Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Point Thriller: The Dead Game (A. Bates)

We have three best friends: Linnie, Ming, and Jackson. Ming is super depressed because she was first in their class until two new students transferred. They both took AP classes at their old school and since their school doesn’t offer those classes, they immediately had a higher GPA than anyone else. Jackson learns that their parents intentionally transferred them because they were so low ranked at their old school. Linnie tells her friends that she wants to murder the boys.

They naturally freak out until she admits that she was just joking. She actually wants to do something to humiliate them. Ming steals one of the brother’s varsity letter jacket and leaves it draped over a tombstone in the cemetery. He shows up the next day wearing a letter jacket, but his is still hanging in the graveyard.

Linnie tells them about a game her older sister played at a resort. I totally saw this on “Greek” and some other random shows that I can’t remember. Basically, everyone gets a name of someone they have to “murder” and when they kill someone, they get that person’s target. They decide to just pick a bunch of cheaters for their plan. Jackson gets this chick Brenda who constantly acts like a bitch, Linnie gets this guy John who hits on every girl in school, and Ming gets Rafe who is kind of a cool guy.

Ming follows Rafe around for a week and finally decides to make her move. She “accidentally” spills her tray on him in the cafeteria, he falls down, and a bunch of other people trip over him and fall down. When they finally get up, Rafe is laying there not moving. Ming remembers seeing someone kick him in the head when he fell, and one of the teachers sends her off to call an ambulance.

No one knows what happened to Rafe, but rumors swirl around the school. Ming skips class because she feels so guilty, and Jackson stops to see her. He tells her that he added Rafe to the list because (a) he stole his old girlfriend and (b) he dropped off the track team and ruined their shot at winning the state meet. Ming feels better enough to come back to school.

Linnie plans to humiliate John by taping him with other women. Someone steals the tape from her and plays it over the PA system. The tape shows him coming on to dozens of different girls and badmouthing his girlfriend Brenda. John skips school for a week. Then Jackson follows Brenda and sees her stealing a bracelet. He makes a bunch of sketches of it and shows them to some girls. They pass them around school, Brenda sees them and runs off. She starts running down the stairs by the football field, slips on some water, and breaks her neck when she hits the ground.

The original three get together and decide to stop their game. The next day, the transfer twins get in trouble when they get caught with a copy of their next science test. Price, another guy on the list, gets suspended from school and the track team for drinking and he uses steroids. The group realizes that someone is still following their list.

They finally decide to go to the cops and tell them what happened. Linnie decides to leave early and someone jumps out of the shadows, knocking her down. Someone attacks Jackson and Ming, and when Ming wakes up, she sees Jackson unconscious and Linnie dragging him away. Ming manages to escape and get to a phone, but Linnie stops her and rips the phone away from her.

They run off, fighting and screaming at each other until they reach this rock fence surrounding the river. Ming escapes and jumps over the side, waking up in a hospital. Luckily, we have Jackson to tell us what happened, but unluckily, he really doesn’t know. He literally says that Linnie just flipped out.

Ming was out for a few days and Linnie spoke to a psychiatrist. They say that she basically has two people living inside her and her other half decided that they weren’t doing enough to get back at the people on their list. She did everything herself, including stealing her own tape and planting the test on the boys. She accidentally pushed Brenda down the stairs too. Then Ming and Jackson kind of get together and the book ends.

What the fuck? Seriously, what the fuck? It’s like Bates wrote the book, then slapped together an ending and forgot about the rest of the book. There’s an entire chapter/scene where Linnie gets attacked by someone, and she actually tries to defend herself. Then it turns out that it was her all along. I’m calling BS on this.


  1. 1. So what's Linnie motive again? She was just crazy?

    2.Are there any point books where there's something supernarual because From what I've remember the villans in point thrillers books always do pranks on the main character and finally tries to kill him/her

  2. Linnie didn't really have a motive. She was jealous of her sister and wanted attention from other people, and she hated the popular kids because they were like her sister, or at least that's how I saw it.

    Point books do sometimes have supernatural stuff in them. Prom Dress and Dance of Dead (something like that, the one about the shoes) are two of the ones that popped into my head. A lot of the books had straight out killers, but there were a few with unexplained/paranormal themes.