Synopsis: If you go down to the woods today . . .
The last thing Tom Campbell remembers is camping in the New Forest with his girlfriend, Melissa. Now he is helpless, alone and consumed by fear, hunted through the woods by a sinister, masked figure…
When Tom’s body is found, displayed with grisly relish, Helen Grace takes the case. But before she can catch her breath, a second victim is taken – a serial killer is on the loose.
You better not go alone . . .
Something dark and deadly stalks the forest. Helen and her team must race against time to catch the perpetrator, before more blood is shed. But the hunt will take Helen back into the eerie twilit woods – and this time she might not make it out alive.
My Rating: 4/5 Continue reading “Down to the Woods by M J Arlidge (Helen Grace #8)”
Synopsis: He 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 coldblooded 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 choices?
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 might be her own …
Kat’s Rating: 4/5
Kat’s Review: I was hooked with this series from book one and after the drama of book 6 I wasn’t sure where the series would go. However, fast forward a few months and we see DI Helen Grace trying and struggling somewhat to fit back in following her stint in prison. Helen is trying to come to terms with the fact that her now colleague DS Joanna Sanderson was instrumental in helping put her behind bars. This means she is largely relying and falling back on her trusted colleague Charlie Brooks. It’s pretty clear from the outset that Helen is struggling to trust anybody in her team and that sets an uneasy feeling throughout the book.
The team is on the hunt for a pair of killers with a Bonnie and Clyde feeling to it. The one thing I really liked about this latest book was the style of writing which included the times. It really gave a feel to how the plot was moving and gave an extra edge to the reader, knowing how fast-moving the crimes were. Within one day the pair indulge in a killing spree and the team are struggling to keep up so the book managed to keep up great pace throughout. The only thing that was slightly lacking for me was Helen herself. Don’t get me wrong, she is generally a moody and suspicious character anyway but something was missing in this latest book. Her mistrust, and her seemingly skewed judgement made me feel like she had changed too much. Part of me wonders if this is due to what happened in the last book, however it didn’t feel quite right.
However, that aside the series still appears to be going stong and with the end of this book having a rather monumental event take place, I feel like we may well see the return of a stronger and new and improved Helen in book 8. As ever this is still a fantastic read and read in two sittings so certainly still a great read, just not one of my favourites in the series. I will as ever eagerly await the next book, and can’t wait to see where M J Arlidge takes the team next.
Synopsis: Detective Inspector Helen Grace is no stranger to tragedy. But when a body is found in a Southampton nightclub, the death cuts too close to the bone.
Hiding her personal connection to the victim – and a double-life which must remain secret at all costs – Helen becomes a woman possessed, working her team around the clock to chase down every lead.
As the killer strikes again, the investigation takes its toll not only on Helen but also her senior officers. Tempers flare, friendships fray and Helen faces an impossible choice.
Confess her sins and lose control of the case? Or keep living a lie, protecting her darkest secrets, and risk getting trapped in this tangled web?
But whatever she does, this killer will not stop until the truth is revealed: there are some fates worse than death . . .
KAT’S RATING: 5/5
KAT’S REVIEW: I have been reading the Helen Grace Series from the beginning and was so looking forward to the next installment. As soon as I started I was straight back into Helen’s world and was absorbed within a matter of a few chapters. One thing I will point out is that although you may well be able to read this as a standalone book, it is made so much better by the fact that I have been following the series. You have a real sense of the characters and their history and how each path has been crossed with other people. Helen is an outstanding character and as many readers will know she has her own secrets which will put her firmly in the firing line in this latest book.
A body is found to start us off, only this time it’s found at a Southampton nightclub which was hosting a fetish ball and as soon as Helen arrives she realises that she has her own personal connection to the murder. This alone makes for an outstanding read, but add in all the other factors such as the return of favourite characters and I knew this would be a full5 star read and I wasn’t even halfway.
Helen’s superior Gardam made for such a good thread to the story I had no idea where the story would go with it until it smacked me around the face (I didn’t see that coming). We also see Helen’s juniors Sanderson and Brooks fighting for their position as Helen’s right hand woman. The murders continue to increase and every plot thread added to the tension and ratcheted up the nerve endings. By the time the last quarter of the book was upon me, all thoughts of dinner, washing and anything else remotely house related went straight out the window. The real kicker was the ending. It was a real OMG moment and I was FURIOUS that Arlidge has left us hanging. It was so good it was bad (if you know what I mean). All I can say is I am literally on tenterhooks waiting for the next book which is due for release on 8 September 2016. An absolutely brilliant book which I think is Arlidge’s best yet and I cannot recommend this series highly enough.
Synopsis: In the dead of night, three raging fires light up the city skies. It’s more than a tragic coincidence. For DI Helen Grace the flames announce the arrival of an evil she has never encountered before.
Because this is no Firestarter seeking sick thrills, but something more chilling: a series of careful, calculating acts of murder.
But why were the victims chosen? What’s driving the killer? And who will be next? A powder keg of fear, suspicion and dread has been laid. Now all it needs is a spark to set it off…
Kat’s Rating: 5/5
Kat’s Review: Having only recently (from Nov 14) starting to read M J Arlidge books this series is brilliant and fast becoming a firm favourite. This is book 4 in the series and features DI Helen Grace who is a fantastic character and one that I have been looking forward to reading about again. Alongside Helen is her colleague Charlie who is also another favourite of mine and I think the series works well with both of them in it.
Charlie is back at work following the birth of her daughter and we see her juggling both career and Motherhood. In addition Helen is working alongside a new boss who I really like and think he makes a good fit it the series. When they are called to the scene of a fire, it’s clear pretty quickly that this was no accident. The reader sees glimpses of the killer and their rambled thoughts by way of a Blog, and these small snippets actually worked really well.
I must say that I am a little squeamish when it comes to fire and MJA does a cracking job of being extremely descriptive when writing the scenes of the victims in the moments when they realise what they are faced with. The story seemed to pick up extreme pace for the last quarter and I had no idea what was going on or who was responsible. The one thing I will say is that I had a shock when it was revealed who it was but in a good way as I love that surprise element.
However there are two loose threads that have been left wide open meaning the next book is bound to be explosive. My absolute favourite thing happened with this book. Just when you think it’s all sorted out that very last sentence that makes you shout out “Nooooo”. Yep, that! M J Arlidge you have seriously raised the bar with this latest instalment and I am literally on tenterhooks waiting to see what the next book will bring. Thankfully we don’t have too long to wait as ‘Little Boy Blue’ is due out in March 2016. This was a tense and heart stopping read that got better with each page!