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A compulsively readable psychological thriller set in New York and at Oxford University, in which a group of six students play an elaborate game of dares and consequences - with tragic results

One game. Six students. Five survivors.

It was only ever meant to be a game.

A game of consequences, of silly forfeits, childish dares. A game to be played by six best friends in their first year at Oxford University. But then the game changed: the stakes grew higher and the dares more personal, more humiliating, finally evolving into a vicious struggle with unpredictable and tragic results.

Now, fourteen years later, the remaining players must meet again for the final round.

Reviews

An inventive and intricate psychological puzzle thriller that mystifies, torments, disturbs, beguiles... a powerfully intelligent debut

Marcel Berlins, The Times

A compulsive page-turner that will hold your attention until the very last word

Natasha Harding, Sun

Sinister, addictive and unpredictable – this is a novel to be devoured greedily, at speed, but one that will leave its footprint on your memory for far longer

Natasha Lunn, Red

Yates’s take on the collegiate thriller lives up to early comparisons to Donna Tartt’s The Secret History... filled with gleeful malevolence

Grazia

[A] chilling debut...this is a thriller, a cautionary tale and a sobering exploration of unintended consequences rolled into one

Daily Mail

Black Chalk grabs from the get-go... Yates plots with tantalizing skill

Ellen Shapiro, People

This addictive psychological thriller will have you hooked from start to game over

Stylist

Compelling

John O'Connell, Guardian

A truly chilling thriller, with campus-fun-gone-wrong echoes of Donna Tartt's The Secret History

Psychologies

A very exciting debut - like The Secret History, but so much creepier... This is intellectually challenging psychological thriller writing at a high level

Shots Mag

An intricate and sinister thriller, in which the truth is slowly and subtly revealed

Ruth Hunter, BookTime, The Bookseller, September Booksellers' Choice

Words to describe this wonderful thriller could be: gripping, sinister, realistic and very scary, as well as irresistible, compulsive and unputdownable... A perfect read on a dark evening,

DulwichBooksReview

A gripping thriller... Will leave even the most hardened of horror fans looking over their shoulders and checking that the door is locked!

Yattar Yattar

Complex, ingenious and thrilling

CultureFly

a sinister and suspenseful read

Jan Gardner, Boston Globe

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780099581628

    September 15, 2014

    Vintage

    352 pages

    RRP $26.99

    Online retailers

    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • Fishpond
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.co.nz

  • EBook

    9781448155897

    September 19, 2013

    Vintage Digital

    352 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle NZ
    • iBooks NZ
    • Google Play EBook NZ
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia NZ