Love Me Not

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 Mar 2018

Member Reviews

This is the seventh book in the series, which I discovered thankfully only at book two and have leapt on each book as they have come out.  
In this instalment we see Helen back on the streets policing after being wrongfully incarcerated  ( this is why it's good to read these books in order)
I felt this book was not as dark as the previous books but that didn't take any of the enjoyment out of this book.  
After finding a probation officer gunned down Helen and her team must work quickly as the body count rises alarmingly in 24 hours.  
The chapters have a sense of urgency about them and are short and punchy which keeps you reading the infamous "just one more chapter" 
M.J. Arlidge never fails to wow me.
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I was hooked with this series from book one and after the drama of book 6 I wasn't sure where the series would go. However, fast forward a few months and we see DI Helen Grace trying and struggling somewhat to fit back in following her stint in prison. Helen is trying to come to terms with the fact that her now colleague DS Joanna Sanderson was instrumental in helping put her behind bars. This means she is largely relying and falling back on her trusted colleague Charlie Brooks. It's pretty clear from the outset that Helen is struggling to trust anybody in her team and that sets an uneasy feeling throughout the book. 

The team is on the hunt for a pair of killers with a Bonnie and Clyde feeling to it. The one thing I really liked about this latest book was the style of writing which included the times. It really gave a feel to how the plot was moving and gave an extra edge to the reader, knowing how fast-moving the crimes were. Within one day the pair indulge in a killing spree and the team are struggling to keep up so the book managed to keep up great pace throughout. The only thing that was slightly lacking for me was Helen herself. Don't get me wrong, she is generally a moody and suspicious character anyway but something was missing in this latest book. Her mistrust, and her seemingly skewed judgement made me feel like she had changed too much. Part of me wonders if this is due to what happened in the last book, however it didn't feel quite right.

However, that aside the series still appears to be going stong and with the end of this book having a rather monumental event take place, I feel like we may well see the return of a stronger and new and improved Helen in book 8. As ever this is still a fantastic read and read in two sittings so certainly still a great read, just not one of my favourites in the series. I will as ever eagerly await the next book, and can't wait to see where M J Arlidge takes the team next.
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This review is written with thanks to Michael Joseph, an imprint of Penguin UK, and Netgalley for my copy of Love Me Not.
When a probation officer and a local shopkeeper are killed in quick succession, it sparks a killing frenzy that takes Detective Inspector (DI) Helen Grace and her team across Hampshire. Following her wrongful imprisonment, Helen is keen to show her colleagues and the public that she can still lead her team and bring the killer to justice. But can she find them before it is too late?
Love Me Not is slightly different to its predecessors in that it is set over a 24 hour time period. This means that it is more frenetic than the previous six instalments, and the fast pace kept me on the edge of my seat, particularly as the novel reached its climax and the team were closing in on the killer. However, this gives the reader fewer opportunities to reacquaint themselves with the characters and follow their development since the previous novels. As this is an aspect of police procedural novels that I usually enjoy, I would have appreciated more of it in Love Me Not.
Helen's time in Holloway Prison has changed her, and in Love Me Not, she emerges as a more anxious character who feels less able to rely upon the gut instinct that served her so well in previous novels. Although her mindset is understandable, I was intrigued to discover how Helen would react in another difficult situation, I missed the feisty Helen Grace and hope she returns in the novels that follow.
I reviewed Hide And Seek earlier this month and gave it a rare five star rating. Perhaps Love Me Not is the result of a hangover from the previous instalments, as whilst it contains all the gore and tension that I love in this series, it didn't match up to its predecessors for me.
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After the thrills of the last two books in the series, Love Me Not should have been gripping and highly emotive. Yes it was fabulous to have Helen Grace back, fighting crime and being her moody self. This is now the seventh book, in what has been a rather excellent UK crime series to date. I could not help feeling that the series has lost a certain special something here.

The story itself is rather mundane, in what should be an action packed chase across a Southern British landscape. Helen is out of prison, with her old job back. She feels out of place. She hasn’t quite adjusted to her new role, as a free person. She is suspicious of everyone. A leader cannot lead, when she is doubting everyone around her. Added to this, she encounters on the road a female shot at close range. Death seems to follow Helen. There are two spree killers on the loose, in the Southampton locality. A young disaffected pair, a modern day Bonnie and Clyde! Will Helen and her team work out what is driving the spree killers? Will Helen find a way to reunite her with her team? Over the space of a day, we follow the action and hope for a fast resolution.

