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A fun game, wherein young children are taught about the horrible consequences for ignorance in the strict, intellectual society in present-day America. In the game, the player has to figure out a secret word or phrase, given only the number of letters it has, and sometimes the category under which it falls. For example, if the secret phrase were hangman, they would see only -------, and possibly told that the category was fun games. Then, the player(s) have to guess the letters in the word, one at a time. For each letter guessed, if it is part of the phrase, then all the occurences of the letter are written in; if they guessed a, they would now see -a---a-.

However, if they guess wrong, each wrong guess results in part of the gallows being built. When the gallows are finished, each wrong guess results in the materialization of a single part of an innocent man inside the gallows, with a noose around his neck. When his entire body has appeared, its weight pulls the noose tightly around his neck to the point where he either suffocates, or his neck snaps. In either case, the man dies, and, even worse, the player fails to earn a point for that round.

However, if the entire puzzle is solved before the man materializes, he is set free and the player gets a point. A dead man or a point gained constitutes the end of a single round. The winner of the game, after a number of such rounds, is the one with the most points, and thus the least dead people on his or her conscience.

The best way to win at Hangman is to use the most common letters first. These are "e t a o i n s r h d l u" in that order.

Author: Jack Heath

First Published: 2018 Allen & Unwin

Series: Timothy Blake #1

This is the first adult novel from Australian author Jack Heath. Heath has published twenty-odd novels aimed at older children and teenagers and is becoming extremely popular for his fast-paced, action-driven plots.

The story is set in Texas for reasons that become apparent a couple of chapters in. There is nowhere else in the English-speaking world that our narrator, Timothy Blake, could live the life he does. As our story begins Blake has been brought in to help the FBI solve a kidnapping case. Blake, it seems, is a sort of consulting detective. He also runs a sideline in solving more mundane puzzles and riddles for cash and tries to stay out of the way of his roommate, a drug dealer.

I'll be honest: I don't really do thrillers. I enjoy a good detective story, but I like my escapism served with HEAs and dialogue you could cut yourself on. This is not my usual read.  Heath's stories always feel as though there is so much happening that he is just barely restraining it all from exploding into your loungeroom. Blake's unassuming narration adds a casual matter-of-factness that only emphasises the terror and craziness of his life. There won't be any HEAs here. The only reason I'm certain Timothy Blake will survive to the last page is that the whole thing is written in the first person. I'm deeply conflicted about whether this is a good or a bad thing. I mean, I really like Blake. Under the circumstances that worries me just a little. I'd quite like him to hook up with the hot FBI agent... except that I like her too. And it would be great if Blake could secure a reliable source of... erm... 

I'm really reluctant to say much more for fear of spoilers, but I will say that this is the first time I've picked up a book and had multiple warnings that it is absolutely not suitable for children. No matter how much your ten year old loves Heath's other work, this book is definitely not suitable. At all.

Read Hangman if you're into crime thrillers. Read Hangman if you're into psychological drama. Read Hangman if you love that action-movie-in-novel-form style. Read Hangman if you like to finish a book feeling exhausted, drained and in need of a shower.

 


I read this to make Jet-Poop happy

Hang"man (?), n.; pl. Hangmen().

One who hangs another; esp., one who makes a business of hanging; a public executioner; -- sometimes used as a term of reproach, without reference to office.

Shak.

 

© Webster 1913.

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