That’s The Way The Murder Goes…

“A man’s body is found in an empty house. His heart has been cut out and delivered to his wife and children.

He is the first victim, and Detective Inspector Helen Grace knows 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…”

pop“Pop Goes The Weasel” is the second crime thriller by author M.J. Arlidge, again featuring lead character DI Helen Grace, following her debut appearance in “Eeny Meeny”.

I enjoyed the plot of this book, and there are certainly plenty of twists and turns to keep you occupied, but felt that it was a bit of a let down after the first book.

As is so often the case with literary detectives, Grace is a flawed character, with various personal demons to deal with. This is certainly the case in the detectives to be found in the works of Mark Billingham, Peter James, Peter Robinson, Stuart MacBride, etc.

MJ Arlidge
MJ Arlidge

I think, however, that the problem I had this time around was largely to do with the sheer amount of personal problems and demons that Arlidge has got in the mix. It’s not just Grace – practically every major character seems to have issues, particularly the coppers – there’s not a “normal” person in sight!

Added to that, there is a quite obvious mistake towards the end of the book where one character’s name (Ella) is used in error when referring to another (Carrie), and one massive unanswered question – what happened to Robert?

91zBgXOhNvL._SL1500_Maybe it’s the pressure of having(?) to produce the books quickly – I see that “Liar Liar”, the fourth Helen Grace novel is due out in September, making four novels published in under eighteen months – that means these things don’t get picked up on, or maybe I’m just being overly picky! I’m sure I’ll give the third novel, “The Doll’s House”, a read and hopefully quality control will have picked up as I do believe this series of novels has real potential…

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