Book Review – Pop Goes The Weasel by M J Arlidge…

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…

This book is the second book in the Helen Grace series and as quite a lot of what happens is as a result of the first book, Eeny Meeny, my advice to you is that you read Eeny Meeny first of all. Of course, you don’t have to, but it will make understanding what is happening in this book so much easier.

It’s difficult to review this book without at least one spoiler but it is fairly obvious that Helen survives her ordeal at the end of Eeny Meeny and is finding life hell. Her private life has crumbled into the dust and she has become a piece of meat for gossips and reporters alike to pick over. She cannot do anything without somebody trying to pick over her life.

This makes things rather difficult for the lifestyle that she leads. She needs to be discreet and that is incredibly difficult for her to do. The loathsome Emilia Garanita is always behind her, making it hugely difficult to live not only her professional life but her personal one too. Emilia’s interference does cause the life of several people to crumble and her actions make her a thoroughly dislikable character.

The impact on the life of Helen’s most skilful two officers of this case does cause real issues. I can’t talk about these without more spoilers and I am keen to see how things play out, especially for Charlie.

As always Mr Arlidge has created a tightly woven web around his story that the reader peels back layer by layer, understanding a little bit more every time.

It’s difficult not to become emotionally invested in these books. They are so skilfully written that you just want to read on and find out more and more. An absolutely stunning second book!

A five out of five star read.

Advertisements

Book Review – Broken Bones by Angela Marsons…

They thought they were safe. They were wrong.

The murder of a young prostitute and a baby found abandoned on the same winter night signals the start of a disturbing investigation for Detective Kim Stone – one which brings her face to face with someone from her own horrific childhood.

As more sex workers are murdered in quick succession, each death more violent than the last, Kim and her team realise that the initial killing was no one-off frenzied attack, but a twisted serial killer preying on the vulnerable.

At the same time, the search begins for the desperate woman who left her newborn baby at the station – but what looks like a tragic abandonment turns even more sinister when a case of modern slavery is uncovered.

The two investigations bring the team into a terrifying world of human exploitation and cruelty – and a showdown that puts Kim’s life at risk as shocking secrets from her own past come to light.

I will admit that I sat and stared at the cover of this book on my Kindle screen for a long time. I found myself either unable or unwilling to start the last one because then there would be no more Kim until the wonderful Ms. Marsons finishes book eight in the series. Yes, I am waiting with baited breath for that very book. I’m sooooo excited!

OK, enough fangirling now and into talking about the book. As always, the story is full of delicious twists and turns that keep you guessing right until the last few pages. As always, Kim Stone is a fabulous protagonist and her strength and resilience along with the glimpses of a more caring and gentle person underneath.

If you have read any of Angela Marsons’ other DI Kim Stone books, you will know Kim’s character and why she is that way. Yet as she moves through the books she does seem to be becoming a more well rounded and much kinder person.

This book sees Kim and her team in pursuit of a serial killer of young female prostitutes. Kim and DS Bryant are working that case and Kevin and Stacey, the other two members of Kim’s team are working the case of an abandoned baby.

It starts off, of course, with a murder. The young prostitute has a daughter and breaking the news to her mother is written in a beautiful (well, as it can be in that situation) way. Kim and Bryant work so well together they almost become real.

Kev and Stacey are working the baby case, and from the off you can see that there are issues for both of them I can’t say more because it would spoil this latest book and the one before it.

It is lovely to see Stacey let out of the play pen and allowed to sharpen her claws out in the field instead of being penned in the office on the computer. Her character is also being developed really well.

This whole group of people work really well together. Even the irascible Woody is invaluable to the stories. After all, it wouldn’t be Kim is she didn’t get at least one verbal ass kicking per book, it really wouldn’t!

Angela’s writing style picks you up at the start of the book, like a leaf in the autumn wind and then carries you along and tosses you around until you reach the final page.

There are several female detective stories out on the market at the moment. But not a single one of them can hold a candle to Kim.

A five out of five star read.