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4.3 out of 5 stars1,371
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 16 September 2014
I have a vicarious envy of readers who sit down and read a book in one sitting, something I've never had the time to do. Except this book has been an exception. I couldn't put it down.

The character of Helen Grace was well constructed, a wounded DI is no stranger to crime fiction, but hers was deliciously different from other contenders in terms of her method of self-punishment and self-loathing. The supporting cast of Charlie and Mark were also exceptional, and the author did a good job of manoeuvring their passage throughout the book until the end. Great, strong characters throughout. Well Done.

I can easily see this being snapped up by TV execs looking for a new angle on the police drama series.
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on 12 September 2014
Thought this was a fantastic murder mystery - best I have read in a long while. This novel gripped me after the first few pages and could not put it down - the end of the book was a race to the finish, and what was great was I had no idea who the murderer was until the end which made the ending even better. The end was rushed slightly, however that might just be because I didnt want the book to end!!

Reading the second in the series already and sad to know the third book will not be out until Feb 2015!!
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on 24 September 2014
LOVED this book. It was a terrific story and totally gripped me AND it was set locally to places I've lived or live now which also makes it more interesting as you can picture the distances and the places mentioned so invest more in it. I can't wait to read her follow-up which I've heard on Goodreads is even better !! Blimey.....
I'd wondered at how the author thought up some of this stuff as I'd assumed it was a lady author but then found on here it's a guy. Sexist, I know, but I wasn't so shocked then !! I suppose you assume blokes are more likely to think up torturous tales !!
There WAS an irritation-the Americanised spelling throughout. This is a book set over here by a British author so spell in English !! At one point I don't believe Anna would have been thinking the thoughts she did either, knowing what we did about her. He also mentioned Ian Brady kidnapping truant children which isn't something I ever heard. Aileen Wournos isn't spelled as Eileen, either.(I know my serial killers) !! At one juncture a red coat that had been discarded in a litter bin resurfaced somehow, too...I know, minor stuff but I notice these things.
I did titter at the odd lines in it, I have to say, despite some of the more dramatic stuff occurring. I am a little unsure whether I "like" Helen or not. She aggravated me the way she behaved at times. I'm pretty sure I'd not want to work with or for her. She just goes off and seems to do just what she pleases. Some of her personal habits I found a little unsavoury as well but that made for an intriguing character with a uniqueness as well so I can't be too.......prudish !! One of the murder locations was a stroke of genius, I thought, too. I liked both Charlie and Mark as well.
I kept thinking I knew JUST what was going on and who the bad/good guys were and I was satisfyingly wrong on each count. Read this-you will not be bored !!
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on 1 July 2015
Eeny Meeny by J. Arlidge is her debut novel following Detective Inspector Helen Grace. It's a serial killer thriller set in and around the city of Southampton. The story focuses around a series of double kidnappings. Very Saw/ Se7en like scenarios where one captive is called upon to make a life or death decision and the prize is survival from this psychopath's game and ultimate controlling ways, but living with the guilt, shame and nightmares of the time held in captivity. But can Grace catch this killer or are their sights set close to home and these are merely ways to lure her out?

Helen has problems of her own and in many ways is a damaged individual who is fighting her demons from her past, but chooses to deal with it by burying herself in her work as her form of therapy. Then she gets assigned this case. This case has Helen fighting her demons, the media who prove how vile they can be and her staff's issues as well as racing to solve the case before more victims are taken again.

Ultimately this book asks how far are you willing to go to survive and can you live with consequences? As even if you have no choice but to fire a gun to survive, you still killed someone.

** read and reviewed on behalf of netgallery **
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on 7 October 2014
Loved it. Great book which kept my interest from page 1. DCI Helen Grace is a gem of a character.

Of course, every great literary detective is damaged, vulnerable, broken or flawed, that's what makes them interesting and memorable, the only difference here is Helen is all four. She has certain character traits and "habits" which are sometimes hard to read, but her likability and passion shine through and she is never anything but brilliant.

The story whizzes along at great speed, never really giving you chance to catch your breath, but that's how I like 'em!

