All Fall Down (DI Helen Grace #9) by M J Arlidge

“History is just one person’s side of the story.”

I have been devouring this series since the first book was published in 2014 and have reviewed numbers two and three on my blog previously – Pop Goes the Weasel and The Doll’s House . Although it isn’t necessary to read the books in order, I have loved watching the character of Helen Grace develop and learning more about her story as the series goes on. The first in the series is Eeny Meeny if you haven’t started the journey yet (I am so jealous if you haven’t!) – it’s only £3.99 on kindle at the moment which is a total bargain!

What the blurb says:

“You have one hour to live.”

Those are the only words on the phone call. Then they hang up. Surely, a prank? A mistake? A wrong number? Anything but the chilling truth… That someone is watching, waiting, working to take your life in one hour.

But why?

The job of finding out falls to DI Helen Grace: a woman with a track record in hunting killers. However, this is a case where the killer seems to always be one step ahead of the police and the victims.

With no motive, no leads, no clues – nothing but pure fear – an hour can last a lifetime…

My thoughts:

This has to be one of Arlidge’s more chilling ideas – although I seem to think that every time I read one of his books! Can you imagine? When Justin receives this call, in the lift as he is leaving work one evening, he doesn’t know what to think. If it was just the words, perhaps he would have leaned towards the prank theory, but as the lift mysteriously stops whilst the caller delivers their message, he is understandably rattled. And rightly so…

When Callum gets this call, he is given an even more chilling message – if that’s possible: “You have one hour to live… unless, you’d like to trade your death for somebody else’s…” Helen quickly realises that the killer is targeting a particular group of people. This group were kidnapped as young adults doing their Duke of Edinburgh award at school and one did not survive the experience. The murders also coincide with one of this group, Maxine Pryce, publishing One Dark Night – their story of that time. Surely it all has to be linked? Could Daniel King, the perpetrator from all those years ago be back for a second try? If so, he’s only just beginning…

Our favourite characters are back to join Helen for her 9th outing. Grace Simmons reappears in this story as the boss who always has Helen’s back, although Helen is worried about her because she is ‘anxious and distracted…’ Could she be keeping secrets too? Emilia, the journalist everyone loves to hate is of course determined to be centre stage and appears to have found a weak link to exploit in Helen’s team. DC Charlie Brooks is massively pregnant and is torn between wanting to be at home with her husband and daughter, and being at the forefront of the action with Helen. There really is plenty of tension in this instalment from all angles.

This part of the story also sees Helen in a relationship – which, if you’ve read from the beginning, is a Big Step: “Finally, she had found someone who could keep up with her”. Unsurprisingly however, the path of true love is not destined to run smooth. Joseph is keeping secrets, and if there’s one thing Helen is good at, it’s sniffing out secrets.

This is yet another brilliantly plotted, twisty turny thriller from the master of the genre. I’ve said it before, but I do hope that we see DI Helen Grace on our screens at some point, and it goes without saying, but I do hope book number ten is not too far away!

“There is always a price to be paid for your actions…”

Links:

Amazon.

Goodreads.

Waterstones.

I would like to thank both Net Galley and Orion Publishing for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.