By: Barry Jonsberg
Genre: Y - Children's, teenage & educational
Published by: Allen & Unwin
Published: 25 May 2016
ISBN: 9781760290153


Game theory has brought me to this point and I must follow where it leads. Even though this is not a game…

Jamie is a sixteen-year-old maths whiz. Summerlee, his older sister, is in the grip of a wild phase. Tensions at home run high. When Summerlee wins a 7.5-million-dollar lottery, she cuts all ties with her family. But money can cause trouble - big trouble. And when Jamie's younger sister Phoebe is kidnapped for a ransom, the family faces a crisis almost too painful to bear…

Jamie thinks he can use game theory - the strategy of predicting an opponent's actions - to get Phoebe back. But can he outfox the kidnapper? Or is he putting his own and his sister's life at risk? A brilliant, page-turning novel from a superb storyteller.


Jamie is a mathematician and he loves game theory. But when Jamie gives his older sister Summerlee six random numbers he has no idea of the problems this will cause his family…

Summerlee uses the numbers to win $7.5 million in Ozlotto and she promptly cuts herself off from her family. Then Jamie’s little sister Phoebe is kidnapped. Jamie is convinced that the police don’t know anything, and he believes that game theory will help him get Phoebe back. Will he risk his sister’s life on his theory or will he do what the police want him to do?

This is a hugely compelling, hard to put down thriller. Barry Jonsberg has written wonderful characters and an exciting plot, that also incorporates well-placed humour as the main characters try to keep themselves sane during this stressful episode. He also explores family relationships with sensitivity and insight.

A great novel for Year 9 and up. This would make a great novel for class reading.

Reviewed by Michelle