LITTLE BOY BLUE by M.J. Arlidge
CBTB Rating: 5/5
The Verdict: must-read; possibly the best in the series yet!
It's no secret that I simply love the DI Helen Grace series. I recently shared an introduction to the series, detailing what I love about it for readers new to these books. To sum it up: this series is pure entertainment, perfect for fans of TV cop dramas (think Criminal Minds), and readers who love books by James Patterson. If you're looking for a crime series to completely draw you in this fall, I absolutely recommend this one! LITTLE BOY BLUE is the fifth installment in Arlidge's Helen Grace series, and further proves why this book and this series deserve to be on your reading list.
LITTLE BOY BLUE finds our protagonist, DI Helen Grace, facing off against a serial killer who knows her most intimate secrets. A killer has struck at a BDSM night club in Helen's town - the killer's target? Someone with whom Helen has shared the most private side of herself. Now, Helen finds herself investigating a case which threatens to make her secrets public, and ruin her career forever... and someone in the media is determined to make sure this happens.
If you're a reader of this crime series, you already know that M.J. Arlidge has a true talent for writing unputdownable mysteries. His books are consistently binge-worthy, and LITTLE BOY BLUE might be his most addictive yet. The book that preceded LBB in the series, LIAR LIAR, was unfortunately my least favorite - I just wasn't grabbed by the central case in the same way that I was by Arlidge's previous titles. After LIAR LIAR, I was slightly concerned that maybe I was falling out of sync with Arlidge's series. Well, as it turns out, I had nothing to worry about - Arlidge is back in a huge way with LITTLE BOY BLUE, and I simply couldn't stop reading it.
LITTLE BOY BLUE is Arlidge's most provocative book yet, with his protagonist plumbing the depths of a city's darkest corners. This book explores the BDSM community within Helen's town, and the topics described might not be for every reader. Readers of this series have already been exposed bit by bit to this side of Helen's life, but LITTLE BOY BLUE fully immerses the reader in it. I found the story's plot quite compelling—I was completely immersed in Helen's struggle to protect her privacy while still avenging the brutal murder of someone close to her heart. This setup provides the perfect opportunity for Helen's enemies to undermine her—especially a certain journalist who is hell-bent on destroying her.
This book also has the absolute best cliffhanger of any book in Arlidge's series so far. No spoilers of course, but I'll just say that I'm absolutely dying for the next book in the series to be released here in the U.S.! If you've previously enjoyed Arlidge's Helen Grace series, I highly recommend LITTLE BOY BLUE. (And if you're new to Arlidge's books, now is an excellent time to get started!)
Series: A Helen Grace Thriller (Book 5)
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Berkley (October 4, 2016)
Disclaimer: I am an employee of Penguin Random House. All opinions my own.