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Child's Play: A Thriller
     

Child's Play: A Thriller

4.5 2
by Merry Jones
 

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Since her husband s murder two years earlier, life hasn t been easy for Elle Harrison. Now, at the start of a new school year, the second grade teacher is determined to move on. She s selling her house and delving into new experiences like learning trapeze.

Just before the first day of school, Elle learns that a former student, Ty Evans, has been released from

Overview

Since her husband s murder two years earlier, life hasn t been easy for Elle Harrison. Now, at the start of a new school year, the second grade teacher is determined to move on. She s selling her house and delving into new experiences like learning trapeze.

Just before the first day of school, Elle learns that a former student, Ty Evans, has been released from juvenile detention where he served time for killing his abusive father. Within days of his release, Elle s school principal, who d tormented Ty as a child, is brutally murdered. So is a teacher at the school. And Ty s former girlfriend. All the victims have links to Ty.

Ty s younger brother, Seth, is in Elle s class. When Seth shows up at school beaten and bruised, Elle reports the abuse, and authorities remove Seth and his older sister, Katie, from their home. Is Ty the abuser?

Ty seeks Elle out, confiding that she s the only adult he s ever trusted. She tries to be open-minded, even wonders if he s been wrongly condemned. But when she s assaulted in the night, she suspects that Ty is her attacker. Is he a serial killer? Is she his next intended victim?

Before Elle discovers the truth, she s caught in a deadly trap that challenges her deepest convictions about guilt and innocence, childhood and family. Pushed to her limits, she s forced to face her fears and apply new skills in a deadly fight to survive.

"

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
10/17/2016
In Jones’s fast-paced third Elle Harrison novel (after 2014’s Elective Procedures), the Philadelphia second-grade teacher believes that she failed Ty Evans, a former student who later confessed to killing his abusive father, but she hopes to redeem herself with his younger brother, Seth, now enrolled in her class. With Ty newly released from juvenile detention and clashing with their alcoholic mother, Seth’s home life is unstable. When the draconian school principal and a humorless teacher—both of whom treated Ty cruelly—are murdered, Elle is torn between belief in his innocence and her desire to protect Seth. Meanwhile, the realtor charged with selling her house becomes increasingly aggressive, and when someone drugs and rapes Elle, she doesn’t know whether to suspect the realtor or the killer. The identities of the rapist and murderer are obvious well before Elle or other characters identify them. Still, Elle’s complex feelings toward her late husband—who was murdered while they were separated—add nuance and depth. Agent: Rebecca Strauss, McIntosh & Otis. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
“In Jones’s fast-paced third Elle Harrison novel (after 2014’s Elective Procedures), the Philadelphia second-grade teacher believes that she failed Ty Evans, a former student who later confessed to killing his abusive father, but she hopes to redeem herself with his younger brother, Seth, now enrolled in her class. With Ty newly released from juvenile detention and clashing with their alcoholic mother, Seth’s home life is unstable. When the draconian school principal and a humorless teacher—both of whom treated Ty cruelly—are murdered, Elle is torn between belief in his innocence and her desire to protect Seth. Meanwhile, the realtor charged with selling her house becomes increasingly aggressive, and when someone drugs and rapes Elle, she doesn’t know whether to suspect the realtor or the killer. The identities of the rapist and murderer are obvious well before Elle or other characters identify them. Still, Elle’s complex feelings toward her late husband—who was murdered while they were separated—add nuance and depth.”
—Publishers Weekly

“For anyone looking for a riveting book you won’t want to put down, this is a fine candidate.”
—Buried Under Books

"This is my favorite book so far this year. It sent me on several false leads as to who did what....and the reveal at the end scared the heck out of me! Rating: Five stars "
—Memes And Fiction

“5 Stars — A very can’t put down read. Thrilling!”
—C Mash Reads

“This mystery was one crazy ride! —5 Stars”
—Wall To Wall Books

“So much action packed into one book and I wanted more. If you want a great thriller this book is for you.“
—Books, Dreams, Life