It's a tough read at times, not for the faint hearted, but it's utterly spellbinding and brilliant and Helen is sure to be catapulted amongst the greats. Get reading it!
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on 12 June 2016
Clearly there are many people who like this book but, as a voracious reader of crime fiction, I was very disappointed by it. The plot is utterly ludicrous, the protagonist unconvincing, and the repeated very detailed descriptions of the killer's victims starving to death, whilst drinking their own urine and surrounded by their own excrement, were unpleasant in the extreme.

The author used to write for Eastenders, and while the book is a very slick, professional production, it is formulaic and reads as if designed to provide the basis for a pitch for a multi-book deal. I was left with the impression not that the author had a story he wanted to tell, but that he had carefully designed it to incorporate the elements from a tick list compiled from previously best-selling serial- killer thrillers, to use as the basis for a pitch to a publisher. It's like painting by numbers - very proficient, but it has no soul.

There's nothing wrong with that in it itself, but the best crime fiction series novels seem to develop organically, rather than being put together as a kit from the start... eg Reginald Hill, Donna Leon, Ian Rankin.

If this book is the kind of thing you like, it's an excellent example of its kind, as I'm sure are the succeeding volumes in the series. I shan't be reading them, though. I think this book is a sad waste of the talent of a good writer.
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on 10 April 2016
Emotionally damaged workaholic female DI, loyal male DS with domestic and alcohol problems, serial killer - all familiar stereotypical stuff. Then add in poor plot, poor writing and predictable ending. No idea why this book got such good reviews - it's just dreadful.
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on 17 June 2015
Oh how I loved this book! Compelling, dark and gruesome with a superb plot which had me hooked! Eeny meeny is fast paced right from the word go, the tension keeps escalating throughout and I was hanging off every word trying to piece together the clues. The plot is unique and brilliantly master minded, to say anything to give it away for the reader would not be right at all. What I will say is that the two storylines running parallel in this book are both intruiging and all becomes clear on how they are linked together right at the end. I was thrilled that I did not have a clue who could be behind the twisted goings on, there's nothing worse than guessing who dunnit halfway through a book and being right. Definatly not the case with this book, it was a complete shock when the perpetrator was unveiled. I loved everything about this book and would love to be able to give it more than 5 stars. M J Arlidge is a wonderfully talented author, with descriptive text so rich that I could picture the scenes in my head as I read them. Well developed characters which came to life and dragged you into their world as the suspense and terror keeps building. Eeny meeny was just perfect! Can't wait to read more by this author.
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on 19 June 2015
WOW! This book had me on the edge of my seat. I was unable to put it down. I was invested in the outcome and totally shocked at the entire story. Crime novels are a favorite of mine. I love a good murder mystery. M.J. Arlidge is an amazing author. This is the first one by her that I have read and cannot wait for more of the Helen Grace series.

Eeny Meeny kept me guessing who the killer was. I really had no clue who it was until the end. I was intrigued, guessing, and kept changing my mind as to the actual motive and murderer. I love that there was no cliffhanger, even though there is more to this series. Yet, there is definitely more to Helen and how she will handle what has happen.

The chapters were interesting. I liked that they were short, but sometimes I was confused as to who was telling the story. There was no signal for a point of view change. There were other times I felt like a chapter ended and another started continuing the same information of the story. It caused me to have to re-read some parts of the chapters and re think what I was reading.

I enjoyed the storyline, the characters, and cannot wait for more. Check out this series.
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on 12 September 2015
Eeny Meeny is a psychological crime thriller, although not as dark as I was initially expecting.

This definitely had potential to be darker than it was. In fact, it seemed like it was going to be very dark at the beginning, but then the atmosphere seemed to change as the story progressed. Although there were references to some very disturbing things in the past, I did feel I was experiencing them from a distance.

Having said that, this is still a very good crime thriller. I loved the storyline where two people are abducted and left with a gun, and in order for one of them to survive the other must die. It reminded me of the SAW films. I also love the title of the book.

This novel is fast paced, and has a clever plot that kept me intrigued throughout. There were some interesting characters, and I’m definitely looking forward to reading more by this author.

I recommend this to anyone who enjoys police, crime, and thriller books.

I would like to thank the publisher, Penguin Group Berkley, NAL for allowing me a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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