Sunday, 15 March 2015

EENY MEENY by M J Arlidge

4 out of 5 stars

Serial killer crime thriller

Audio Book

On Amazon UK HERE

I listened to the audio book of this.

Since the ghastly hype that is Fifty Shades, WHY do all books, regardless of genre, have to have the obligatory explicit sex bit in them?  I don't want to know about DI Helen Grace's explosive orgasms, I want to know the identity of and story behind the serial killer, and such diversions always seem a little incongruous if the rest of the book isn't sexually orientated.  Most writers can't 'do' erotica anyway; so often it comes across somewhat cringeworthy and TMI* rather than genuinely erotic, and this is no exception.  When I was listening to the bit when she finally gets round to shagging the person you know she is going to shag from about the fifth chapter (and hope she does so behind a closed door), I actually said, "oh, give it a rest!" out loud, which amused my husband who heard me from the kitchen....   I thought the S&M sub-sub-subplot was a bit daft and pointless, too.

Anyway, moving on from that little outburst (it's in the first half of the book).....  in Southampton, people are being abducted in pairs by a seemingly friendly woman in a van, and held in various makeshift prisons without food, water, or any contact with their captor apart from one message on a mobile phone, which is left on the floor.  Next to the (pin locked) phone lies a gun; the message tells them that if one of the two captives kills the other, the killer gets to live.

The plot is unusual and well thought out.  Some reviews say that too many aspects are unfeasible, but I don't think it's any more outlandish than other stories of this type.  Not that I'm a connossieur of this genre, far from it.  For a murder thriller to work the outcome has to be a surprise, and though I made several guesses I didn't get it right, or see how the threads linked together.  The story switches point of view frequently, which I like, and the timing, suspense and cliffhangers worked well.  It was around a fifth too long (I started to think, is this ever going to end?) and a tad heavy on the cliches (wouldn't you just love to read about/watch a fictional detective who hasn't got all sorts of personal demons?) (and the characters keep hoping 'against hope' ~ does that actually mean anything?) but it's basically good - if serial killer detective type stuff is your bag, I'd definitely recommend it.

Audio-wise, I'd give it about 3.5/4 stars; it wasn't bad.  I didn't think the voices were particularly well chosen but they didn't irritate me or spoil the story at any point.  Certainly good enough, anyway.

*too much information


  1. Great, balanced review. Probably not the book for me, but I definitely know some people who would enjoy it.

  2. Cheers, Barb - I just started listening to it while I was doing the ironing, then got caught up in it!!!

  3. I've been drawn to the secondary title "One Lives and One Dies. No Choice" and I want to shout out Yes! But it's how you live that matters, I'd be keen to know the driving force behind the woman abducting all these people. I hope the surprise outcome solved that?

  4. It did, yes, and it was all a surprise - and made it all tie in. I think you'd like it, Rosie.

  5. I can’t think of many who can write tasteful sex scenes, I often wonder how narrators can actually read scenes like that without cracking up. I love audios but I’m very picky when it comes to the narrator, they can make or break a book...

    1. Oh yes!!!! They always sound a bit like a dirty phone line, or something - not that I've ever listened to one, ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!!! Yes - the narrator is all.

      I think the thing with sex that most don't understand (Mark Barry is another who does) is that you can write about sex in quite a blatant way without making it seem like bad erotica. Once you get into the 'mounting desire' and 'arched bodies' - even worse are the ones who take it to the next level and start going on about rigid members... eeeekkkk!!!