Love Me Not
Author: M.J. Arlidge
Series: Helen Grace #7
Genre: Thriller / Mystery
Curious to know what this book is about and what I think of it?
Love Me Not
The body of a woman is found early in the morning. She is found on the highway and it looks like a tragic accident. When Helen Grace arrives at the scene, it immediately becomes clear to her that it’s not an accident, but a coldblooded murder. But why would anyone target a much-loved wife and mother?
Not much later, a pharmacist is killed in the shopping center, while his customers are left unharmed. Helen must use all of her knowledge of the criminal mind, if she wants to find out the identity of the murderer before more blood will be shed. But any mistake and it might be her own…
M.J. Arlidge has worked in television for the last 15 years, specialising in high end drama production. His debute thriller was Eeny Meeny, the first of the Helen Grace novels.
You can find M.J. Arlidge on Twitter.
The best Helen Grace novel yet
Love Me Not was one of my most anticipated books of 2018. I love the Helen Grace series. The books are fast-paced, well written, with short chapters and I think Helen Grace is a wonderful protagonist. Helen Grace isn’t the most every day character. She is strong and smart, but often she thinks nothing of her own safety. She is fierce and fearless and she leads the inspectors of the Major Incident Team in Southampton.
Love Me Not starts with Helen who wants to escape the silence of her own apartment and goes out for an early-morning drive on her motorcycle. She almost gets hit by a car and then comes upon an apparent carjacking victim, a woman shot twice at close range. Helen realises that she might just have crossed paths with the murderer, speeding away from the scene. Not long after Helen has found the woman, another murder takes place; a pharmacist is killed, also shot at close range. Now begins a race against time. Helen and her team must find who is responsible for these coldblooded murders, before more people get hurt.
The story takes place in the course of 24-hours. A lot can happen in the span of just a few hours. This is a format that is new in the Helen Grace-series. I enjoyed it and I couldn’t stop reading. It took me less than a day to finish this book. I needed to know who was behind the murders and what the motives were.
I would recommend reading the other six Helen Grace novels first. The characters, their feelings and their relationships are based on what happened before and Love Me Not doesn’t give a lot of back stories. Helen has just gotten out of prison and she is still trying to come to terms with the arrest, prison time, and being framed. Helen and her team aren’t on top of their game. Helen specifically finds it difficult to work with DC Joanna Sanderson. She lead the man-hunt that ended up with Helen going to jail, although Sanderson rectified this and she was a part of freeing Helen from her wrongful incarceration. Still, I can’t really blame Helen for having mixed feelings about working with someone who didn’t trust her.
In this book, we get to know Emilia Garanita, the tainted journalist, from a different perspective. She’s back at her old job and tries to work herself back up. She still gets on my nerves, but after reading Love Me Not I feel like I understand her a bit more.
The ending made me feel satisfied and sad at the same time.
Helen Grace meets ’24’ and Natural Born Killers. The story had me hooked from the start and I couldn’t put the book down.
5 out of 5 stars.