The Blame Game by Sandie Jones

What happens when your past begins to haunt your present and you begin to make questionable choices which could change your future forever?

American psychologist Naomi Chandler whose specialty is domestic abuse now lives in London with her husband Leon. She has a soft spot for all her clients, always giving a little more than she should. She herself was a victim of trauma witnessing her father killing her mother.

According to Leon, she has a tendency to give too much of herself to her clients, taking what she feels they need from her a little too far. He has always told her that someday it will get her into trouble. Even as she continues to tell him no such thing could happen; she has kept a few secrets from him which could be a disaster in the making.

When one of her clients, a man named Jacob, who has been continually abused by his wife for years and has cigarette burns on his arms and bruises to prove it, decides he can’t take the mistreatment anymore and wants to leave but is afraid she will find him and kill him, Naomi takes it upon herself to set him up at a cottage her husband owns which is secluded and no one could find him. Of course, she keeps telling herself she must tell Leon, but knows he will disapprove.

Jacob begins to feel free and clear of his wife and Naomi is pleased with her decision. But then as she prepares for their next session, she can’t find his file. She absolutely knows she locked it up, but as she searches her office and house, she can’t find it. She fears somehow his wife broke into her office and took the file and now knows where Jacob is staying.

Her fear comes to fruition as Jacob makes a frantic call to her one evening saying his wife has called and he is scared for his life. Against her better judgement, she meets Jacob at the bar at the hotel she told him to go to. She finds him drunk and scared and tries to settle him down.

At the same time Jacob seems to be hitting a wall, another client, Anna, whose relationship with her husband has turned violent due to his drinking because they lost a child years ago and she blames him for what happened, has decided she needs to take her children and leave because she doesn’t feel safe anymore. Naomi again makes a contentious decision and tells her she can stay at her house until they get her settled into a shelter.

Then Jacob misses his next appointment and Naomi fears the worst. She goes to the cottage where he is staying but he is not there. Then she gets a shocking visit from the police. Jacob’s wife has filed a missing person report and all the evidence seems to point to Naomi and Jacob having an affair. She is now the prime suspect in his disappearance!

Her world begins to implode as all the evidence points to her, and with Leon wanting to take a break and Jacob still missing, she can’t believe she has done this to her life. As she sadly reminisces about her mother, wishing she could talk to her one last time so she could help her, she begins to find inconsistencies in the clues. Is someone trying to frame her? But still, no one is willing to believe anything she has to say. Everyone seems to want to blame Naomi for this situation and no one wants to believe she would never harm anyone. Has she taken her kindness to clients too far? Will she end up in jail? Or will whoever seems to want to destroy her, kill her before she can figure out why this is happening.

The Blame Game is another slam dunk from Sandie Jones! An amazing quick paced psychological thriller with a “wow”! ending which will both shock and satisfy at the same time.

Thank you #NetGalley #MinotaurBooks #TheBlameGame #SandieJones for the advanced copy.

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