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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
Fosgate's Game by David C. Cassidy unfolds with two business partners, Chadwick Harlow and Fosgate Harvard Harrod III, having an after dinner drink in Fosgate’s study. A casual business conversation turns alarming when Fosgate proposes a sordid way to get rid of their business rival. Chadwick blatantly refuses, until Fosgate shows him a strange old chess set. The stormy evening becomes much worse for Chadwick as his ruthless business partner reveals its secret.
Having read Cassidy's previous work, his writing style is as superb as I expected. Cassidy’s narrative is clever and layered, filled with complex yet meaningful gist. Every sound and smell is vivid; the dialogue is alive with emotions. Psychology mind games seem to be this author’s palpable trademark, as the character Chadwick wonders if his mind is playing tricks on him when the strange, repulsive looking chess set seems eerily alive.
Fosgate assures Chadwick that the chess set has the power to destroy, having previously been used by powerful historical figures to achieve their goals. I wish Chadwick had had more guts to defy Fosgate strongly before he is forced to play. By the time Chadwick finally has the courage to do something about the insane Fosgate, the chess game has already claimed some innocent lives through a series of gruesome supernatural deaths.
To sum up, Fosgate's Game is definitely – in Cassidy’s own words – “a short road trip into madness.” It’s an absolutely compelling horror novella. The premise is excellent and the plot is flawless. Chess will never be the same for me again.