Book review: Pop Goes the Weasel

MJ ArlidgeFog creeps up the Solent and into the city from the sea, casting a shroud over the streets, driving the population indoors at the end of the day and pulling the streetwalkers out into their night domain. Empty backstreets, dirty abandoned industrial estates, overgrown riverbanks. Murder will take place this night. Pop Goes the Weasel is a great follow-up by MJ Arlidge to his first novel about Detective Inspector Helen Grace, but please read Eeny Meeny first or you will be a bit baffled by the back story.

These two books tick a lot of boxes: gritty realistic drama, lead female detective with a raw damaged personality, in fact a lot of female characters, set in Southampton [not London, not Edinburgh] with flawed heroes and damaged villains. Arlidge [below] is an accomplished TV writer and author; whether he is writing about police procedure, or the nasty druggy backstreets of a port city where the population rises and falls with the tide, I believe him.

The murder scenes are graphic and anatomical, a bit too much for me, so I admit to skipping a few paragraphs. I don’t like blood and gore, but I do like Helen Grace and DC Charlie Brooks. I didn’t take to Emilia Garanita , the reporter from the local paper, or the new Detective Superintendant Ceri Harwood. Woven through the chase to find the hooker who kills her victims are stories continued from Eeny Meeny: why is Helen Grace driving to Aldershot to spy on a boy, what happened to Helen’s sister, can Charlie have a baby and stay in the force, and how does Garanita always know where Grace is?

MJ Arlidge


Helen Grace’s story will run and run.

To find out why Matthew Arlidge likes the bad guys, click here to read an article for the WH Smith Richard and Judy Book Club.
To find out why I liked the first book about DI Helen Grace, Eeny Meeny, click here.

If you like this, try:-
‘Jellyfish’ by Lev D Lewis
‘Due Diligence’ by DJ Harrison
‘Lord John and the Private Matter’ by Diana Gabaldon

‘Pop goes the Weasel’ by MJ Arlidge, #2 HelenGrace [UK: Penguin] Buy now

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
POP GOES THE WEASEL by @mjarlidge #bookreview via @SandraDanby