One Lives And One Dies. No Choice

“The girl emerged from the woods, barely alive. Her story was beyond belief. But it was true. Every dreadful word of it.

Days later, another desperate escapee is found – and a pattern is emerging. Pairs of victims are being abducted, imprisoned and then faced with a terrible choice : kill or be killed.

Would you rather lose your life or lose your mind?

Detective Inspector Helen Grace has faced down her own demons on her rise to the top. As she leads the investigation to hunt down this unseen monster, she learns that it may be the survivors – living calling cards – who hold the key to the case.

And unless she succeeds, more innocents will die…”

PAGE-51-eeny“Eeny Meeny” is the debut crime thriller by writer M.J. Arlidge, and what a debut it is!

There is a very twisted mind at work here, snatching couples (not just romantic couples either, two male colleagues, a mother and daughter, etc.) and imprisoning them with no food, no water, no toilet facilities, just a gun and the stark choice to kill or be killed. It inevitably leads us to question “what would I do in that scenario?” – and what a difficult question that is, particularly if the other captive is a loved one!

MJ Arlidge
MJ Arlidge

The book introduces lead character DI Helen Grace, who has already appeared in a further two novels since this one was published last year. An extremely driven detective, but with problems of her own to deal with, she has a good team to work with and they set to the task at hand in trying to figure out just who is behind this, and what connection there may be between victims, in order that can track down the person responsible before anyone else dies.

Arguably Grace goes off to handle things on her own a little too often, but that does not detract from the story. In fact, whilst there are a couple of small plot holes, and one or two situations that stretch believability a little, the story – and it is a rather complex one – is laid out gradually and very cleverly, leading to a really good read and a pretty satisfying ending.

There are enough red herrings here to keep you guessing, so that when the killer is unmasked it’s unlikely that you’ll have worked it out in advance – I certainly hadn’t!

IDShot_540x540I look forward to catching up with DI Grace in her further adventures…

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