Today is is my pleasure to be joining the blog tour for All Fall Down the brand new DI Helen Grace thriller from MJ Arlidge. I love this series and my thanks go to publisher Orion for providing an early copy of the book for review and to Tracy Fenton, of Compulsive Readers, for inviting me to join the tour. Here’s what the book is all about:
About the Book
“You have one hour to live.”Available from: Amazon | Kobo | Waterstones | Googleplay | Apple Books
Those are the only words on the phone call. Then they hang up. Surely, a prank? A mistake? A wrong number? Anything but the chilling truth… That someone is watching, waiting, working to take your life in one hour.
The job of finding out falls to DI Helen Grace: a woman with a track record in hunting killers. However, this is A case where the killer seems to always be one step ahead of the police and the victims.
With no motive, no leads, no clues – nothing but pure fear – an hour can last a lifetime…
Oh it is good to be back in the company of Helen Grace and her team. Not because there is any chance the book is going to give me the warm and fuzzies – far from it – but because I can pretty well guarantee I am going to get a book that is entertaining, gripping, infused with great characters, edginess and a mystery that is going to keep you on edge and guessing right to the end. Which is what I got when I started reading All Fall Down.
The book begins as the author means to go on – bringing that intrigue and tension that is going to hook the reader. A lone character, not one I could immediately warm to, who is faced with a broken down lift, a phone call and the ultimate threat – you have one hour left to live … If this was a TV show, it would be time to queue the dramatic music. Now you might think you know what comes next, or can guess, but you’d probably be wrong. And that is the author’s skill – keeping the suspense building to the point you think you can relax before bringing those moments designed to shock.
Now I will be honest – this did not feel as fast paced as some of the previous books, and the body count and mode of dispatch perhaps not as grotesque as some of it’s predecessors either. That does not mean the author has softened, or gone easy on the characters, and the more i read, the more apparent the complexity of the victim’s lives became. Their tale was one I sort of recognised, one that I could guess the direction the story was leading, but there was still that last little bit of mystery that was kept well hidden until the end of the book. The dramatic reveal that tips everything on its head, blindsiding not only the characters but the readers as well.
After everything Helen has been through, there was a moment that i thought maybe, just maybe, Mr Arlidge might be finally about to give her a break. If you want to know if that is the case and she looks set to get a happy-ish ending, you’ll need to read for yourself but I am guessing from the parting chapter, her story is far from over yet. But seeing her here, back with Charlie and the team who support her, did feel like dropping in on old friends. We get to learn a lot more about relative newcomer to the team, DS Joseph Hudson, and the development of his relationship with Helen. He’s a dark horse that one, competitive and determined, and that is all I will say. He is certainly interesting and I’m dying to see what comes next between the pair.
If you have missed Helen Grace, as I have, then this is a more than welcome return to the streets of Southampton and the high profile high energy investigations that we all love. It is a book that keeps the chills coming, the pages turning and the attention focused on just what will happen next and how far the characters will go to get what they want. There are times I found myself slack jawed, mainly with disbelief at their stupidity to be honest, and others where I was on the edge of my seat. But I was hooked, right to the end, and left most definitely needing more.
About the Author
M. J. Arlidge has worked in television for the last twenty years, specializing in high-end drama production, including prime-time crime serials Silent Witness, Torn, The Little House and, most recently, the hit ITV show Innocent. In 2015 his audiobook exclusive Six Degrees of Assassination was a number-one bestseller. His debut thriller, Eeny Meeny, was the UK’s bestselling crime debut of 2014. It was followed by the bestselling Pop Goes the Weasel, The Doll’s House, Liar Liar, Little Boy Blue, Hide and Seek and Love Me Not. All FAll Down is the ninth DI Helen Grace thriller. In 2019 he published a standalone thriller, A Gift for Dying.
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