POP GOES THE WEASEL
CBTB Rating: 4.5/5
M.J. Arlidge does it again, and maybe even better, with the sequel to his best-selling EENY MEENY. Picking up where its predecessor left off, POP GOES THE WEASEL follows DI Helen Grace and her coworkers as they struggle to piece together their personal lives in the wake of EENY MEENY's central case. Before I go any further in discussing this fantastic read, I want to address a question I’ve been asked very frequently: whether you can pick up POP without reading EENY first. I strongly discourage that. POP develops the storyline established in EENY, and you'll be missing out on a whole lot of nail-biting action in EENY if you skip it!
That being said, I freely admit, I loved POP GOES THE WEASEL even more than I loved EENY MEENY, which was a lot. In POP GOES THE WEASEL, our beloved Detective Inspector Helen Grace finds herself pitted against another serial killer, and this killer is even more brutal than the killer in EENY MEENY. In a "reverse Jack the Ripper" case, a prostitute is killing her customers. Not only is she killing them, but she is torturing them and brutalizing their corpses in ways too imaginatively twisted for me to spoil here. (Wait 'til you read these scenes yourself, and you'll see what I mean!!) As the body count mounts, Helen finds herself facing off against enemies on all sides: an anonymous killer somewhere in Southampton, new enemies within the police department, and all too familiar adversaries in the media. What we get in POP GOES THE WEASEL is a visceral, addictive, amped-up detective vs. serial killer story that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
I am officially addicted to this series, and as we get close to Christmas, I highly recommend gifting both EENY MEENY and POP GOES THE WEASEL to the crime fiction reader on your shopping list! There's just nothing like a really gripping cat-and-mouse mystery, and M.J. Arlidge writes these with the best of them. You'll be totally hooked on Helen Grace—a fierce, troubled protagonist who tackles the criminals of her town head-on. I am totally unapologetic in my obsession with commercial thrillers: they're fast-paced, entertaining, and always binge-worthy. Sometimes you're in the mood for a really layered, intellectual crime novel, and sometimes you're in the mood for pure, gripping entertainment. When you want the latter, I highly recommend both EENY MEENY and POP GOES THE WEASEL. I’m now waiting (not so patiently) for the next book in M.J. Arlidge’s fantastic Helen Grace series, THE DOLL’S HOUSE, which is slated to release in the US in 2016!
A huge thank you to Berkley/NAL for introducing me to a new favorite series.