Monday, February 17, 2014

Review: A Tricky Game by Seraphima Bogomolova

A Tricky Game is a psychological novella telling the story of a young enigmatic woman, who finds herself involved in an edgy game of three men, whose genuine intents, second agendas, and secret longings become closely intertwined with her own destiny, creating unexpected twists that place her in front of challenging life choices.

In Moscow, Russia, an aluminium magnate, Kazimir Stankevitch, enters into an unwritten agreement with a seductively attractive young woman, Angela Moreaux, whom he secretly desires. Later that night, as she returns home from a nightclub, a shot is fired at her. While in the hospital she receives a visit from a silent masked incognito, whose true intentions she is yet to discover. At the same time, her unsuspecting associate meets in the Ritz with an elderly Swiss gentleman who delivers to him a mysterious letter. As the stakes in the game go higher, the young woman is confronted with life choices that will challenge her in unexpected ways.


My Thoughts: I enjoy reading psychological thrillers so I was quite looking forward to reading this book. When I saw how short it was (only a little over 100 pages), I became exited on how quickly I was going to read this. Once I began reading this novella, I was transported into a whole different world where I found myself a little lost and confused.

The story itself was told in a unique way. It was not written in lengthy paragraphs that one usually sees in books but instead in very short sentences. There was also a lot of dialogue which did not have the traditional way of indicating who was speaking. It felt as if this novella was written as a script. It was a little hard to get used to at first.

Next, we had an interesting yet very complex plot. We had a strong female main character named Angela who entered a game with three men. I have to admit that the first half of the book I was completely clueless as to what the game was. The story jumped from scene to scene with no transitions, which did not help the flow. It also did not help with my understanding to what game Angela was playing until the second half of the book. Not being able to understand what was going on had me frustrated. I ended up taking much longer in reading this novella than it was expected.

Now, it did have its good points. First, it gave great descriptions of a mysterious masked man that kept appearing to Angela. It made me wonder who the man was and what it meant to Angela. Next, the novella gave a good illustration what the masked balls looked like. It made me wish that I could attend these kinds of balls so I could also wear beautiful masks. Finally, the story gave some historical background on Moscow. I came to learn a little bit about Russian history. These parts of the novella had me engrossed and turning the pages.

As a whole, this was a decent read. I wish I would have been able to better comprehend it so I can see the full potential of this book, but alas I felt like I was still missing the big picture. It had some vivid details but the rest left me quite confused. I rate it:

About the Author: 

Seraphima Bogomolova was born and raised in St Petersburg, Russia. She is the Editor of A Tricky Game is Seraphima’s debut novella. Currently, she is working on her second novella.


  1. I love a good psychological thriller, but this one sounds a little underdeveloped. Great review!

  2. Hello Vonnie,

    Thank you very much for the review! I do agree with many of your points. This book has an intriguing story behind it, and I'll tell you a secret, the original plot has not been realised as it was intended due to certain circumstances ;-) one day I will re-write it as it was supposed to be. I've already done it in Russian, and it is a hit!

    Best wishes