The blog travelled to the Caribbean Island of the Bahamas to buddy read this…. Stop, stop, stop, I’m joking, the blog went to East London to visit Amy, to buddy read the first book in the DI Helen Grace Series – Eeny Meeny.
From the back cover:
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 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 . . .
After reading the first few chapters, what were your opening/initial thoughts?
Amy: My initial thoughts were that this book was a real thriller. The way that M. J. Arlidge wrote changing the narrative between the victims and Helen (the detective) really ensured the scene was set well. I could really picture all the gory details that were described.
Janel: “Sam is asleep. I could kill him now” – with an opening like that, who wouldn’t want to read on!? The chapters are so short and fast-paced, you keep telling yourself, ‘just one more chapter’ and before you know it, you’re half way through the book. Amy can attest to that, I said we should discuss our opening thoughts at chapter 34, by the time we put the book down, we were both three quarters of the way through it!
Were there any themes/elements you really enjoyed?
Amy: I absolutely adored the pace set in this book! It was a real page turner, getting into details almost immediately, meaning it was quickly finished and left me wanting to know more about Helen, and to track down and devour everything else M. J. Arlidge had written.
Janel: I agree with Amy – the pace of this book was so fast and thrilling; this could easily be read in one-sitting. Just make sure you have the next in the series (Pop Goes the Weasel) to hand to dive into straight after.
What did you think of the characters, did you have a favourite?
Amy: I didn’t have a favourite character, although I felt sorry for all the victims involved, and could really relate to Helen, especially after the full plot was revealed.
Janel: DI Helen Grace without a doubt – I love strong female leads, Helen has experienced trauma in her past, she isn’t without her flaws but she is still fierce and determined.
Have your say:
Amy: This book was everything I look for in a thriller. It was fast paced, had a lot of detail, and really transported you into the book. It was a real page turner and a very exciting read.
Janel: Police procedurals are the heart of crime fiction and books like this are the reason why – chilling, thrilling and lots of killing.
What did you think of the ending?
Amy: In a way it ended like I hoped it would, but in another way it didn’t. It had all the action I hoped would be in there though.
Janel: I loved the ending – right up until the very last line, Arlidge keeps you hooked. If I didn’t have the next 4 books in this series sitting on my shelves, I’d be searching the net looking for the release date of the next book.
Amy: “I really thought he was going to kill me. A therapist once suggested that this was the root cause of my inability to form meaningful relationships with men. I just nodded, but really I wanted to spit in her eye.”
Janel: I’m undecided between these two: “Trust is a fragile thing – hard to earn, easy to lose” and “Sometimes in life you have to feed the hand that bites you.”
Would you recommend this book?
Amy: Yes, absolutely, in a heartbeat! In case you didn’t pick up on it along the way I loved this book!
Janel: Yes, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this book!
After such a fun buddy read, we’re moving straight on to Pop Goes the Weasel: DI Helen Grace 2. Again, a re-read for me, but I’m enjoying re-discovering my love for this series.
This book is available to buy now from: Amazon UK