Hide And Seek, by M J Arlidge

ARLIDGE_Hide and Seek_NZArlidge’s style has me determined to get my hands on each novel in the D. I. Helen Grace series of crime stories. His characters – both the police team members, and each title’s new cast members – are well and truly alive on the page – real, and human with their foibles and fancies.

In Hide And Seek our favourite police officer-no-more is in her worst possible place: the world behind the bars of Holloway. Both the guards and the inmates (some of whom are there because of Helen) have already adjudged her as a rotten copper – before her trial – and as just another crim.

When the inmate of the cell beside Helen’s is found dead in her bed, left by her killer in a bizarre and ghastly state, it is Helen who has to remind the inmates that none of them are safe. Helen is driven to watch both guards and inmates alike in her effort to identify the killer.

She faces suspicion and hostility from both sides. The second and third kill creates a frenzy among the inmates. An understandable error of thinking delays her eventual discovery of the murderer, which she learns the hard way. Seriously, the hard way.

The unwarranted (as in, not official) actions of loyal D. C. Charlie Brookes are what decides the sequel*.

Published 2016 by Michael Joseph, for Penguin/Random House
ISBNs:
Hardbound:     978-0-718-18383-7 (NZ ISBN: 978-0-718-18383-7)
Paperback:      978-0-718-18384-4 (NZ ISBN: 978-1-405-92562-4)

Researching Holloway

Arlidge has posted about his research into Holloway prison, carried out almost while conceiving the story for Hide And Seek.

Read about his research at  DeadGoodBooksBlog logo

The Series:

   Eeny Meeny
   Pop Goes the Weasel
   The Doll’s House
   Liar Liar
   Little Boy Blue
   Hide And Seek
   *   Follow My Leader, later in 2017

The New Zealand Cover differs from editions produced for northern hemisphere markets
ARLIDGE_Hide and Seek       ARLIDGE_Hide and Seek_USmaybe

 

 

 

Little Boy Blue, ARLIDGE’s 5th DI Helen Grace thriller

This series just keeps getting better and better – ARLIDGE M J_Little-Boy-Blue.jpg
Little Boy Blue is more than just a thriller. It’s the most gripping, most creepy, most enthralling of the series. We Grace fans have seen her face her demons, come to admire her gutsy persistence, her empathy, her instinctive judgement.

This time around, we find she will need more, with three murder cases to solve, which all have something in common – Helen. That makes the cases personal.

But she has two things else to deal with. Firstly the quandary of backing off from the investigation, or trusting Gardam (her Detective Superintendent with more than mere business on his mind) by sharing her connections with the victim. And then she has newly ranked DS Charlie Brooks vying with DS Sanderson for Helen’s favour on their way up the career ladder, both getting in each other’s way while working to resolve the increasing scope of the investigation.

While Helen strives to ensure her links to the murder victims do not come back on her career, our old friend Emilia makes the connection, and D I Grace hits the headlines.

From starting to build a profile of the killer, and discover a possible motive, she arrives at a surprising and thoroughly unpleasant meeting with her past, and an arrest to her career devised by deviously clever means. No happy endings in this thrilling, chilling tale…

… leaving me looking forward to seeing where Arlidge will take DI Grace in Hide And Seek, sixth in the series with an expected release in September.

More news: DI Helen Grace Series is in development for BBC TV – I sort of saw that coming.

Published by Michael Joseph, for
33%_penguin-random-house
Hardback edition (Arlidge’s first) –  ISBN: 978-0-718-18183-3
Also available in Paperback – ISBN:  978-0-718-18083-6
Kindle edition also available, published by Penguin

Already available in the Northern hemisphere,
with a NZ release date of 30th May, through

BookSellers-NZ_logo
Find your local NZ distributor here

 

The Doll’s House – M J Arlidge

I now kARLIDGE -The Doll's Housenow exactly what I will be doing in early September this year–reading the coming Liar Liar, 4th in the Helen Grace, which started with Eeny Meeny, then Pop Goes the Weasel, and now The Doll’s House–by UK author M J ARLIDGE (Twitter @mjarlidge), due for release on 12th February. Love this author’s style.

The accidental discovery of a young woman’s body in wet, cold, beach sand, having died of starvation in darkness, begins DI Grace and her team’s investigation, tracing the body’s identity and background.

A parent reports the disappearance of their daughter Ruby, who shares the same hair and eyes.

