Helen Grace is a series of novels written by M.J. Arlidge. It is also the name of the series’ protagonist. Born Mathew Arlidge, M.J. Arlidge writes crime procedures and suspense thrillers.
Order of Helen Grace Series
|2||Pop Goes the Weasel||2014|
|3||The Doll's House||2015|
|5||Little Boy Blue||2016|
|6||No Way Back (Short Story)||2016|
|7||Hide and Seek||2016|
|8||Running Blind (Short Story)||2017|
|9||Love Me Not||2017|
Born in 1974, Arlidge comes from Hampstead, North London where he attended University College School. M.J. Arlidge began his career in television, working on productions like EastEnders, Monarch of the Glen and Cape Wrath for British Networks before finally trying his hand at publishing.
Eeny Meeny, Arlidge’s first novel, was also the first book in the Helen Grace series. Released in 2014, the book introduced readers to Detective Inspector Helen Grace. When Arlidge first pitched the idea of Eeny Meeny to Penguin, his publisher, he was so confident in his abilities that he negotiated a contract for seven novels, all of them set in the world of the Helen Grace series.
And Arlidge’s confidence was clearly well-founded seeing as his crime novels have been received relatively well. Helen Grace herself is the driving factor of the series’ popularity. The British Police Officer isn’t always the most likeable person in the room.
Tough and determined, Helen is characterized by the motorbike she rides and the isolated lifestyle she pursues. Helen Grace’s childhood was more than a little troubled, and she is often forced to balance her work as a law enforcement officer with her battles against all manner of personal demons.
Her determination to seek isolation is just as much a mercy for other people as it is for Helen, whose bursts of anger, mood swings and depressive attitudes make her less than pleasant to be around.
Even though Helen Grace seems to fit the mold of most of the effective but troubled detectives that liter the crime genre, she has no substance abuse problem; though, the heroine’s approach to relieving stress is no less disturbing, what with Helen’s tendency to use controlled forms of pain to achieve a sense of peace.
Assisted by Jake, her loyal dominator, Helen finds meaning in life by pursuing the worst criminals she can find, sadistic individuals of the most violent nature.
Eeny Meeny, the first book in the Helen Grace series, finds the troubled detective striving to save the lives of two people who have been imprisoned and given a single gun that one of them can use to kill the other before the hunger and thirst takes them both.
Best Helen Grace Books
Most readers will probably recognize Helen Grace because her persona mirrors that of the most popular heroes of the crime genre, though that doesn’t make the Helen Grace series any less intriguing, with some of the best books in the series including:
Eeny Meeny: There is a twisted game afoot. When two people are abducted, they believe that their imprisonment is as bad as things will get. Then they are given a gun and told by their captor that one of them can escape their imprisonment by simply killing the other.
The concept, while initially ridiculous, takes on new meaning when hunger and thirst set in.
Detective Helen Grace understands just how dark and demented the human mind can become. But she is still shocked by the sadistic nature of this game; and as people start to go missing, Helen knows that she doesn’t have long to find the twisted individual behind it all.
This book, the first one from M.J. Arlidge, mirrors the Saw movies a little too closely. Like the Saw movies, two people are imprisoned and then forced to question just how far they would go to survive.
The book moves at a rapid pace, following a number of characters as they find themselves facing this difficult decision.
Pop Goes the Weasel: When a middle-aged man is mutilated and his corpse dumped in Southampton’s red-light district, Helen Grace’s curiosity is piqued when the man’s heart is delivered by courier to his wife and children.
Helen knows that the occurrence is no coincidence because another man is killed and mutilated soon after. Helen knows that these men lived sordid double lives and she is convinced that there is a serial killer in town.
This book places Helen Grace on the trail of a prostitute who is killing men and cutting their hearts out, men who had an affinity for the services prostitutes offer.
Other Book Series You May Like
The “D.I. Kim Stone” Series by Angela Marsons explores Detective Inspector Kim Stone, a stubborn, pushy, edgy police officer who seems to wear her heart on her sleeve. Kim Stone spends as much time fighting her personal demons as she does taking on sadistic psychopaths.
“D.I. Charlotte Savage” series by Mark Sennen. These books tell the story of a Plymouth CID Detective Inspector and her determination to stop every sociopath haunting her community. Detective Inspector Charlotte isn’t as disturbed as the average crime genre protagonist. She even has a relatively happy marriage.