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4.31  ·  Rating details ·  163 ratings  ·  137 reviews
A High-Stakes Simulation Adventure Leaves Grayson Thibodeaux the Prime Suspect. . .for Murder
Deep in the gritty underbelly of New Orleans, psychologist Grayson Thibodeaux loses everything when his wife leaves him to climb her company’s corporate ladder. He buries himself in his job of creating mind-bending adventure games for businesses as team-building explorations. Wh
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published November 1st 2018 by Shiloh Run Press
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Oct 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Grayson Thibodeaux, a psychologist along with his longtime sociologist friend, Colton York, has built a business called "Game's On You" where they create these elaborate custom games for corporations to use to if they are considering promoting someone within and there are several viable candidates or for any number of reasons. Between the two of them, they have made this a lucrative business.
The latest game that Grayson designs just happens to be for the PR Firm his ex-wife, Anna-Belle works for
Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)
Stratagem is exactly the type of suspense/thriller novel that I like to read – a plot that plays at your mind even as it plays with the minds of the characters, characters by the way that you aren’t entirely sure you can trust. The whole lot of them. Just when you think you can relax around this character or the other, another layer of their lives or the plot is revealed and you just don’t know anymore. I love it! It keeps me guessing, keeps me invested in the outcome, and lets me play detective ...more
Karen R
Fans of police dramas will enjoy this one set in New Orleans. A company who creates elaborate live game challenges with escape rooms has a surprise feature: a murder. Things get complicated as the victim is the ex-wife of the game creator.

This story was an interesting one, with a complex plot gradually building the suspense and drama through police interviews, some flashbacks, and eventually an action filled climax. There were so many people who could be the murderer that it surprised me when f
Lisa Johnson
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Title: Stratagem
Author: Robin Carroll
Pages: 320
Year: 2018
Publisher: Shiloh Press Run
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
The setting of the story is in New Orleans where a company creates games for people to live out sometimes without them knowing they are living out a game. Games on You is hired by a Deets PR to help them establish the best person for a promotion within the company. The designer of the game is psychologist Grayson Thibodeaux who has a real gift for understanding how people will react to
Jessica Baker (A Baker's Perspective)
Wow, this book was a page turner! I love suspense books, typically because I enjoy figuring everything out. But this book? It was so much more than that. Yes, it was fun to figure out the whodunit. The author masterfully crafted a string of clues that make you think you're going in one direction, only to bring up something new and make you second guess your answer. There was a point where I just kind of shook my head and decided to read for enjoyment rather then reading for sleuthing. And that i ...more
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: got-review-copy
This isn't my usual read, but it was really good and kept me guessing the WHOLE TIME.

Anna Belle was very easy to dislike and yet she didn't deserve to be murdered, the whole story is Grayson, her ex-husband, finding the strength in God to forgive her while trying to keep his cool while being investigated as the prime murder suspect. I knew he was innocent from the start, but proving that innocence was deeply challenging.

Loved Detective Brandon, couldn't stand his partner, Danielle. I even suspe
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stratagem is the first book I have read by Robin Caroll. I read a lot of mysteries and found myself craving a suspenseful read. I found this story to have an original plot, making use of a “game” like one might find in a reality show or escape room scenario as the setting for a murder. The author is an expert at pacing as details surrounding the murder are slowly revealed. The story is told from three different points of view- Grayson, Brandon and Anna Belle. Grayson as the ex-husband is the pri ...more
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookshelf, 2018
I love a good mystery and this one was great. Set in the historical city of New Orleans, the story was very atmospheric and the pacing was brisk.

The story focused on a murder that occurred during a team building simulation adventure in a creepy mansion. There are many characters (suspects) and as the crime is unfolded through police interrogations, there are more questions than answers. The story reminded me several times of the movie “Clue” as there were many characters and the setting was dark
Susan Snodgrass
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'How could someone go so totally out of character?'

