Eeny Meeny by M J Arlidge
What is it about?
A young couple are kidnapped and held prisoner with no food or water. They are left with a mobile phone and a gun with one bullet in it. The mobile phone has just enough charge to receive one message which instructs one of them to kill the other. Enter DI Helen Grace, newly promoted and eager to prove herself in her new role but before she can get too far into the investigation, another pair are kidnapped in the same way and with the same sinister instruction. Who will kill who? Will Grace find them before one dies? Who is behind the crimes? And more to the point, why?
My overall impression?
I really, really enjoyed this book. It is a first-class read from a new author and kept me guessing to about three-quarters of the way through, where the ending was signalled quite obviously. However, the plot is a good one and the varying points of view really kept me engaged. It isn’t your common or garden police procedural and we get to see more of the personal life of the flawed detective than usual. We also get to see what is happening with the kidnap victims too, with all the psychological trauma they experience and the fallout of their choices.
Who is the main characters?
DI Helen Grace is the main character, and for whom the series is named.
Where is it set?
Southampton but some of the action takes place in London.
Will I read the next in the series?
Yes I will. The character of Helen Grace has all the hallmarks of a classic flawed detective, but she has enough differences from the rest to make her interesting. The writing is tight, not what we’ve become used to from debut novelists on the Amazon “cheap” list, and the relationships she has with the rest of the team look promising.
Would I recommend it to my friends?
I would recommend this to anyone who likes crime thrillers, psychological thrillers, detective novels and any other police drama. It isn’t very gory, it isn’t blood-thirsty for the sake of it and it has believable characters. The only thing that might surprise you if you are expecting another Frost or Morse, or even a Rebus or Jane Tennyson are the S&M scenes. I hasten to add that they are not about sex, it’s just the “punishment” but it might surprise you if you’re not expecting it. Other than that, yes, I would recommend it to my friends.