The Doll’s House by M. J Arlidge

Dolls House

Having pretty much inhaled the previous two books in this series in three days flat, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the third instalment of M J Arlidge’s DI Helen Grace series. I absolutely loved Eeeny Meeny (#1) and Pop Goes the Weasel (#2). If you enjoy fast-paced thrillers and haven’t given these a go yet, you really must. You can check out my review of the second one here.

So what’s part three about?

A young woman wakes up in a cold, dark cellar, with no idea how she got there or who her kidnapper is. So begins her terrible nightmare.

Nearby, the body of another young woman is discovered buried on a remote beach. But the dead girl was never reported missing – her estranged family having received regular texts from her over the years. Someone has been keeping her alive from beyond the grave.

For Detective Inspector Helen Grace it’s chilling evidence that she’s searching for a monster who is not just twisted but also clever and resourceful – a predator who’s killed before.

And as Helen struggles to understand the killer’s motivation, she begins to realize that she’s in a desperate race against time . . .

In a somewhat familiar opening scene, we meet Ruby waking up in disorienting circumstances: ‘She had gone to sleep in her nice, cosy bed. But had woken up in a cold, dark cellar’. In other news, the body of a young woman with a distinctive tattoo is found on a beach and it soon becomes clear that her killer starved her to death: ‘Her stomach has shrunk to the size of an orange, bone strength has been compromised…’ Pretty gruesome, huh? Unfortunately, Ruby Sprackling’s disappearance fits the profile and DI Helen Grace is required to come to the rescue and solve the case.

The characters we’ve come to know from the previous two books all have more of their story to tell here. Emilia, Jake, Charlie and Helen Grace herself are all developed further and as we’ve come to expect from Arlidge, the short, sharp chapters and roller-coaster pace ensure you really will resent every moment you don’t have your nose buried in it. It’s chillingly visual – the author’s TV background is again apparent and I’ll eat my paperback copy if we don’t see Helen Grace on our screens in one way or another in the reasonably near future.

All in all, this is another gem from one of my newest favourite authors. And the best news? Liar, Liar (#4) is expected to be published in September. I literally can’t wait!

‘At times like this Helen had no thoughts for her own safety – she would die doing this job, she knew that – and she longed for that…’

Eeny Meeny – #1 is available on kindle for only 95p at the moment:Eeny Meeny: DI Helen Grace 1 (A DI Helen Grace Thriller) or paperback for only £3.85: Eeny Meeny: DI Helen Grace 1

Pop Goes the Weasel – #2 is available on kindle: Pop Goes the Weasel: DI Helen Grace 2 (A DI Helen Grace Thriller) or paperback for only £3.85: Pop Goes the Weasel: DI Helen Grace 2

The Doll’s House – #3 is available on kindle:The Doll’s House: DI Helen Grace 3 (A DI Helen Grace Thriller) or paperback for only £3.85:The Doll’s House: DI Helen Grace 3 (Detective Inspector Helen Grace)

If you’re feeling particularly keen, you can also pre-order Liar, Liar – #4 on kindle for only £3.99: Liar Liar: DI Helen Grace 4 (A DI Helen Grace Thriller) or paperback for £7.99: Liar Liar: DI Helen Grace 4 (Detective Inspector Helen Grace)