Action packed and more than a hint of feminism exposed here.
Pop Goes the Weasel
M J. Arlidge
Penguin Books (UK)
DI Helen Grace returns in Pop Goes the Weasel, the electrifying new thriller from M. J. Arlidge.
The body of a middle-aged man is discovered in Southampton’s red-light district – horrifically mutilated, with his heart removed.
Hours later – and barely cold – the heart arrives with his wife and children by courier.
A pattern emerges when another male victim is found dead and eviscerated, his heart delivered soon afterwards.
The media call it Jack the Ripper in reverse; revenge against the men who lead sordid double lives visiting prostitutes. For Grace, only one thing is certain: there’s a vicious serial-killer at large who must be halted at all costs . . .
Following Eeny Meeny, Pop Goes the Weasel is the furiously paced, unputdownable second novel in the DI Helen Grace series from M. J. Arlidge. Fans of Mo Hayder and James Patterson will be clamouring for more.
M J. Arlidge has worked in television for the last fifteen years, specialising in high end drama production. In the last five years Arlidge has produced a number of prime-time crime serials for ITV, including Torn, The Little House and most recently Undeniable, broadcast in spring 2014. Currently writing for Silent Witness, Arlidge is also piloting original crime series for both UK and US networks. Debut thriller Eeny Meeny, which introduces Detective Inspector Helen Grace, has sold to publishers around the world.
This is the second book in the DI Helen Grace series – the first book Eeny Meeny was unique in its premise and the psychological dramas it presented and I loved it. You must read Eeny Meeny to get a full understanding of the characters and what has lead them to the point where the new book starts.
This second book is a little different in that the lead characters are more developed (perhaps we are more invested in them after reading the first book) I liked seeing more of a personal side to Helen Grace and seeing how her relationship with her team (including a few characters from Eeny Meeny) develop and evolve during this latest crime spree. Her ongoing battle with the manipulating journalist and her new supervisor add another dimension to the plot.
What hasn’t changed in this second book is the intensity of the crimes, the violence and the fear. The pace is ripping, the pages turn of their own accord but there is a little more depth hidden amongst the gore. We, the reader get a bigger picture of the life of the villain and how the murders affect the living. Domestic violence, family violence, power over women be they wives, mothers or prostitutes is put under the microscope. Whilst the violence and actions of the perpetrator are not excused they are at least understood.