Little Boy Blue by M J Arlidge – 4.5*s

Little Boy Blue


Detective Inspector Helen Grace is no stranger to tragedy. But when a body is found in a Southampton nightclub, the death cuts too close to the bone.

Hiding her personal connection to the victim – and a double-life which must remain secret at all costs – Helen becomes a woman possessed, working her team around the clock to chase down every lead.

As the killer strikes again, the investigation takes its toll not only on Helen but also her senior officers. Tempers flare, friendships fray and Helen faces an impossible choice.

Confess her sins and lose control of the case? Or keep living a lie, protecting her darkest secrets, and risk getting trapped in this tangled web?

But whatever she does, this killer will not stop until the truth is revealed: there are some fates worse than death . . .


My Review

It’s a long time since I read a book in a day. Nothing to do with previous time constraints, but simply finding a book I couldn’t put down.

My reading of this series is a bit hit and miss, as while I possess all 5 books, I acquired them at different times, this means I’ve manage to read books 3 & 5 which really messes up the sequence. However, while I’m sure my background knowledge and enjoyment might be improved from following them in sequence, it is possible to be equally engrossed without having done so.

This book gets off to a cracking start with a murder, but not your average murder (if there is such a thing). The body is found in a S&M club, but it soon becomes apparent that this is no sex game gone wrong. It also provides DI Helen Grace with a dilemma as she knows the victim. When another body is discovered at another location, things start to get even more personal for Helen as she knows this victim as well. The question troubling her, is what is the connection between the victims and is the fact she knows them coincidental or something more sinister. The world of S&M is not a world alien to DI Grace, but whether she chooses to shares her knowledge and experience with her colleagues is another added complication.

For followers of the series this book features her previous colleagues and continues the running battle between DI Grace and her nemesis, a local newspaper reporter who is determined to see the DI fall from grace. With this book, it seems that enemies are to be found in unexpected quarters and friendships and allegiances are really stretched in this story.

If the subject matter is one that you wouldn’t ordinarily choose, don’t let it put you off. I was gripped with the plot and found myself becoming far more immersed in the world of S&M than I ever thought I would. As the plot moves forward and the web closes in, the tension really does ratchet up with the need to find out what happens. When the perpetrator is revealed, it was a surprise, but it is the ending which comes as a total shock. It is the shock ending that stops me giving this 5 stars, as I’m not particularly patient and feel frustrated at having to wait for the next installment, which I believe is due in September. This is a cracking read with a sting in the tail.

I received a free copy via NetGalley in return for an honest review.


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