Penguin UK | September 2018 | 480 pgs
Source: Library

This is the eighth installment of DI Helen Grace series by M.J. Arlidge and although I haven't read any of this series, I'm glad to say it still work well enough as a standalone; though there are some past history about the characters (and/or events relating to the present) which I need to find out more to understand the whole picture. 

The story opens with DI Helen Grace trying to piece her life back together after some incidents occurred during her previous assignment. She returns to work to find there's a new addition to her Major Incident Team. DS Joseph Hudson isn't really a rookie when police work is concerned; and his transferral to Southampton actually bring some insights to the team although Helen has different thoughts. She thinks he is over enthusiastic at times but in my opinion I felt his zest adds some life to the ever so tense procedural work.  

Anyway the team is soon called out to search a campsite in a secluded woodland whereby a man is believed to have disappeared without a trace. They later found his body embedded with crossbow bolts hanging from a tree. The team has a few speculations; one of them targeted on a nomad who may have strong feelings with anyone or organisations which are against with the environmental issues. After all the victim worked for such related organisation and that nomad was once prosecuted for police assault over relating issue. Coincidence? Or something cult related judging the bodies were found? And then another victim went missing and suffered the same state, the team is sure something sinister is at work but what? 

While the MIT is busily investigating, journalist Emilia Garanita isn't free either as she tries all means to dig up info. It seems like she has a few run-ins with Helen in the past and again it is interesting for me to find out. And in spite of the length of the book, surprisingly I didn't find it as intimidating as I'd thought as aside from the engaging plot, each chapter is short so it makes for a quick read and have you turning a page, then another ... 

The interactions between Helen and Joseph (as well as the rest of the team) had me captivated throughout the book and it was a good sign considering this was my first-time read of this series. Helen is obviously a flawed character who has a past so this further fuel my interest since such characters always intrigue me, especially one who is a law enforcer. The introduction of DS Joseph Hudson adds some new perspective to the story and I'm eager to find out more about his work dynamic in future installments. As far as the mystery goes, it was never clear cut and had the reader wondering in various directions. I'll certainly check out the other installments by this author. 

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10 Responses
  1. Kay Says:

    I read the first book in this series back in 2015 maybe? I own most of the rest of it, but somehow never got back to it. I really want to include this series in my 2019 reading. I liked that first book. Helen Grace is an interesting and odd character. :-)

  2. jenclair Says:

    I've only read two in this series, maybe it is time that I get back to it! Glad you had another win!

  3. Lark Says:

    Arlidge has written a lot of books in this series and they all look good. Another author to add to my list. :)

  4. Melody Says:

    Kay - Yes, Helen is indeed an interesting character. I need to read the first book and I'll have a lot to catch up on. ;)

  5. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - So many series to catch up and I hope I'll be able to do so this year. ;)

  6. Melody Says:

    Lark - Yes, I've checked the other installments as well and their blurbs look interesting. And I'm glad to hear you're adding this author to your list. :)

  7. Iliana Says:

    I know I've read at least one book in this series and did enjoy it quite a bit. Glad to hear you liked this one even if you got into the story without having read the first ones. I'll have to check back in on this series!

  8. I haven't read this series either, and am glad jumping in here wasn't a problem. This sounds like something I would enjoy.

  9. Melody Says:

    Iliana - It's always good to be able to jump into a series without having reading the first book, isn't it? :)

  10. Melody Says:

    Wendy - Although there's apparently a backstory with some of the characters, it didn't stop me from enjoying this book and it's a good thing. :)

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