Grayson Thibodeaux is a psychologist who creates mind-bending games for companies to evaluate their employees. He creates a game for the company who employees his ex-wife, Anna Belle, and she turns up dead. And he turns up as the most likely suspect. But as much as he was hurt by his ex-wife during the course of their marriage, he most definitely did not want to see her dead. But it's up to him to prove himself innocent as one certain police det
Maureen Timerman
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
A book that will keep your attention from beginning to end, and when the answers start to come you will be shaking your head and wondering how you didn’t come to this conclusion.
I was quickly page turning to find the answers here, and find out who committed the murder and why. The author was great a keeping me guessing and it wasn’t until about three fourths of the book was finished that I thought I had the answer, but did I?
I recommend this book for a clean, interesting murder mystery that will
Dana Michael
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a different kind of book than I normally read. I usually read romantic suspense thrillers or anything with a bit of a romance. This book is totally mystery with no romance. But, with that said, I'm a big fan of this author..So I thought I'd check it out. This book reminded me of cop movies or tv shows with a cast of characters and you get to guess who done it. That was fun because I really didn't guess until it was revealed. If you are a huge fan of murder mysteries, you will enjoy this ...more
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Stratagem"by Robin Caroll is a book that is a good read. The plot is a A High-Stakes Simulation Adventure game that turns to murder. The story is written partly as a murder investigation with the characters telling of what part they played leading up to the murder.

It was a very easy read and flowed along nicely.

It was hard not to think all the characters were guilty of the crime, in fact I was thinking the whole time I read the book that it was all part of the game and the murdered victim was
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I decided to read a book that is a little bit different than what I normally read which almost always has to include romance. However, Stratagem is a suspense book about the murder of an ex-wife. While not my usual read, I have read author Robin Caroll’s books before and the book premise sounded intriguing.

First off, Grayson Thibodeaux has such a unique job. It is one in which he creates a life game for businesses. Unfortunately his latest game design ends with the death of his ex-wife Anna Bell
Ibjoy1953 Hannabass

I will have to say, I’ve never heard of mind-bending adventure games. So this was a new adventure for me. Grayson Thibodeaux ended up in the middle of his ex-wife’s murder, being the prime suspect. All leads ended up with Grayson. Or was someone else trying to throw the blame on Grayson and get off scott free?

The investigation was interesting, I am always amazed at how investigators end up with so many leads, and figure out the person they need. And this one seemed like
Suzie Waltner
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars

If you are a fan of psychological twists in your entertainment, then Stratagem is for you!

Robin Caroll gives readers a book filled with twist, turns, several suspects, and a game that is based on your weaknesses and fears. But what an entertaining ride it is!

I had an inkling of who the murder was at the beginning but my mind was changed several times throughout this story.

Grayson Thibodeaux is an intelligent character I sympathized with—especially as more about his life and his wife are
Becky Lewis
Usually movies are inspired by books, but the note in the back of the book says Stratagem was hatched after the author watched Michael Douglas and Sean Penn in The Game. Having not watched the movie, it appears the book borrows the basic premise of the movie (a living game), inserts its own characters and adds an additional twist, with themes of forgiveness and acceptance. Grayson Thibodeaux and his partner, Colton York, design living games to build team spirit and test the mettle of a person. W ...more
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Robin Caroll book but it won’t be my last. I can see why all the hoopla surrounding her stories. The psychological twists and turns in Stratagem are mind-blowing. The way businesses use these freaky games to encourage team work and/or choose which employee is worthy of promotion is kind of sick and twisted yet absolutely fascinating at the same time.

For reasons I cannot explain, by the third chapter I knew who the killer was. The frustrating part about that was there was not a
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A well-written mystery/suspense novel with a great plot! I am a fan of Robin Caroll’s books and Stratagem definitely lives up to the standards I expect from the author. The plot is full of twists and turns, red flags and red herrings, and well laid-out details that I couldn’t be sure who was the perpetrator until near the end. Grayson is a great character, full of compassion, tenderness, and intelligence. From page one, Grayson pulls the reader into his world of pain, grief, and regret. Brandon ...more
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: barbour, review, netgalley
Game On Starting this year, I have been avoiding looking at the summary of most of the books that I read, including those I review, to make reading a more exciting experience and to steer clear of figuring out the plot too early. “Stratagem” was featured on many Christian book blogs prior to its release, so when the chance came to read and review it, I jumped on it. Going in, I thought that it was going to be a techno-thriller, so I was actually very pleasantly surprised when I realized that it ...more
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh this book is fabulous with all the twists and turns. Yes, the guilty one is not hard to figure out but the why and how is amazing. The whole twisted idea of the games is fascinating. and I thought the team building I have been part of was bad..just imagine being put into the game. Pam was an amazing character with her sass and in your face ways. Anna Belle was a stinker, Tim was a whim and then there is Grayson. Never in a minute did I think he was involved. But he sure does some crazy things ...more
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stratagem, by Robin Caroll, is a Christian Suspense novel that is full of adventure and suspense. A great “who done it” story with a great message.