I wanted to enjoy this. I tried to like it. However I felt very let down by the spree killer plot. The strengths came from Helen and her coming to terms with her ordeal behind bars, together with the redemption of Emilia Garanita, the journalist without a conscience. As well as Helen returning from her cosy prison cell, Emilia has been sacked from the posh London papers and has come home to the backwater of Southampton. She is desperate to be top dog again, in crime journalism.

The murderous spree offered very little that was new. Disaffection tick, revenge tick, access to guns tick, anger tick; plus we saw it all being played out as a race against time. I think the author missed a trick in sticking with bland stereotypes, instead of having a touch more pyschological insight to challenge the reader. I have just seen this done so much better; Emma Kavanagh with her excellent Hidden takes spree killing to a whole new level.

Overall I was highly disappointed with the latest instalment in the Helen Grace series. I can only hope that the next book is of a higher quality and gets the series back on track. Love Me Not pretty much describes my feelings.
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Love this series. This might not be one of my favorite out of them all but it still packs a punch. It almost doesn't feel like a full length novel as most of it takes place over the period of a few hours and it's breakneck action all the way. There's a pair of killers on the loose and they're on a mission of revenge. Can Helen and her team track them down and catch them before they get to their next victim? A great addition to the series.
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I have read every book in this series - Helen Grace is back again after being released from prison for a crime she didn't commit. It's hard being back as she feels let down by some of her colleagues. A young couple is seemingly randomly killing strangers by shooting them at point blank range. Helen and her team must find out the connection and quickly. While I enjoyed this one I don't feel it was quite as good as previous books but Helen does feel like a person you know and would respect. Flaws and all!
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I have really been enjoying the Helen Grace series and it’s great to see Helen back on the job now after her incarceration in book 6. But Helen is about to have a very VERY bad day as there is a Bonnie and Clyde style killing spree about to start in Southampton and she will need all her wits about her if she’s to solve this one.

What I loved about Love Me Not was the fact that as everything took place within the space of one day, the time at the start of each chapter kept the tension high right from the very first page. Helen is coincidentally first on the scene to the murder of a much loved wife and mother and it’s due to her diligence that straight away she realises something isn’t adding up. It was great to see Helen on a new bike but it did take a while for the old Helen to start coming back. Thankfully, Charlie is on hand to help out but an old adversary is out to achieve her own glory after her fall from grace. Yes, Emilia is determined to get her name back in lights (or very large print!!) and gets more than she bargains for when she sets off on her own to follow the case.

The action never lets up here. It’s a fast paced chase through Southampton where there isn’t much time for Helen to make decisions. She does seems to be “missing” somewhat here though especially during the first few chapters, as if she has left some part of her behind in Holloway and I did miss the old Helen at times. I feel that I know her so well after the previous six books that I can predict how she will react to certain events before even she does. And I wasn’t disappointed here just glad to have the series back on track after the rather different feel to the last book

M.J. Arlidge is an accomplished storyteller who can weave a twisty tale around his tormented heroine that will leave you desperate for more. If you haven’t tried this series yet it is definitely one to be followed from book one to get the most out of the complex and fascinating character that is Helen Grace.
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What should be a normal commute to work turns deadly when a woman stops to assist at the scene of an accident. But minutes later her car is gone and Helen Grace arrives on the scene to find the good Samaritan shot, seconds from death. Within a short period the a pharmacy​ is hit and its owner is the next victim, but his customers are unharmed. What could be mistaken for a killing spree is targeted and it's up to Helen and her team to work out the pattern and stop the killings. But in the midst of this Helen is struggling to adapt back to police life after her time in prison....

So I have to say this straight away (and don't throw things at me my fellow Helenophiles).....this is my least favourite Helen Grace yet. The story and action is great, as always but it felt as if there was some really massive leaps in detective work sometime. I mean we know Helen is good but there were times in this book she was practically psychic! There were a few things that were so predictable I began to think I'd read the book before. It almost felt as if this book is a tidy up to Helens prison episode and this book is a set up for future novels.

All that been said I still give this 4 stars as I just love Helen Grace and Arlidges almost cinematic style of writing. Even at its most outlandish moments I was hooked. I've said before this series is screaming out to go on the telly....but it would have to be someone seriously bad ass to play Helen - a cross Black Widow and Carol from The Walking Dead. 

Despite it sometimes veering into the realms of a wee bit of silliness this is still extremely readable, a perfect read for the summer that requires little concentration.

