About the Book (from the publisher): A man’s body is found in an empty house. A gruesome memento of his murder is sent to his wife and children.
He is the first victim, and Detective Helen Grace knows that he will not be the last. But why would a happily married man be this far from home in the dead of night?
The media call it Jack the Ripper in reverse: a serial killer preying on family men who lead hidden double lives.
Helen can sense the fury behind the murders. But what she cannot possibly predict is how volatile this killer is – or what is waiting for her at the end of the chase…
My Review: This is the second book in a new series centered on Detective Helen Grace, a police detective who works in Southampton in England. I reviewed Eeny Meeny – the first in the series – here. I liked that thriller enormously and I’m happy to say that the level of excellence continues in this newest book in the series.
Arlidge doesn’t hold back. The crimes are horrific. The setting is gritty. If you’re at all squeamish, this might not be for you. But I found it entirely compelling. In creating Helen Grace, Arlidge has given us a complicated, flawed, and fascinating protagonist. She has a need to help victims, a need to get it right and solve the crime, working all hours of the day and night. She also has secrets. All the while, she’s dealing with a new supervisor who thwarts her at every turn, a reporter who has invaded her private life, and an ongoing need for redemption.
It doesn’t get better than that.
In this book, as in Eeny Meeny, the plot is complicated, with twists and turns along the way that are unexpected. I thought I’d figured the whole thing out. Silly me. I didn’t have a clue how it was going to end until it ended.
I cannot say enough how refreshing that is. I’m an avid reader of mysteries and when I find one that completely baffles me, I’m a happy reader.
The supporting cast of characters are richly drawn. Many of them also appeared in Eeny Meeny, while some are new additions to the Southampton police department. Those that are back again have ongoing stories that are just as compelling as that of Helen Grace.
Arlidge has a real gift for time and place. The settings in Southampton are written with such detail that I could vividly ‘see’ them and became totally immersed in that world.
As always, I never give away too much information as to the plot. That does not a book review make! And why would I deprive you of the discoveries you’ll make while reading this book?
This is a fine series and I recommend it highly. Arlidge has published two more books in the series; The Doll’s House (#3 in the series) and Liar, Liar (#4). I look forward to following Helen Grace’s journey.
About the Author: M. J. Arlidge has worked in television for the past fifteen years, and he lives in England. His debut novel, Eeny Meeny, has been sold in twenty countries.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Group for an advanced reader copy/eGalley of this book.