Set in a dystopian near future where the Soviet Union never fell, The Dying Game's premise is already intriguing, and after an early twist it veers into the locked room genre.
The year is 2037, and author Åsa Avdic transports us to the tiny island of Isola, where seven people are competing for a role in intelligence. Main character Anna Francis isn't one of them; she's been hired to stage her own death and observe how the others react.
But things quickly start spiralling. Anna spots a figure from her own past. A storm is rolling in. Things aren't quite what they seem. This is a book about what it takes to survive.
The strong, original ideas keep this fast-paced debut moving, even if the world isn't quite fleshed out to the degree you'd find in The Handmaid's Tale or The Hunger Games, to which it has been compared.
Fans of Black Mirror should enjoy this read which is at its best when Avdic is evoking paranoia: who's in on the game? Who knows what, and who's watching whom?
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Here's what else readers had to say about The Dying Game:
“I find it interesting that lots of the reviews of this book compare it to Agatha Christie but not so much to 1984. Once I got about a quarter of the way in (which took a bit of effort) I then couldn't put it down…” – Ælinår Smith
What to read next: For a political dystopia, if you're already familiar with genre classics like The Handmaid's Tale, 1984, and Fahrenheit 451, try Battle Royale by Koushun Takami or The Children of Men by P.D. James.