When an early morning Amber Alert disrupts Detective D. D. Warren’s plans for the day, she knows it’s bad. Turning up at the scene of a horrible crime, she thinks it couldn’t be worse. Four members of a family of five are dead, the last member – a sixteen year old girl named Roxy – is missing.
The first question any officer would ask – is Roxy in danger or is she on the run, having killed her family. Now it’s one D. D. must answer. Helping her, as well as her team, is Flora Dane, a young woman we first met in Find Her and who was kidnapped and held hostage for 472 days.
Now, she spends her time helping other survivors, though not always in a way D. D. would like, at the same time as tracking down potential predators and inflicting her own type of justice (which D. D. definitely doesn’t like). Roxy is one of the survivors she has been trying to help out and, with the girl having seemingly disappeared into thin air, D. D. and Flora agree to work together to track her down.
It’s hard to believe that it was less than a year ago that I came across Helen Fields’ first book, Perfect Remains, at the library AND that I only picked it up because of the cover.
I am so pleased that I did because I thought it was a great book, and now – three books in – I can’t imagine my reading life without detectives Luc Callanach and Ava Turner, the two central characters in this crime series.
Luc is half-Scottish, half-French and trying to rebuild his life after it fell apart a few years previously. It’s why he moved to Scotland, where he is slowly starting to fit in with his team and get over the events of the past. Ava is a woman who was born with a silver spoon in her mouth but hasn’t let that stop her climb the ranks of the police and put herself in the line of fire more than once.
Zoe Walker is an “everyone”, as in the same as everyone else. She gets up, goes to a job that isn’t particularly fulfilling but pays the bills, takes care of her kids (now teens / young adults) and tries to find time to cook tea after long days commuting back and forth on the tube to work.
It’s whilst she’s commuting that she picks up a copy of the Gazette and, flicking to the classifieds, sees a photo of herself with nothing more than a phone number and a web address. To say it unnerves her is an understatement.
When I finished the previous book in the DI Helen Grace series, Little Boy Blue, I was left so blown away that the only word I could use to describe it was “wow!”. I really wasn’t sure if it could be topped because the ending was so unforeseen and so big a twist for this genre.
I’m not sure Little Boy Blue has been topped by Hide and Seek but M. J. Arlidge does a good job trying with what is still an amazing book. You’ll have to excuse all the hyperbole but this really is a brilliant book in a brilliant series, one I can’t wait to catch up.
For those reading the series and who haven’t gotten to the end of Little Boy Blue yet, there are spoilers here for the series so you might not want to read on. They can’t be helped though if I am going to try at all to describe the story. So apologies in advance.
The full title for Healthyish is “A Cookbook with Seriously Satisfying, Truly Simple, Good-For-You (but not too Good-For-You) Recipes for Real Life”. It’s a mouthful but it does sum up quite nicely what this recipe book is about. It’s full of food that looks delicious, tastes delicious (from the recipes I’ve tried) and sounds delicious (from those that I haven’t).
The idea behind Healthyish is that you can eat a good, healthy, balanced diet without living on lettuce leaves and by making some simple changes. So you swap whole grains for refined, add ingredients like olives for natural flavour, and swap processed foods for homemade alternatives (think salad dressing).
Fast-talking, foul-mouthed, Jimmy runs a record shop in Belfast, selling weed on the side to help bring in the cash. He’s the type of character that could be hard and dark but, written by Simon Maltman, he comes across as someone I think I might actually want to meet.
I don’t know as much about him as I should as I haven’t read the first book in this series of novellas (book two is only 47 pages long), but what I do know, I like because he’s sharp and funny, even when the police are breathing down his neck as they are in Bongo Fury 2.
DI Nikki Galena is back and I couldn’t be happier as she is one of my favourite female detectives and the “on the Fens” series, one of my favourites too.
There are some many things to love, including that they all start with a bang, something to make you want to keep reading on. Here, it’s a call to Nikki from a mysterious man speaking in thieves’ cant, an old fashioned secret code (think cockney rhyming slang). People, he says are going to die – and he is going to be the one doing the killing.
It all seems linked to a series of burglaries that the team are already working on, though it’s not clear how or what this mysterious man’ (who they nickname Mad Tom) ultimate aim is, other than teach Nikki a lesson.