Monday, November 23, 2015

Review: Pop Goes the Weasel

Summary: A man’s body is found in an empty house. A gruesome memento of his murder is sent to his wife and children.

He is the first victim, and Detective 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…. -- NAL

I couldn't wait to read POP GOES THE WEASEL by M.J. Arlidge after loving his first novel in the Detective Helen Grace series EENY MEENY. EENY MEENY was a fantastic thriller that was a just-right blend of scariness and mystery; and I loved the complex characters, especially Helen Grace. I admit I was a little curious to see if the next book in the series would live up to my expectations.

And I'm so happy to say that POP GOES THE WEASEL was terrific! Once again, it had a creepiness factor (but not over-the-top) while also having an intriguing mystery. I devoured it in just two days and that's really saying something considering that I have next to no reading time.

POP GOES THE WEASEL begins with a man's body being discovered in a sketchy house and a gruesome package delivered to his wife and children. It is evident to Detective Helen Grace that this is the work of not only a brutal murderer but also a serial killer. As more men are found dead, Helen is unfortunately proven right.

All of the men have one thing in common -- they lead secret lives visiting on-line porn sites and frequenting prostitutes. As Helen and her team begin to work these murders, they are surprised to discover a female prostitute seems to be the guilty party. As Helen closes in on the murder, she also has to balance a pesky reporter who seems to be everywhere and politics with her new boss. Can Helen and her team stop this murderer before she strikes again?

I love this series and I won't hesitate to read any of the books featuring Detective Helen Grace. It's a good thing that another one is coming soon! I absolutely love the grittiness and complexity of Helen's character while also appreciated her intuition when it comes to solving horrific crimes. Helen's story is intriguing enough given her past and the baggage associated with it; however, when the author also adds strange and twisted murders to the mix, it just makes a great read!

One of my favorite things about this series (which I can now say after reading two of the books!) is that the character development is just so good. I've already mentioned how much Helen interests me, but the secondary characters are also fairly well developed. I think the author does a wonderful job of not only bringing the characters to life but also making them very human. Often times, the main character is the only three-dimensional character; however in this series, it seems like there are side stories which also have some substance to them.

As far as murder mysteries go, POP GOES THE WEASEL had it all. The author takes the reader on a fun ride full of twists and turns until he eventually reveals the culprit in an ah-hah moment. I had no clue until the very end who was responsible for the murders (probably exactly when the author wanted me to!), but it all made perfect sense. I loved how the story ended and the loose ends were tied up. 

I absolutely can't rave enough about POP GOES THE WEASEL and EENY MEENY. Highly recommended for fans of mysteries and thrillers.

Thanks to the publisher for providing an e-copy of this novel.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.


ChaosIsAFriendOfMine said...

I actually have Eeeny Meeny checked out fro the library right now! I need to get it read so I can move on to this one. It sounds great.

bermudaonion said...

I know how you like this author. I can't wait to try his work!

Beth Hoffman said...

You've sold me, Julie! I'll add this book to my list today.