"What a wild ride! Merry Jones' Child s Play starts on the first day of school and gets ever more terrifying from there.The novel is a terrific mystery, with the sins of the past rising to swallow an entire town, but it triumphs as an examination of female friendship, how it nurtures and how it destroys. Not to be missed. "

—New York Times
best-selling author William Lashner

Kirkus Reviews
2016-10-19
A string of murders points back to a crime committed years earlier by a desperate teenager, forcing his former elementary school teacher to wonder if they're connected to his recent release from prison.Philadelphia second-grade teacher Elle Harrison is not ready for the first day of school. Her fears—of the building, of the janitor, of everything—seem overblown until she discovers the mutilated corpse of the principal in her office. No stranger to murder (her husband, Charlie, was stabbed in their home two years ago in 2013's The Trouble with Charlie), Elle finds herself immersed in it again. She's warned by her best friend and fellow teacher, Becky, that local murderous wild child Ty Evans has just been released from prison at age 21, after serving seven years for killing his abusive father; Elle has his little brother, Seth, in her class. Ty is an obvious suspect in Principal Marshall's murder, but that's far from the most obvious aspect of the plot, which piles on genre clichés like it piles on bodies. Elle is prone to "pulling an Elle," which means she takes narratively convenient breaks midconversation and lets her thoughts drift, making her appear both unreliable and increasingly annoying as a narrator. As she tries to sort out a potential case of child abuse—is Seth being hurt at home? Is the newly sprung Ty the abuser?—Elle also fends off the advances of her lecherous realtor in a bizarre subplot that seems out of place. With a heroine who seems ill-equipped to do her job let alone solve a slew of murders and a thoroughly preposterous plot, this clunker won't thrill suspense fans.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781608091911
Publisher:
Oceanview Publishing
Publication date:
01/03/2017
Series:
Elle Harrison Series , #3
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
1,319,020
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Merry Jones is a versatile author, having written suspense novels, thrillers, mysteries, humor and non-fiction. Jones lives outside of Philadelphia where she teaches creative writing, belongs to many writing organizations including the Philadelphia Liars Club, and sculls on the Schuylkill River.

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Child's Play: A Thriller 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Bookaholic_Cindy 3 months ago
The author had me hooked from the very beginning of this book! It's a rather dark psychological thriller with lots of twists and turns to the story. Every time I thought that I knew who the killer was, something else would happen to change my mind. The main character, Elle, has been through enough stress and sadness to last a lifetime! I liked her personality. The author really gave us a well developed character to worry about. Some of the tension filled scenes made me glad that I was not reading this home alone! I would have turned every light on in the house if that were the case. This an excellent thriller that I would definitely recommend! * I was provided an ARC from the publisher and NetGalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed it on my own.
booklover- 4 months ago
Ellie Harrison, a second grade school teacher, has had a rough couple of years. Her husband was murdered, she sees his ghost in her house and now has put it on the market. A former student has been released from juvenile detention where he served several years for killing his abusive father. Now her real estate agent has a thing for her, and is basically stalking her. The first day of school, Ellie goes in early to get her room ready for the onslaught of new students. She stumbles across the body of the school principal, brutally murdered. Ty, her former student, had been released just a few days earlier. And then there's another killing..another link to Ty. Ty's younger brother is in Ellie's class. When he shows up beaten and bruised, she reports the abuse. When she is assaulted in her own home ...was Ty getting revenge? Is he a killer? And is she the next intended victim? This is very well-written, with much attention paid to characterization. I like Ellie as a character in this series. She is mostly level-headed, but has what her friends call Elle Moments. She sort of gets lost in her own head. She also 'sees' dead people ... mostly her husband and now the school principal. But she's smart enough to know that it is her imagination .. they aren't really there. I love her three best friends .. they are funny, but loyal to a fault. The conclusion is a killer ... and so unexpected. I never saw it coming! This is the 3rd book of the series ... works well as a stand-alone. There are a few references to the first book, but there are no spoilers. I definitely would like to go back and read this series from the beginning. Many thanks to the author / Oceanview Publishing / Netgalley who provided a digital ARC of Child's Play. The opinion expressed is my own.