Book review: Eeny Meeny

Eeny Meeny by MJ Arlidge 23-2-14.jpgMJ Arlidge has worked in television, most recently producing crime serials for ITV, and so it is no surprise that this is an accomplished debut crime novel. I found it disturbing from chapter one which takes you straight into the head of one person, looking at another person sleeping, wondering how to kill him. For one to escape their prison, the other must die. They have been imprisoned with a loaded gun and a message on a mobile phone: ‘when one of you kills the other, the survivor will walk free’.

For Detective Inspector Helen Grace, this first case of murder is quickly followed by another kidnapping/murder, and another. Hiding her own demons beneath a veneer of efficiency and emotional self-sufficiency, Grace is out-stepped again and again by a killer who seems a master of disguise as well as being that most rare of things: a female serial killer. Grace fits the profile of a modern literary detective: a loner, with a troubled past and full of guilt. The investigation seems to twist and turn in on itself, turning attention on the police, and on Grace herself. I found myself rooting for her, until finally at the end we understand her guilt. I look forward to reading another novel about DI Helen Grace.
‘Eeny Meeny’ by MJ Arlidge [published May 8th, 2014 by Penguin UK]

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