Monday, May 29, 2017

Little Boy Blue - M.J. Arlidge

I love reading mysteries, thrillers and police procedurals. I've had many a library patron recommend M.J. Arlidge's books to me, but until now I hadn't read or listened to any - but that will certainly be changing after listening to Little Boy Blue! This is the 5th book in the series featuring DI Helen Grace.

A young man is found dead - wrapped in plastic. He was involved in the BDSM scene, so it first appears to be a sex game gone wrong. But then another body turns up, also cruelly killed by asphyxiation. Here's the thing - DI Helen Grace also participates in BDSM  - and knew both victims. This couldn't be personal....could it?

Helen is a fantastic lead character. She's tough, speaks her mind, annoys her superiors, has the loyalty of her team, is intelligent, flawed and different enough to stand out from other female leads. I enjoyed the supporting cast of players as well. Not all are likeable which is much more realistic. The news reporter is horribly manipulative and aggressive - very easy to dislike intensely.

The circumstances around the crimes make it difficult to investigate. No one wants to step forward and reveal their lifestyle. Will Helen? I was intrigued as to how and where the plot would go. Arlidge has created a real page turner. Action, deceit, personal agendas and one great twist I didn't see coming. The ending provides the answer to whodunit - but not full resolution. The game continues and I will be hunting down the next in the series - Hide and Seek.

Elizabeth Bower was the reader. Her British accent is very easy to understand and very pleasant to listen to. Her voice is very expressive and she captures the tone of Arlidge's novel. And now, that I've started listening to the series - she is the voice of Helen Grace for me. Her voice suits the mental image I have created for Helen.

Listening to a book is often a quite different experience than reading a physical book. I feel much more involved when listening - you hear every word and nuance. It often feels like you're right there solving the crime along with the team. Great listen! See what you think - listen to an excerpt of Little Boy Blue.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

I struggle with British narrators so this would probably work better in print for me.