I'm back with another audiobook/paperback combo book review. Same as I did with Eeny Meeny, I listen during the day and read the paperback at home in the evening. I've been really enjoying British authors lately, and this is a perfect example of why I'm loving books set in the UK! Read on to find out what I thought of book two of the Helen Grace series.
Release Date: October 6, 2015 (first published 2014)
Format: Paperback & Audio MP3
Pages: Paperback: 416 pages | Audio Length: Approx 9 hours
Narrator: Elizabeth Bower
Source: Paperback courtesy of the Publisher & Scribd audiobook
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Review Date: October 19, 2015
Rating: 4 bookmarks
Synopsis: A man’s body is found in an empty house.
His heart has been cut out and delivered to his wife and children.
He is the first victim, and Detective Inspector Helen Grace knows he will not be the last. But why would a happily married man be this far from home in the dead of night?
The media call it Jack the Ripper in reverse: a serial killer preying on family men who lead hidden double lives.
Helen can sense the fury behind the murders. But what she cannot possibly predict is how volatile this killer is—or what is waiting for her at the end of the chase…
Disclaimer: This US paperback edition of this book was given to me courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Detective Inspector Grace has again proven herself as an ever evolving character, and I like that about her. In addition to chasing down another serial killer, Helen seems to have some odd relationship forming with her Dominator, Jake. Dare I say they are in a relationship? An very odd one, but it's still a relationship of sorts. Same as with the last book, I didn't get enough time with Helen and Jake. I like their dynamic, which is an odd thing for me to say because realizing that getting a beat down is Helen's idea of relaxing...is still a bit unnerving to me. It's clear that Helen has lots of secrets from her past, and thanks to her less than desirable childhood, Helen finds that she has a new family member, and looking out for Robert is a form of redemption for her. That feeling of redemption lends itself to Helen changing what she thinks she needs in life, in this case it's BDSM, minus the sex.
I touched on this a bit earlier, but as far as writing style goes, Alridge writes in from many points of view and he does it well. In my opinion, this is a serious talent. Most times, when getting into many perspectives, it slows down the story and makes it hard to read, but in this case, he nails it. I like that the focus shifts from one character to another because I got a good grasp on what all the characters were going though. This installment was just as interesting and full of twists as the last. I also enjoyed the shorter chapters. The author does this with clear intent and keeping the chapters short allows us to move around the story and get information from all sides quickly. Pop Goes the Weasel is a very quick read, and I believe that Alridge's style is the main reason for that. This series is indeed 100% adult as there are some pretty dark, gory, and crazy things going on - again the intent is there, so every bit of it serves a purpose.
Elizabeth Bower did an excellent job with the narration. Her voice really lends itself well to the story. I'd be listening to this for hours at a time at work, and I never got annoyed or tired of listening to her. She's able to stretch her voice for different characters, which makes it flow even smoother.
While I thoroughly enjoyed this installment, I didn't find it as nail biting as Eeny Meeny. I will continue on with the series, as I'm very interested to see how things develop with Helen's character. I'm also vested in Charlie and a few other members of the police force. What about you? Are you reading the Helen Grace series? If so, please share your thoughts on it thus far.
Happy Reading and Listening,