5 Stars from me!
I’ve been hooked on the MJ Arlidge books since Eeny Meeny and I love the DI Helen Grace character so I was super excited to realise that book 8 was available to read!
Down to the Woods is yet another cracker in this well executed (no pun intended, honest) series. It has a solid storyline and still manages to weave in elements for the personal lives of Grace and her team. In fact it was good to witness a softer side to some of the characters.
It was good to meet a new player in the team – DS Joseph Hudson – and the relationship between him and Grace is interesting. I feel there is a lot more to come in future books regarding his past and his reasons behind joining the team.
Small confession… I hadn’t actually realised before the M J Arlidge is a man! It kinda makes sense in that Grace is, or at least can be, quite a masculine woman. Or do I now think that because I know Arlidge is a man?!
There are some wonderful scenes in this book, along with the fast paced chase, the beauty vs terror of the New Forest and the grit and determination of hunter and hunted, there is also the deep love between a parent and a child and the soul searching that must be faced in one of life’s most difficult of decisions.
Loved it and highly recommended – although I suggest a visit to the first book in the DI Grace series first and then enjoy reading your way through them all.
Synopsis: THE EIGHTH DI HELEN GRACE THRILLER BY BESTSELLING AUTHOR M. J. ARLIDGE
There is a sickness in the forest. First, it was the wild horses. Now it’s innocent men and women, hunted down and murdered by a faceless figure. Lost in the darkness, they try to flee, they try to hide. In desperation, they call out for help. But there is no-one to hear their cries here…
DI Helen Grace must face down a new nightmare. The arrow-ridden victims hang from the New Forest’s ancient oaks, like pieces of strange fruit. Why are helpless holidaymakers being targeted in peak camping season? And what do their murders signify? Is a psychopath stalking the forest? Is there an occult element to the killings? Could the murders even be an offering to the Forest itself? Helen must walk into the darkness to discover the truth behind her most challenging, most macabre case yet.
M J Arlidge’s DI Helen Grace books in order:
The girl emerged from the woods, barely alive. Her story was beyond belief. But it was true. Every dreadful word of it. Days later, another desperate escapee is found – and a pattern is emerging. Pairs of victims are being abducted, imprisoned then faced with a terrible choice: kill or be killed.
Would you rather lose your life or lose your mind?
Detective Inspector Helen Grace has faced down her own demons on her rise to the top. As she leads the investigation to hunt down this unseen monster, she learns that it may be the survivors – living calling cards – who hold the key to the case. And unless she succeeds, more innocents will die…
Pop Goes the Weasel
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…
The Doll’s House
A woman wakes. Immediately she knows she’s not in the bed she slept in. It’s just the beginning of her nightmare.
Across town, a child discovers a woman’s body buried beneath the beach. Then another victim is found. Neither friends nor family had even reported either woman missing. How could their killer be getting away with murder?
For Detective Inspector Helen Grace it’s chilling evidence that she’s hunting a monster who’s not just twisted, but clever and careful. And as Helen struggles to understand the killer’s motivation she realizes that time might be running out for someone still alive…
In the dead of night, three raging fires light up the city skies. It’s more than a tragic coincidence. For DI Helen Grace the flames announce the arrival of an evil she has never encountered before. Because this is no firestarter seeking sick thrills, but something more chilling: a series of careful, calculating acts of murder.
But why were the victims chosen? What’s driving the killer? And who will be next?
A powder keg of fear, suspicion and dread has been laid. Now all it needs is a spark to set it off…
Little Boy Blue
Called to a Southampton nightclub, DI Helen Grace cuts the duct tape from the asphyxiated victim and discovers she knows him. A man from the double life she has concealed from her superiors, Helen is determined to find his murderer – while keeping their relationship hidden at all costs.
When a new victim is found, Helen works around the clock to stop her life unravelling. She’ll do anything to solve this case – but dare she reveal her own darkest secrets and lose everything?
And would even that be enough to stop this killer?
Hide and Seek
Helen awaits trial in a crumbling women’s prison in Southampton. She has a fight on to prove her innocence from inside her prison cell, but this soon turns out to be the least of her worries.
A serial killer is picking off fellow inmates, thriving in an environment where there is truly nowhere to run. Is it a criminal giving in to their dark urges or a member of the prison staff preying on the captive population?
Helen must work fast to reveal this devious killer, all the time wondering if she will be next on her list…
Love Me Not
A woman’s body lies in the road. At first it looks like a tragic accident. But when Helen Grace arrives on the scene it’s clear she’s looking at a cold-blooded killing. But why would anyone target a much-loved wife and mother?
Across town, a shopkeeper is killed while his customers are left unharmed. But what lies behind the killer’s choices?
Who lives? Who dies? Who’s next? The clock is ticking. If Helen can’t solve this deadly puzzle then more blood will be shed. But any mistake and it might be her own…