cornerofmadness (cornerofmadness) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

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Book 66

Pop Goes the Weasel (Helen Grace, #2)Pop Goes the Weasel by M.J. Arlidge

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked this one up thanks to the Popsugar challenge and I'm on the fence about it. As for the mystery I would have rated this much higher but the rest of it really dragged it down. So let me start with the good. The mystery was interesting. There is a prostitute who has crossed a line, killing her clients and cutting out their hearts if they're family men. So that is gruesome and intriguing and it drew me right in.

And if that was all it was about it would have been a) long enough to be satisfying and b) a lot less eye rolling but instead it's draped in so much drama for drama's sake that added almost nothing to the overall plot and bloating the book to nearly 400 pages.

For one the hinged on book one which I hadn't read (and won't now since it's so spoiled by this book) but at the end of the day DCI Helen Grace, the main point of view character, came from an abusive background and her sister was a serial killer who managed to tear apart Helen's team of detectives last book, leading to the captain's resignation, and Charlie to lose her baby.

So this opens with Helen being back at work for a little while and Charlie returning to the team, not to mention a new female captain so there is enough inherent drama there and Tony, another detective, is dealing with a wife who had a stroke at age 29 and is trapped in locked in syndrome.

Had it ended there I would have been fine with it but no, we get the lady captain going up the ladder by stealing other detectives cases once they're ready to close and she's a lousy cop (cliché #1), there's a hard ass journalist with a yen to destroy the lead cop (Helen) and won't even stop at blackmail (cliché #2), good cop sleeps with suspect (cliché #3) so all those tired clichés seen in SO many cop shows and mystery series just dragged this down to the point I skimmed a lot of those chapters because they added nothing.

Would I read another one? From the library, maybe. I wouldn't buy it because none of the cliched crap (besides #3) was resolved. I just wish it had confined itself to the mystery because it would have been stellar then.

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Tags: mystery

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