writing style provides both chatty dialogue to allow character development and often without missing a beat, blunt crime scene descriptions as well. Momentum gathers through the book towards a perfectly timed conclusion. How could there be a twist in this I thought?.... well, you’ll have to read it to find out!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Fidelma

    I read it over two days therefore I got properly immersed in it. I loved all the psychology involved and thought it gave tremendous validation to the story. It was great getting a real insight into Kates thoughts and feelings like we never had before in the earlier books, getting to know the real Kate makes me want to re-read Red Ribbons now. I loved the storyline and found it intriguing and the way everything fell into place was brilliant. She gave the book a great ending to which I would have I read it over two days therefore I got properly immersed in it. I loved all the psychology involved and thought it gave tremendous validation to the story. It was great getting a real insight into Kates thoughts and feelings like we never had before in the earlier books, getting to know the real Kate makes me want to re-read Red Ribbons now. I loved the storyline and found it intriguing and the way everything fell into place was brilliant. She gave the book a great ending to which I would have loved it to have been more indept. All in all Louise Phillips did a fabulous job.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    This was an edge of your seat thriller, a stand-alone story or part of a series. The psychological insights to Kate's predicament and also the Game Changer's plans are both interesting and horrifying. How easy it is to manipulate at-risk people! The suspense and the danger to Kate escalated until the very last moment. I'll need a moment for my heart rate to come back to normal! This was an edge of your seat thriller, a stand-alone story or part of a series. The psychological insights to Kate's predicament and also the Game Changer's plans are both interesting and horrifying. How easy it is to manipulate at-risk people! The suspense and the danger to Kate escalated until the very last moment. I'll need a moment for my heart rate to come back to normal!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Dempsey

    Loved, loved, loved this complex book. If you like your crime fiction to have an edge this is one to read. Dr Kate Pearson is a damaged protagonist who's own past creeps around the edges of this book. Multi layered with different voices, the story is deftly weaved. Themes of mind control and power are all at play here, keeping the story tense and compelling. Loved, loved, loved this complex book. If you like your crime fiction to have an edge this is one to read. Dr Kate Pearson is a damaged protagonist who's own past creeps around the edges of this book. Multi layered with different voices, the story is deftly weaved. Themes of mind control and power are all at play here, keeping the story tense and compelling.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jo Bullen

    I've given it an extra star because it was a page-turner and I did really want to know what happened. Unfortunately, as with so many thrillers, the conclusion was a let down after the build up, and it was quite a messy confusing plot which was perhaps overambitious. I don't feel like I fully understand it still! I've given it an extra star because it was a page-turner and I did really want to know what happened. Unfortunately, as with so many thrillers, the conclusion was a let down after the build up, and it was quite a messy confusing plot which was perhaps overambitious. I don't feel like I fully understand it still!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sheila

    I am still thoroughly enjoying this crime series featuring psychologist Dr. Kate Pearson. This is the fourth book in the series and I recommend reading them in order. I can't wait for the next instalment. I am still thoroughly enjoying this crime series featuring psychologist Dr. Kate Pearson. This is the fourth book in the series and I recommend reading them in order. I can't wait for the next instalment.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Deirdre Neary

    Louise Phillips has upped her game with the Game Changer. This book will keep you hooked - the pace, suspense, development of characters and intricate web of events keep you entertained and wanting more. My brain feels invigorated after the Game Changer workout.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Gibney

    Louise Phillips has produced a riveting read in her latest book The Game Changer, her fourth featuring Kate Pearson. The short chapters keep you turning the pages. The alternating points of view in each chapter keeps the tension rising and the reader in suspense. Well worth the read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sonya Couch

    Louise Phillips just gets better and better and is up there with my top fave authors a brilliant crime thriller

  17. 4 out of 5

    Julie Segers

    Just got my copy of the game changer and I'm so excited to read it! So glad I won a copy on goodreads, but unfortunately I haven't found the time to read it yet... Just got my copy of the game changer and I'm so excited to read it! So glad I won a copy on goodreads, but unfortunately I haven't found the time to read it yet...

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dina

    Really liked this book. It kept me guessing to the end

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kymberli Ward

    Will There be More? Excellent thriller. My hope is that Louise Phillips will write future Kate Pearson books. Not an easy book to read, but so well written.

  20. 4 out of 5

    tinalouisereadsbooks

    Criminal psychologist Dr Kate Pearson was abducted when she was twelve but has very little recollection of it. Twenty years later she receives a note saying I Remember You. This is the fourth book in the series and I haven't read any of them. I do prefer to read in order but liked the premise as it revolves around a cult. I found this book a little tedious and felt it was overlong. It didn't matter that I hadn't read any of the other books as this one could quite easily be read as a stand alone. T Criminal psychologist Dr Kate Pearson was abducted when she was twelve but has very little recollection of it. Twenty years later she receives a note saying I Remember You. This is the fourth book in the series and I haven't read any of them. I do prefer to read in order but liked the premise as it revolves around a cult. I found this book a little tedious and felt it was overlong. It didn't matter that I hadn't read any of the other books as this one could quite easily be read as a stand alone. The story revolves around two murders, a cult and past crimes of abuse. The story comes together at the end, eventually with no big twist. I had seen on another review that this book is not the best of the series but not reading any I can't compare. There wasn't enough in this book for me to want to read anymore at this stage. Overall the story itself was ok. Probably if read in order I would connect with the characters better. I just felt that this story was too long and I was getting bored quite quickly half way through.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    This one was a bit more challenging for me to get through. The story felt a bit disjointed in some areas, and I felt there were a lot of characters to keep track of that weren't entirely connected. I wish the cult story had been fleshed out a bit more because I was more interested in that one than Kate's personal story line. But it was still a good read. This one was a bit more challenging for me to get through. The story felt a bit disjointed in some areas, and I felt there were a lot of characters to keep track of that weren't entirely connected. I wish the cult story had been fleshed out a bit more because I was more interested in that one than Kate's personal story line. But it was still a good read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    John L Kane