I received this from Netgalley for an unbiased review.
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This series of books is one of my favourites. I can't wait for the next one each time I finish one. And this book was no exception. All the events take place over the course of a day on a fast paced and hard hitting set of murders. Helen Grace is still recovering from her ordeal at being wrongly accused of murder and spending time in Holloway Prison. Can she cope with this latest serial killer? What do you think?? Fantastic book, loved every page.
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Love Me Not by M.J. Arlidge is the seventh book in the D.I. Helen Grace series.  Helen Grace is happy to be out of jail and back at work.  Grace is out driving on her new Kawasaki Ninja when a black car almost hits her.  Grace then sees a woman lying in the middle of the road.  The woman dies in Grace’s arms.  She quickly gathers her team to start working on the case.  A short time later a pharmacist is robbed and shot in his store, but this time the killers left a witness.  Grace is quickly on their trail, but they manage to stay one step ahead.  Are these random victims or were they specifically chosen?  Grace and her team need to locate the perpetrators before they kill again.  Emilia Garanita has returned to Southampton, but she is not happy with her position at the paper.  This murder spree could get her back on top if she can get ahead of the other reporters.  But Emilia gets too close and finds herself with an exclusive story if she can live long enough to tell it.  What is the killer’s agenda?  Grace will do whatever it takes to catch these perpetrators and end the madness.  But what if the only way to stop the killer is for Grace to lose her life?

Love Me Not is a fast-pace suspense novel.  Love Me Not takes place over a twenty-four-hour period.  I thought Love Me Not was riveting.   The book is well-written as are all M.J. Arlidge’s novels.  I liked the short chapters and how they were labeled with the time.  It makes the story feel real and that it is playing out as you read it.  The D.I. Helen Grace series needs to be read in order.  Otherwise, you will not understand Helen, her team dynamics, or her history (and you will be utterly lost).  It was great to catch up with Helen and see how she is faring after her stint in Holloway Prison.  It was also great to connect with Charlie, D.S. Sanderson, and even Emilia.  I give Love Me Not 5 out of 5 stars. There is mild foul language (very little) and extreme violence in Love Me Not.  Love Me Not is one book that you will not put down until you have devoured the last page!   The only problem with finishing Love Me Not is the wait until the next D.I. Helen Grace novel is published.
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This book is number 7 in the Helen Grace series which in my opinion should be read in order to get the most out of the books. This book is another winner, fast paced and action packed. Once you start you won't want to put it down, brilliant
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Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book as an arc.
I am a big fan of the Helen Grace series and this one definitely doesn't disappoint. The action takes place in a 24 hour timeframe with a series of carefully targeted murders. Helen has to find the link between them to give an insight into who might be responsible. The pace doesn't slow down and you will not be able to put the book down till you find out what is going on!
Excellent read, but I would recommend reading the series in order if possible.
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My review as posted on Goodreads:

This book uses a tried and tested formula of a time-line set in a single day. It works well, adding to the tension. 

A rural road between the New Forest and Southampton. A staged accident and a murder. Quite a dynamic opening for a novel. 
 
A probation officer, A pharmacist. 

For DI Helen Grace, exonerated and recently returned to duty, there is tension within her team. Emilio Garanita, a journalist investigates graffiti.

A teacher. A farmer.

Not so slowly, the body count rises. The questions mount: Who's doing it? Why is each victim chosen? How will it end?

I won't say more for fear of spoiling the plot. 
How does it end?...you'll need to read it to find 

My thanks to Netgalley and Michael Joseph (Penguin UK) for a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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This is the second M.J. Arlidge book I have read and reviewed; the other being the book which directly preceded this. DI Helen Grace, fresh out of prison for a crime she didn't commit is back on the force, despite everything. This book was therefore completely different, with Helen freed and working again. It felt at times a little opportunistic - with heightened references placing it very much in the world right now, talking about the referendum and the murder of Jo Cox. It made me think of when Nelson Mandela died, and in the weeks afterwards there were several biographies hastily published clearly just to make money. Still, the way the story is woven makes it easier to grant forgiveness for this.
It is frustrating that Helen is quite often at the scene of the murders almost seconds afterwards and still fails to catch the murderer. There is also no attempt described at giving first aid until Daisy's suicide. The descriptions of the bodies post-mortem seemed to be almost copy-pasted, with at least two victims I can immediately recall having parts of their faces "blown off", JFK-style. In the forensic detail M.J. Arlidge is no particular master, but in the plotting he is, and again we forgive.

