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Sara's Game (The Sara Winthrop Thriller Series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Ernie Lindsey
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (911 customer reviews)

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14th Deadly Sin
Third in the Women's Murder Club series: As violence sweeps through San Francisco, Detective Lindsay Boxer and her friends must risk their lives in the name of justice—before it's too late. Read more about authors James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Book Description

For a limited time, read the second book in the thriller series, Sara's Past, for free. Copy and paste this link in your browser >>>

#2 Kindle Best Seller on Amazon - Featured as a Kindle Daily Deal, February 2013

Two years ago, Sara's husband left for the gym one morning...and never came back. His car was found. He wasn't. Unbelievably, the police report said, "No foul play suspected." There were a few unreliable sightings over the following months, but little else.

Now, on the last day before summer break, her three children have gone missing from their schools, all at the same time.

And the note under her windshield wiper asks one foreboding question: Are you ready to play the game?


An Interview with Author Ernie Lindsey

1. What got you started with the Sara Winthrop Thriller Series?

I write as if I'm reading the story as I go, so I create the type of fiction that I'm drawn to. Some of the best psychological thrillers have influenced my work recently, like Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and Defending Jacob by William Landay. Those two are absolutely masterful, and I feel like I should use them as study guides.

2. Sara's Game was featured as a Kindle Daily Deal back in 2013. What was that recognition like, and how did it change your writing career?

Having Sara's Game offered as a Kindle Daily Deal literally made my career what it is today. I couldn't be more thankful to Amazon for recognizing its potential and featuring it. The access to so many readers, fans, and new friends has given me the opportunity to write full time and I wouldn't be where I am today without it.

3. You write a lot of suspense, mystery, and thriller books. What are some of the top qualities you look for in the best mystery novels?

That sense of urgency that keeps you flipping the pages long after you should've gone to bed. It's what I look for in the fiction that I read, and I absolutely try to instill that in my work. When I first began reading suspense thriller books, I cut my teeth on Dean Koontz, and for clever mysteries, it was Elmore Leonard. Two of my heroes, right there.

4. Are the titles in this thriller series chronological and what should readers expect?

Well, if a reader is looking for free thriller books, Sara’s Game is a great place to start. You know, in the author’s humble opinion, of course. With the Sara books, readers should expect a fast-paced, heart-pounding journey throughout the whole series, and they are chronological, actually! They do work as standalone novels, but they're best read in order so that you won't miss important details from earlier parts of the story. So, they should be read like this: Sara's Game, Sara's Past, Sara's Fear, and then the companion novella, One More Game, which comes later and features a different main character than Sara herself.

5. What are some of the themes, ideas, and categories that new readers can look for in Sara's Game?

Ultimately, as one reviewer suggests, this is a novel that asks, "How far will one mother go for her children?" It's part suspense kidnapping, part psychological thriller, part puzzle, part game, and readers are encouraged to solve the clues along with Sara.

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Additional praise for the work of Ernie Lindsey

For Skynoise

"With Skynoise, Ernie Lindsey shows why he is one of the most compelling and dynamic indie writers out there. Earlier this year, I found "Super," which turned the superhero genre on its ear, and in "Skynoise," Lindsey takes the sci-fi trope of time travel and twists a good yarn through years of mysteries and bread crumbs." --Will Swardstrom, author of Dead Sleep

"Ernie Lindsey weaves a fantastic Time Travel thriller that's part X-Files and all fun. It's tense, taut and reads like you're trying to catch your breath as he piles mystery on top of intrigue and serves with a perfect slice of humor. This year's best time travel story and a fun escapist read that has you rooting for the good guys. This book is why Lindsey is a solid master in the making." --Nick Cole, author of Soda Pop Soldier

"If you love [time travel science fiction], filled with action and bone-jarring twist and turns, you won't want to miss Skynoise." --Josh Hayes, author of Second Star: Breaking Through

For How White People Die

"[How White People Die] is both literary and accessible at the same time. An intense and sometimes funny southern cop drama that dares you to figure out what is going on. However you classify it, it's terrific." --Michael Bunker, author of Pennsylvania

For Super

"Impossible to put down until you know the answers. Exciting, thrilling, and full of deception, this is one of my favorite books of the year." --Jason Gurley, author of Greatfall and Eleanor, soon to be released by Crown Publishing.

About the Author

Biography information available below in the More About the Author section.

Product Details

  • File Size: 406 KB
  • Print Length: 263 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009FBK5CI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #819 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
188 of 196 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Drama...yes! October 4, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
First I would like to say I am in no way paid to review this novel. I'm not a friend nor a family member. I downloaded it free and have chosen to give my honest opinion.

Sara's Game is just that a game where Sara the player has to rescue her children from a menacing entity (evil human). As I read this novel, I knew who the culprit was far sooner than the author thought was possible. There were no real shocks in this story. It was very easy to figure out, but the "game" was fun watch unfold.

There are areas of suspense and you truly do feel for Sara. But the constant repeating of words was a bit unnerving...for example, stupid, stupid, stupid I got it the first time. Granted the author wanted to make you aware of the stress going on in the scene, but that was described very well through the visual.