    Oh man This book is a corker. Full of menace and anxiety, the story is superbly woven together from multiple perspectives. Really excellent. This is my first for Louise Phillips but I must now catch up on the preceding three in the series!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    As always a brilliant read from Louise Phillips. It twists and turns all the way through. This one tackled a lot of issues and dealt with them sensitively but brilliantly. I can't wait to find out what happens next so here's hoping for a speedy publication! As always a brilliant read from Louise Phillips. It twists and turns all the way through. This one tackled a lot of issues and dealt with them sensitively but brilliantly. I can't wait to find out what happens next so here's hoping for a speedy publication!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jane Long

    A good book. At first I thought, nah, I,m not going to like this, bit too far fetched, but it wasn't. It was gripping. A good thriller. Would definitely recommend it if you like a bit of suspense. A good book. At first I thought, nah, I,m not going to like this, bit too far fetched, but it wasn't. It was gripping. A good thriller. Would definitely recommend it if you like a bit of suspense.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Caroline Farrell

    The latest novel from psychological crime author, Louise Phillips, The Game Changer weaves an intricate mystery involving childhood secrets, blocked out memories and the world of mind-bending cults. Add to that a trinity of locations, Dublin, New York and a remote island off the coast of Ireland, all linking to a common denominator, Kate Pearson, criminal psychologist and protagonist of this and each of Phillips’ previous books. As Kate is plagued by her growing awareness of a childhood trauma s The latest novel from psychological crime author, Louise Phillips, The Game Changer weaves an intricate mystery involving childhood secrets, blocked out memories and the world of mind-bending cults. Add to that a trinity of locations, Dublin, New York and a remote island off the coast of Ireland, all linking to a common denominator, Kate Pearson, criminal psychologist and protagonist of this and each of Phillips’ previous books. As Kate is plagued by her growing awareness of a childhood trauma she has long since blanked out, Detective Adam O’Connor, to whom she has become romantically involved, is dealing with missing persons cases and a murder in New York that is somehow connected to Kate’s late father…tension builds as secrets unfold, and the unwitting link to solving it all is Adam’s estranged teenage son, Addy…a cracking read, Phillips has become an accomplished stalwart of the genre. This review also appears in The Librarian's Cellar: https://carolinefarrellwriter.com/201...

  26. 4 out of 5

    Louise Mullins

    I was looking forward to this book, and whilst the premise is good it echoed a recent read about cult's and gaslighting that I read (the book is a political thriller which was published in 2010 called Pacific Heights) which I found much more intriguing. Had I read this thriller beforehand I would have preferred this, but I felt that the two were too closely plotted so I had to skip the entire novel. I just couldn't get into the same storyline twice. I also felt that this title was less plausible I was looking forward to this book, and whilst the premise is good it echoed a recent read about cult's and gaslighting that I read (the book is a political thriller which was published in 2010 called Pacific Heights) which I found much more intriguing. Had I read this thriller beforehand I would have preferred this, but I felt that the two were too closely plotted so I had to skip the entire novel. I just couldn't get into the same storyline twice. I also felt that this title was less plausible which doesn't make me want to continue reading. It's a shame because I was really hoping to get stuck into this one.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Niamh Ennis

    Enjoyable read but not exactly life altering edge of your seat got to read the next chapter stuff. Well researched and the characters were decent, even though there were too many of them and change in perspective. I feel there was some reason some were 1st and some were 3rd person. This novel suffered the usual fate of crime thriller; too long and a bit predictable. I would have liked to see more Irish-isms in there aswell, aside from place names did not feel like it happened in Ireland. What's Enjoyable read but not exactly life altering edge of your seat got to read the next chapter stuff. Well researched and the characters were decent, even though there were too many of them and change in perspective. I feel there was some reason some were 1st and some were 3rd person. This novel suffered the usual fate of crime thriller; too long and a bit predictable. I would have liked to see more Irish-isms in there aswell, aside from place names did not feel like it happened in Ireland. What's a positive for international marketing (such as using Police over Gardaí) is a loss for realism.

  28. 4 out of 5

    SYIFAUL FUADA

    I won a copy of Louise Philips's "The Game Changer" from the Goodreads giveaway in 2016 ago, I would like to grateful for the opportunity. In summary, I like this book. :). I recommend it I won a copy of Louise Philips's "The Game Changer" from the Goodreads giveaway in 2016 ago, I would like to grateful for the opportunity. In summary, I like this book. :). I recommend it

  29. 4 out of 5

    Gabriela Teixeira

    it starts kind of slow but then it picks up. nice policial mystery.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Celeste Ní raois

    Review to follow.................

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