I’ve finally caught up on M.J. Arlidge’s DI Helen Grace series. I’m sharing my thoughts on the ninth book in the series, Down to the Woods on my blog today.
If you go down to the woods today, you better not go alone . . .
The last thing Tom Campbell remembers is camping in the New Forest with his girlfriend, Melissa. Now he is helpless, alone and consumed by fear, hunted through the woods by a sinister, masked figure…
When Tom’s body is found, displayed with grisly relish, Helen Grace takes the case. But before she can catch her breath, a second victim is taken – there’s a serial killer on the loose.
Something dark and deadly stalks the forest. Helen and her team must race against time to catch the perpetrator, before more blood is shed.
But the hunt will take Helen back into the eerie twilit woods – and this time she might not make it out alive.
In Down to the Woods, the eighth novel in M.J. Arlidge’s DI Helen Grace series, a killer is on the loose in the New Forest. DI Helen Grace is called to the scene after the body of a man is found hanging from a tree. It seems at first that this could be the work of an eco-warrior, as Helen and her team delve further into the man’s past. But then a woman is found in the same area, and this prompts belief that a sadistic killer is on the loose, who doesn’t care who their victims are. Unless they can find a connection between the victims, this will make it very hard to track the killer down.
What I love about these books is that M.J. Arlidge always keeps the pace turning up a notch and he uses short and snappy chapters. After reading the last book in the series a few weeks back, it had left me wondering how Helen and her team were getting on. There is also a new member of Helen’s team who M.J. Arlidge introduces us to, DS Joseph Hudson. It appears that he and Helen may have a future together, but if you’re a follower of this series, you will know that Helen and relationships don’t work well together. It’ll be interesting to see how this develops further. I think Helen deserves it after everything that she’s been through throughout the series.
Journalist, Emily Garanitia, is up to her usual tricks. You would think that she would have learned to have stepped back a little bit, after what happened to her in the previous novel. If anything, though, she seems more determined to break the rules to chase down a story, even if it means upsetting her boss. The only person who she seems to worry about is herself, and her own career prospects. I don’t particularly like her as a person, but she is compelling, and I wondered just how close she was going to get to the investigation. She’s always never far from Helen Grace.
DS Charlie Brooks is also in the spotlight in this novel. Her daughter is having night terrors at home, which are starting to have a negative impact on her work life. But Charlie’s relationship with Helen begins to improve again, and I really liked this aspect of the novel.
I don’t think this is my favourite of the series, but I would still definitely recommend reading the books in order, to get the most out of the characters and their individual stories. I’m looking forward to seeing what M. J. Arlidge has install for us next.
Publication date: 20th September 2018
Print length: 473 pages
Down to the Woods is available to buy:
DI Helen Grace series:
Pop Goes the Weasel
The Doll’s House
Little Boy Blue
Hide and Seek
Love Me Not
Down to the Woods