In Russia, an aluminum magnate, Kazimir Stankevitch, enters into an unwritten agreement with Angela Moreaux, an enigmatic and seductively attractive woman that he secretly desires. Later that night, as she returns home from a nightclub, a shot is fired at her. At the same time, in the Ritz, her unsuspecting associate has a meeting with an elderly Swiss gentleman, Jacques Moreaux, who delivers to him a mysterious letter signed by Angela. In a game of genuine intents, secret longings and seconds agendas, the seemingly unconnected yet mysteriously intertwined events unfold on the pages of this compelling psychological novella. As the stakes in the game go higher, the young woman finds herself confronted with life choices that will challenge her on unexpected levels.
Reading the blurb, I wanted to know more, and my hopes was high. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite live up to it. There are some great elements in it, but for me, the bad things possess too much of the story.
The plot in itself is a good one. I would’ve wished Seraphima had walked it out all the way, explored it some more, instead of leaving it like the way she did. It is still solid, but a bit flat perhaps. It changes from being a thriller to a romance sort of plot. In reality, I don’t see why she had to leave the original plot to morph it into something else, but maybe it’s just me.
One of the good things, something I really liked was that each chapter started with a quote. And it was different authors every time; from Backstreet Boys to John Wodden and Vince Lombardi. It definitely gave something special to each chapter.
The content in the chapters felt choppy though. One thing is that each chapter is short; the book is 108 pages and there are 12 chapters. That I don’t mind. Short chapters are sometimes a good thing if done right. Seraphima had chosen to divide each chapter up even more into small sections. It sort of distorted the flow of the book. The scenes themselves were stilted, a lot of them was taken up by Angela (or anyone of the other characters) walking from A to B, driving in cars, lightning a cigarette or pouring themselves a glass of wine. The conversations between the different people didn’t feel natural either. When addressing someone you’re familiar with you usually on first name basis (or a nickname or even last name), you don’t go saying both first and last name. The conversations feels like they’re from a manuscript. She says something, then he has to answer and back and forth, but no emotions are involved. You don’t get a picture of where they are or how they feel, just words. Which also –to me – makes the characters feel flat.
All in all, to me, A Tricky Game didn’t live up to the expectations I had, and the few good things that were in the book didn’t counter for the not so good ones.