Killer Review: Pop Goes the Weasel by M J Arlidge

First Line: ‘The fog crept into the sea, suffocating the city.’

What the blurb says:

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 is the second novel in the Helen Grace detective series which follows on from the thrilling debut in the series, Eeny Meeny.

The body of a middle-aged man is discovered horrifically mutilated, with his heart removed, in a run-down house in Southampton’s red-light district. A few hours later the heart is delivered to the victim’s family. One day on, another male victim is found dead with his heart removed and then delivered by courier – a pattern soon starts to emerge of a sadistic killer. DI Helen Grace must use all her wits to stop this vicious serial-killer once and for all, but will she be able to forgive herself for the events from her last case?

The main character, Helen Grace, is not your stereotypical detective. She is a head-strong female character who likes to investigate on her own terms which gets her into a lot of trouble while she struggles to come to terms with her past. She is usually found clad in leather driving a motorbike and has a peculiar coping mechanism (which I won’t spoil for you).

I loved the vivid description the author depicts throughout the novel which really brings the setting of Southampton to life and made me feel like I was right there as the action unfolded. The novel has a strong cast of fully rounded, flawed characters who are both likeable and created a sense of empathy –  I rooted for Helen Grace as she raced against time to catch the killer who has a warped but deep sense of justice.

This is a breath taking novel with a great plot twist at the end – I can’t wait to read the next books in the Helen Grace series.

If you haven’t read the first novel, Eeny Meeny,  I think it is worth a read before picking this one up!

To buy this book on Amazon click here

To buy this book on Waterstones click here

To find out more about M J Arlidge follow him on Twitter @mjarlidge

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