Grayson is part owner in Game’s On You, which develops games for companies to use with their employees to pick the best candidate for a job. Grayson uses his psychology skills to develop the best game possible. Going against his better judgment, he allows his company to develop a game for his ex-wife’s employer. He goes on vacation, after helping set
Chautona Havig
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three Excellent Things I Found in Stratagem

First—excellent writing.

Sometimes suspense authors get a little lazy with their “voice” because they can. The tension and action carry their stories well enough not to need a strong voice. But Robin Caroll has one—and it’s awesome. Each character came off distinct, interesting, and… alive. And she did it through her writing style as much as through their actions and the personalities she gave them.

The best part is that while I can tell this book is writ
Deana Dick
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm starting my review with a warning about the book. When you start this book, make sure you allow yourself time to read the entire book in one sitting. Why? To put it simply, because there is no way to read this book without stopping. The story line is rich in intrigue and takes us to the dark places of a person's emotions. I was shocked at first to read that a company thought the only way to pick who would get the promotion out of four people was to play a game. It's not just any old game, fo ...more
Linda Walters
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amazing, simply amazing! It didn't take long for me to get drawn into the story and find that I liked Grayson a whole lot. He was brilliant, that almost goes without saying. But he was also a caring man who had got shafted by his ex. But his ex-wife Anna Belle didn't just save the pain for Grayson, she spread it around liberally. Even her own mother felt it.
Some of the players in the book:
Pam Huron - Grayson's loyal assistant and friend
Colton York- co- Business Partner with Grayson
Anna Belle- G
Margaret Kazmierczak
My Penny’s Worth
I believe the author did a great of job of creating Anna Belle, who I disliked and liked at the same time. A driven lady who was going to overcome and win using any means possible. That meant she had strength, propelled by a desire to rise above her humble beginnings. Sadly, Anna Belle used her own strength to hurt others, yes even those who loved her dearly. Therefore, I disliked the manner in which Anna Belle used to climb the ladder but liked the author’s skill to make me at o
Vickie Sarmina
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Deets PR hired an outside agency to help them with a project so that they could choose the next Senior Account Rep for their company. This involved selecting the final four individuals, and informing them that they would spending a weekend at a house, completing various projects. This would enable the company to see how they operated, both as individuals and as a team. It would also give the company enough information to make the correct choice for the promotion of Senior Account Rep. Little did ...more
I have enjoyed Robin Caroll’s books since I first discovered her early Love Inspired Suspense novels. I have since then made it a point to at least try to read her latest as soon as it was released. I have been fortunate to receive review copies of many of them. Stratagem was not a disappointment. In fact the author seems to have upped her game. This one left me in suspense and guessing the murderer until the very end.

Readers who are also fans of the popular escape rooms that seem to be springin
Kelly Bridgewater
3.5 stars

A romantic suspense or suspense novel for that matter should have the characters running for their life and trying to solve the crime that has occurred near the beginning of the novel. Robin Caroll's Stratagem is a hunt against the clock to solve the murder that occurred in the first chapter to Grayson's wife, Anna Belle. The murder happens, and then the rest of the novel is interview after interview after interview. After completing the whole novel, I would have liked to see the actua
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is one of those suspense novels that catches your attention right off, and just keeps on pulling you in....

I loved the setting--Louisiana, New Orleans, and then Mardi Gras. I loved the characters. Grayson especially. He's a creator of 'escape room' type of games. He's just come through a bitter divorce, and he and his ex-wife are at odds. Then Anna Belle dies and he becomes a prime suspect in her murder. But...the real kicker is, she was competing in a game. Yes! A game created by Gray
Dave Milbrandt
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a complimentary copy of Stratagem for an honest evaluation of its merits.

The book’s premise took the reality TV concept and stretched it to its limits, which intrigued me. I am glad I was not disappointed. Carrol established compelling characters (with one small deviation which I will address later) and the storyline is very well paced. At one point, I was fascinated how the description of the video replay made me think the author was writing a screenplay, as she constructs the narrat
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“I love boxing. I love Hallmark movies. I love fishing. I love scrapbooking. Nope, I've never fit into the boxes people have wanted to put me in.” ~Robin Caroll is definitely a contradiction, but one that beckons you to get to know her better.

Robin’s passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others and come alongside them on their faith journey—aspects Robin weaves into each of her publ
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