After hearing all of the buzz surrounding Arlidge’s debut book, Eeny Meeny (June 2015), I couldn’t wait to read it. A successful British screenwriter and producer, Arlidge’s Helen Grace series has been a hit in England since the first book was released last year. Thankfully, this series made its US debut earlier this summer. With short, quick chapters, this suspenseful book is hard to put down. The pacing is spot on. So much happens in the first several chapters, I was hooked from the very beginning!
The book centers on Helen Grace, a detective inspector on the Southampton police force. Her newest case follows a sadistic, calculated murderer who is believed to be female. She chooses her victims in pairs and makes them decide who is going to live. For example, her first victims were Sam and his girlfriend Amy. They were kidnapped, put into a derelict pool that was completely empty (without diving boards or ladders), given a gun with one bullet, and asked to choose who would die.
The psychological intensity of this book is the driving force behind the suspense. At first, anger fuels Amy and Sam’s early attempts at escape but a couple weeks later they are focused on survival. The fear, anxiety, and helplessness they feel at the bottom of this pool is very real and electrifyingly creepy. My reaction to the psychological forces reminded me of Will Lavender’s Obedience. In fact, Lavender is quoted in the editorial reviews as saying, “There are so many things about this novel that are expertly pulled off. It has a devious premise. DI Helen Grace is fiendishly awesome. It’s scary as all hell….Eeny Meeny is a dark, edgy thriller.”
I really enjoyed Helen Grace. The complexity of her character is amazing. In this book, the reader only barely gets to know her. I’m so glad this is the first in a series. The next book comes out in the US later this year and I’m really looking forward to it.
I highly recommend this to thriller fans as well as those who enjoy books with strong female leads. Helen Grace is a character you won’t soon forget!
Reviewed by Libby Bridges
Check out our Book Addict Inspirations on Pinterest!