Irish writer Marian Keyes is a best selling author on both sides of the pond. I quite enjoyed her last book - The Brightest Star in the Sky. (my review)
So I picked up her latest novel - The Mystery of Mercy Close, expecting another fun read.
Helen Walsh couldn't find a job she could stick with until she got her private investigator's license. But jobs are hard to come by lately and her finances are suffering. So much so, that she's lost her job and has had to move back home with her parents. The one bright spot is her new boyfriend Artie, who also works in law enforcement. When her old boyfriend Jay approaches her with a missing persons gig, she takes the job - she desperate for cash.
Okay, does this whole set up/character sound familiar to anyone else? Yeah, me too.
Keyes's lead character Helen is a little darker though - she suffers from depression and anxiety and her mental state is very much a part of the plotting. Upon further investigation, I discovered that Keyes herself suffers from major depression. So the inclusion of this made a little more sense.
Keyes is known for her chick lit stories that do incorporate some darker themes (abuse was part of the plot of a previous book) I did like Helen's dark sense of humour - her shovel (not bucket) list was fun. "It's more of a conceptual thing. It's a list of all the people and things I hate so much that I want to hit them in the face with a shovel." There's some steamy romance of course with Artie, some generational humour with her parents, some sibling interaction that's amusing. The Walsh sisters are excellent characters. The mystery part of things wasn't too hard to figure out. So, all the elements seem to be there for a good read - but sadly, it was just okay for me. I found myself picking it up and down over the course of a couple of weeks as it didn't really hold my attention. And, at five hundred pages, it felt like it was dragged out too long. And I feel bad...'cause I really wanted to like it more.
You can find Marian Keyes on Twitter.