Love Me Not – A Helen Grace Novel
A blood-red sunrise
Just after 7 AM DI Helen Grace stumbles on a dead woman lying in a country road. She has been brutally shot for no apparent reason.
Two hours later
At gunpoint a shopkeeper is forced to close up by two assailants. Before the police can get inside a single gunshot rings out.
A rampage of revenge?
Over one long day the town of Southampton is terrorized by two young killers who appear to be killing at random.
For DI Helen Grace, it’s a race against time. Uncover why they’re doing this and who’s next or always be a step behind – until the sun sets on this bloody killing spree.
I did not enjoy this book as much as I’d have liked.
I am always on the lookout for a British crime writer who manages to set a novel in Britain and make me believe it truly happened. I am one of those from the generation who grew up on American crime drama on TV, and as such, it takes a very high standard to sway my opinion. That being said, there are a few, Luther, in particular, I feel is incredibly well written, produced and acted. Neil Cross is still not, however, an author whose work I have read much of. Sadly there are not many other British authors who appeal to me in the same way that American authors do. Perhaps it is the fact that I have no experience of America, so really most storylines will fly with me, the more outlandish the better. But the British police force are not used to dealing with skin-stripping serial killers or gun rampages in quite the same way. So when a British author attempts it, it has to be good and believable.
This book didn’t tick all the boxes for me. It was fast-paced, but I feel as though the use of guns in this story didn’t ring true to me and made the whole thing feel a bit forced.
This is book 7 in the series, and although I read it as a stand-alone novel, certainly something which you can do with this book, I wonder if reading a few earlier novels would have warmed me to the characters and therefore the storyline.
The English Patterson?
Arlidge is a good writer. He has amassed a total of 7 novels in less than 3 years. a feat that only the likes of Patterson appear to be able to succeed at for any length of time. And once you open one of his novels, you can see that the resemblance does not cease there. His chapters are short, Patterson short. His stories are fast-paced and full of strong, well-defined characters, all of whom have a detailed and dramatic backstory.
Looking at his career he is perfectly set for writing this type of novel. A screenwriter by trade, he spends his days writing stories and screenplays for TV. Therefore, it is not a surprise that he can churn out his novels in such a short space of time.
I can’t help but feel that M J Arlidge is one of the authors who sparked me to write the article ‘Female authors are taking over – or are they? A male author writing a story that features some very strong female characters and who feels the need to initialise his name.
In recent months, the numerous incidences of sexism and chauvinism in many industries have had a very harsh spotlight shone upon it, rightly so. But I guess I would just like to live in an equal society. This article in the guardian “Meet the male writers who hide their gender to attract female readers” made me angry! Why should anyone have to hide their gender, race, sexual preference, or in fact any other aspect of what makes them who they are, in order to attract readers? And yet, publishing houses across the world are still insisting that both men and women alike amend certain aspects of who they are in order to attract the required amount of readers to their work. Why is this? Because, we as humans are all capable of such discrimination and until such time as we discard these psychological barriers, we will never live in a fair and just world.