I read this book almost entirely a day, fitting given that the action takes place across essentially the same time frame. I liked the time checks opening each new section, pacing the story nicely, and how this allowed us, like in the previous novel, to enter the minds of other characters and check up on them in the seamless flowing way I've become familiar with. Not my favourite book of the year, and essentially a tragic story ending in the loss of several lives and the ruining of many more, but for the most part surprising and certainly a page-turner. There is more, we learn, in everyone than simply good or evil.
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Another brilliant read!  This is the seventh book in the series featuring D I Helen Grace, and like the other books, is very difficult to put down.  It can be read as a stand-alone book but I do think you can appreciate the book more knowing the history of Helen and other characters.  You can empathise more with her, knowing what she has been through.  In the last book Hide and Seek, we found Helen serving time in HMP Holloway and how she proved her innocence.  In this book we see how this has affected her back in her role of DI and how she feels about her colleagues.  Fully recommend Love Me Not and I cannot wait for book number 8 in this series.
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A great modern thriller with tangible links to 1746

When a Highlander, wearing old Highland dress, meets with three men in modern dress in Culloden forest, the reader knows that this is no ordinary assignation.  What follows in the rest of this book entertained and informed me almost on every page.

The real action starts with the owners of Cullaird Castle being brutally murdered and the case handled by acting DCI Neil Strachan.  His investigations take him into one of his favourite hobbies, that of history; because, without giving away any spoilers, there is a definite link to the past.

But sitting alongside this nasty murder case, Neil is personally involved in a stalking case that threatens his private life and the current investigation. The plots move along with good speed and continuity and the characters are all well-defined and believable.  Clive Allan also adds a spattering of humour to what could have been a very dark read.

This book was a really good thriller, and perhaps my only criticism is that the sheer size of the novel, over 600 pages, may well put off some readers.

Having said that, I thoroughly recommend this book and really enjoyed it.  Thank you Clive Allan.

Sméagol

Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review.
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this is the first book i've read by this author - i feel a binge read of all the other books in this series coming on!

dci helen grace and her team are investigating a series of murders occurring all over southampton in quick succession.  time is of the essence to link the victims and prevent further deaths.

the story is gripping from the first page and fast paced.  there is clearly a lot in dci grace's past which i'm keen to find out about in previous books.  

many thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Fast paced crime thriller. This book gripped me from the off and there was never a dull moment. If you like a a good crime novel them this is the book for you.
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‘Love Me Not' is the seventh novel in the excellent DI Helen Grace Crime Thriller series and in my opinion is the best yet. Helen and her team in the MIT squad are faced with a psychotic and single minded duo killing machine bent on destruction and revenge. The slaughters have been carefully planned and both victims and crime scene venues meticulously selected and recced. They have already been marked out with an odious graffitied serpent emblem. There will be no deviation from the plan; it is set in stone and all of the victims are to be killed in a single day of carnage, terror and merciless brutality. This is the premise for the eagerly awaited new novel written by M J Arlidge, and true to form it is a real cracker of a novel filled with action, chases and multiple twists and turns. The details are chilling, the pace frantic and, as usual the storytelling is superbly executed, with characters beloved and familiar but also new, evil and holding the belief that life is truly meaningless so there is nothing to lose. 
What I really loved about this novel is the determination of Helen Grace and her insight into the motivation for the crimes. They are hate crimes driven by rage, resentment and retaliation; Helen can well understand the murderers mind set; they have a similar deprived background to her. They have been rejected, abandoned, humiliated and are devoid of moral principles. They will stop at nothing in order to annihilate their quarries, hunted down like vermin. But Helen, newly reinstated to her rank after her wrongful imprisonment, has a lot to prove, and most of it to herself. Sanderson is out of favour for her part in Helen’s downfall and Emilia Garanita has been demoted from her position as Chief Crime reporter at the local rag. All of these facts lead to a frenzy of determination to prove that their abilities are up to the grade; to restore their reputations and prove their commitment, often at the greatest risk to their welfare.
I would like to thank NetGalley and publisher Penguin for my copy of 'Love Me Not', sent in return for an honest review. I wholeheartedly recommend this novel as an excellent, exciting and unmissable read for all fans of this genre. It is top marks from me – I really loved it.
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This 7th instalment of Helen Grace takes place over the space of 24 hours. A somewhat intense 24 hours for vulnerable Helen who's returning to work from her spell behind bars only to find herself in a race against time to track down a pair of ruthless killers who seem hell-bent on killing as many random people as they can get away with.

Short, snappy chapters trick you into believing you've only had your feet up for a few minutes only to realise it's started getting light outside!

I would suggest that new readers start from book 1 rather than diving straight in with this one - you won't be disappointed!

Thanks to Penguin UK - Michael Joseph for allowing me to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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