The story is well written and the author definitely pulls the in reader in...mystery? No. Drama? Yes. would I recommend this novel to a mystery reader? NO. I would recommend it to someone who likes to cheer for the underdog. A great drama with little in the way of mystery.
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107 of 112 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good story, too many holes October 21, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a fast read. The plot moved quickly with all of the action taking place in a span of just over 12 hours.

The setting was well done, and as a main character Sara was strong and well developed. The other characters needed more depth to really bring them to life--especially those who were integral to the plot, like the missing husband Brian and the villain.

My big problem with this book was the total unbelievability of how the police acted. Three kids kidnapped, the mom missing and from the way this story read it was pretty much two detectives bumbling around on their own. One of those 2 detectives was more of a caricature than a character, although I don't remember it being it mentioned I picture him wearing a rumpled trench coat, ala Colombo. DJ was better drawn; he was more believable with the right level of concern and ability to sort through what was going on--right up until the end when his actions took a turn totally at odds with any police how-to manual. It was just too weird. I kept asking myself, "where is the Amber Alert? Why are they not getting the word out that these kids are missing???"

I liked the plot idea; the "game" was well thought out and made for an interesting storyline. For me, this book would have been so much better if the police just had not been involved at all if they weren't going to be doing anything believable. More time could have been spent on the loose ends of the other characters backgrounds and less time on the totally farcical way the police handled this kidnapping. That was too much of the book and made it a total miss in the end.
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55 of 60 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time February 18, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am sorry I downloaded this book. The characters were not sufficiently developed. The main character lacked depth. On the plus side, if you liked the Wonder Woman TV series you will probably love this story.

As for the plot, it appears the author did very little research on police policy and procedure. Nothing about the behavior of the cops or the investigative process was even vaguely believable. I started wondering about half way through if the author even intended the book for an adult reader.
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60 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sara's Game by Ernie Lindsey October 5, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ok, now where do I start? Should I go with the fact that this story NEVER let me down. I was on a very emotional roller coaster with the things Sara was having to do. There was not too much pure laughter but with this story line the more subtle little good emotions were just the perfect touch.
I could also go on and on about her husband but I refuse to spoil that for any new readers. You just have to read it.
Then I could really go on about DJ and that portion just blew me away. I was not expecting that at all.
Ernie Lindsey is a new author to me as most of the books I am reading now are from "new to me" authors. I am finding that I am growing wiser about books as I grow older (disabled 62 yr old grandmother) and am so very grateful that you are able to offer inexpensive or even free books so that I am able to let everyone know how amazing you are as an author.
Thank you so much Ernie Lindsey.
I am telling every one I talk to and on this page that 'You all really do have to read books by this author'. You will love the story just as much as I did.
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read October 8, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Just finished "Sara's Game" and it was a definite page turner from the first pages! I pretty much had the "bad guy" figured out quite early, but was still a great ride getting all the t's crossed and the i's dotted. This was an interesting thriller and I highly recommend it. My highest praise is that I WILL be buying more from this author.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Predictable October 18, 2012
By SBackus
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
To be honest I ended up skimming this book and then reading it. Why? Because as soon as the kids were missing I knew who did it. There were a lot of unanswered questions in this regarding the husband. His disappearance was pivotal but never fully explained (the reason I went back and fully read it but the answers were not there) nor was there an answer for the time frame following his disappearance. I gave it 3 stars because the concept was good it just wasn't well executed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this series
Great read and always exciting to see what comes next for her. Cant wait for the next one.
Published 1 day ago by JED
4.0 out of 5 stars A roller coaster ride
This book jumps right into the action in the first chapter. Sara, our protagonist, gets a call that all her children have gone missing from school. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Nina Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book
I enjoyed this book! Even though I figured out "who was behind it" before the end, it still had some twists and turns. Good read!
Published 2 days ago by Ang.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Really enjoyed this
Published 3 days ago by Patricia Raffauf
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
An interesting short story
Published 4 days ago by chris burns
1.0 out of 5 stars Which turned out to be a good thing because it was a complete waste of...
It was free, I didn't have high expectations. Which turned out to be a good thing because it was a complete waste of time to read, thank goodness it was short.
Published 6 days ago by stephanie
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun easy read
A quickly engaging easy read. Looking for an accomplishment feeling? You can read this book in a few hours, and be glad of it..
Published 6 days ago by Maura C Mangan-Wyrock
4.0 out of 5 stars Action packed.
It was a fast paced book. it had some unbelievable parts. Still it was a good read.
Published 6 days ago by Effie Bryant
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I could not put the book down ready to read book 2 of the series. I think sara. Winthrop an amazing author kept you thinking all the time
Published 7 days ago by karen a fideldy
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
Sara's Game kept me on the edge the entire book. Interweaving the characters was awesome. I hope the next books are as great as this one!
Published 7 days ago by Margy
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More About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Ernie Lindsey grew up in the Appalachian Mountains of southwest Virginia, working on the family farm and reading, and has spent his life telling stories to anyone that will listen. He is the author of thirteen mystery, thriller, and suspense books, along with numerous short stories. When he's not writing or reading the works of other thriller writers, you can find him chasing a toddler, feeding a toddler, or cleaning up after a toddler. He remembers non-toddler things, but they're flimsy, gauzy mysteries.

Ernie and his family live in Oregon, along with a multi-fingered Hemingway cat named Luna.

Head over to for more information, or join him on Facebook at

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