Grace’s intuition tells her there is a link between the two cases, and when one of her team finds two old case files of similar missing persons, she realises the body uncovered on the beach is the first of three, all sharing distinctive features. The beach reveals the two bodies – also having died of starvation in darkness, and over a four year period. Another serial killer is out and about.

Ruby in the meanwhile is being held in an isolated room, in darkness, occasionally visited by her captor, who seeks to replicate in Ruby the long gone love of his life, his sister Summer. He fantasises that the “Summer” living in the room below ground (set up to replicate their childhood safe place) is still having difficulty “adjusting” to being together again.

Forced to dress in clothing not of her own choosing, only being fed when she “behaves”, Ruby finds a stash of secreted notes in a hiding place behind a loose brick, all written by three previous captives. She learns to play her captor for small allowances – things she can turn to tools for an escape bid.

Grace’s desperation for finding a trace of her missing nephew* leads her into breaching procedures, snooping through the national police database, at last finding an entry under his name. A colleague helps track the full file. Grace is caught in a set up created to rid the team of Grace and the overshadowing glory cast by her earlier successes.

The investigation is ensnared in false leads, but with assistance from a former nuisance Grace finally has the full picture – where Ruby is most likely to be held, who the captor is, his motivation…and his intent.

The serial killer has found another candidate to become his Summer. Enraged by Ruby’s escape attempt, and realising police are watching his place of work, he tries to dispose of both Ruby and the doll’s house in which he has been holding her.

‘Read carefully, I will say only ‘zis’ … a lone Kawasaki motorbike is faster than a patrol car, and the absence of backup creates an urgent need to go it alone.

Penguin logo For release from 12th February in three formats this is joining one of my crime authors’ collections  on my shelf (shelves)

Digital Audiobook    ISBN: 9781405921008
Paperback                   ISBN: 9781405919197 ( from Amazon )
ePub eBook               ISBN: 9781405919203 ( from Amazon )

* Not sure about him?
Buy books one and two in the series (Amazon Author page )

Pop Goes the Weasel, by M J ARLIDGE

Pop Goes the Weasel,
(featuring D. I. Helen Grace)

Like crime TV? Like Silent Witness?
Arlidge wrote for that series,
and you’ll love Arlidge’s Pop Goes the Weasel.

______________________________________
In this crime thriller, Arlidge has continued to focus the story around the character he first created in ‘Eeny Meeny’–Detective Inspector Helen Grace: “I wanted a female protagonist who was different from anything I’d seen before–more interesting than the people she was tracking.”

(SoundCloud: Richard & Judy Book Club

He has written not a linear plot, but near parallel scenes featuring the different characters in the tale, and it works well. The plot covers revenge, spousal and child abuse, prostitution and gang control, and intermingled with the criminal element are snippets of the private lives of the police investigation team

Men turn up dead – and butchered. Their hearts are delivered to their places of work – unlike the first victim, for whom the delivery is made to his home. D I Grace finds her investigation is made difficult by the new Detective Superintendant, Ceri Hardwood, who is keen to advance her career by piggy-backing on the successes of her team. Then there is the callously ambitious crime reporter, using fair means or foul to access information about the progress of the investigation, and leads towards a headline maker to bump her career. All the while, frustrated but loyal team members follow Grace’s hunches, tracking down leads and people for interview, as they work steadily to resolve the mounting body count and their own domestic issues.

This is more like watching a television production – descriptive passages set the scene, bring action to life, reveal emotions…than reading. No chapter is longer than it need be to present the scene. The tale is tight, and all the more vivid for it. We watch how the British police proceed through an investigation, as they work within the law (with one or two stepping outside for a quick result) to track and trace online and real world activity of suspects or leads.

This was a great read – Arlidge’s style had me stuck to his pages over two days until finishing it. That doesn’t happen often.  I would question only one element – the body count mentioned at the end of chapter 35 seemed one short.

 But then, I’ve not read it a second time. Yet…
If you want a fast-paced, intriguing set of puzzle pieces to fit together, this is the book for you.

 (A third in this series is scheduled for release in February 2016.)

Publication: data
 
Buy it at…
Publisher: Penguin (11 Sep 2014)
Paperback edition: 432 pages
ISBN-10: 1405914955
ISBN-13: 978-1405914956
Online: Booksellers NZ
 

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