Reviews

Love Me Not @penguinUKbooks @penguinrandomhouse @michaelJBooks @mjarlidge @PenguinRHUK #DIHelenGrace

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M J Arlidge 2017 Michael Joseph (an imprint of Penguin Book)

The 7th and most recent in the crime series starring DI Helen Grace, back leading her Murder Investigation Team in Southampton when a killing spree hits the city.

From the Blurb

She Loves Me

A woman’s body lies in the road.  At first it looks like a tragic accident.  But when Helen Grace arrives on the scene it’s clear she’s looking at a cold-blooded killing.  But why would anyone target a much loved wife and mother

She Loves Me Not

Across town, a shopkeeper is killed while his customers are left unharmed.  But what lies behind the killer’s choice’s?

She Loves Me

Who lives? Who Dies? Who’s next? The clock is ticking.

She Loves Me Not

If Helen can’t solve this deadly puzzle then more blood will be shed.  But any mistake and it could be her own…

 Having read the 6th and 7th in this series one after the other I get the sense the author, while keeping the well received cast of characters, wants to shake things up a bit.  As mentioned in my previous post, the 6th book, Hide and Seek is set in a different physical context while this one is set in real time over one day.

DI Helen Grace literally comes across the first murder victim on her journey into work.  From this point on, DI Grace and her team are in hot pursuit of the perpetrator as the minutes tick on through the day and through the book.  Written this way there is less of the characters ‘back stories’ and personal life, but the team dynamics remain and Helen’s struggles to process the events of the previous book are very much evident here with devastating consequences.

I enjoyed this book and like the other books in this series this is a fast paced and entertaining read, with a tight and tidy conclusion.  The real time element and the fact this was set over one horrendous day in Southampton meant that some of the crime analysis was lost and there were missed opportunities for the team to gather information.  As a reader this left me feeling frustrated, however the reactive nature of Helen and the team to the killings and the need to move fast were captured well, as were the varied tasks of different team members that ran parallel.  The plot, as always in this series was excellent, with the story behind the crimes emerging as evidence and information was uncovered.

Overall this was a great read which as with this entire series is highly recommended.

‘One of the best new series detectives, Helen Grace.  Mesmerizing’  Lisa Gardener

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