You get a phone call saying that you have one hour to live but that can’t be true can it? Or is someone watching and planning to murder you? And if so why? This is the puzzle set for DI Helen Grace at the start of All Fall Down by M J Arlidge, the 9th book in the series. The book follows the investigation of Helen and her team as this tale twists and turns. As the case progresses the search is for links between victims. If there is one can it have a bearing on current events?
Helen and Charlie are back working on another “edge of the seat” case. They do make a good team and their relationship is an aspect of these books I enjoy. Emilia – the local reporter – is also around although whether that is a good or a bad thing only time will tell. The guy who was the new DS in the last book – Joseph Hudson – is back again too. There are the usual blind alleys and the like however this holds together well as a story for me.
Helen Grace has long been one of my favourite UK police characters. She is edgy and vivid. She manages to be thoughtful as well as very much an action person. As I’ve come to expect from this author we have a tense and pacey tale once again. He does manage the writing of stories extremely well.
I confess I was a little disappointed by the author’s last two books (one in the Helen Grace series). That said even an indifferent Arlidge book is far better than some of the run of the mill ones. This one is definitely a return to form for me. The tension and uncertainty about the outcome is well sustained. The end when I got to it was good enough and a surprise! Ultimately it looks like I can look forward to another Helen Grace story next year which does please me! I would always suggest that this series should be read in order. The first books are very good indeed and the way the characters build and develop is good too. Fans should love this one I think.
Note – I received an advance digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review