Truth or Dare, by M. J. Arlidge

What a treat to be on the blog tour for Truth or Dare by M.J. Arlidge. My thanks to Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers, Orion Publishing Group and NetGalley

#NetGalley @Tr4cyF3nt0n #BookBlogger #BookBloggers @mjarlidge @orionbooks

Book blurb:

A crimewave sweeps through the city and no-one is safe. An arson at the docks. A carjacking gone wrong. A murder in a country park. What connects all these crimes without causes, which leave no clues?

Detective Inspector Helen Grace faces the rising tide of cases which threatens to drown the city. But each crime is just a piece of a puzzle which is falling into place.

And when it becomes clear just how twisted and ingenious this web of crime is, D.I. Grace will realise that it may be impossible to stop it . . .

My review:

Truth or Dare is yet another total humdinger in the DI Helen Grace series. Grace seems to be under fire from all sides as an inexplicable and highly sinister crime wave hits Southampton. Something is badly wrong, and it leads the police into a twisted game of truth or dare. Not only are Grace and her team getting nowhere, but several people—from her ex to an ambitious journalist— seem out to destroy her. She faces one major blow after another. She’s surrounded by office politics of the most dangerous kind and faces mutiny in the ranks.

I really enjoy strong women characters and Grace definitely fits this bill. She manages to overcome challenges, no matter their enormity. Admittedly, she often does so in ways that antagonise those higher up the police chain, but this makes for exciting reading. I was really invested in this story—rooting for Grace as she is targeted by one villain after another. I may even have given the odd victory punch when she comes out on top, particularly as there are times when it seems that even strong, spirited Grace may just capitulate. She fights back every time, however, and doesn’t take any political manoeuvrings lying down.

I hated the despicable DS Joseph Hudson, and couldn’t believe that in the previous book in the series I’d wanted his liaison with Grace to turn into a romance. I also wanted to strangle the short-sighted, odious Chief Superintendent Alan Peters.

Truth and Dare features an array of interesting and larger-than-life characters. Unfortunately, however, most of them end up dead. This is an M.J. Arlidge book after all.

I felt a range of emotions, including great sadness at one point. I also felt intense anger, stomach-clenching anticipation, nerve-racking suspense, disbelief and horror – just what I want from a crime thriller.  The story is cleverly plotted and unfolds seamlessly, making this a compulsive, fast read. As always, the author ramps up the tension as you race to the end of this book, throwing in a fantastically suspenseful bike chase and several of Grace’s theatrical heroics.

Truth and Dare is the tenth in the DI Helen Grace series, but can be read as a standalone.

About the author:

M. J. Arlidge is a novelist, screenwriter and producer. He is the author of the bestselling DI Helen Grace thrillers: Eeny Meeny, Pop Goes the Weasel, The Doll’s House, Liar Liar, Little Boy Blue, Hide and Seek, Love Me Not, Down to the Woods, All Fall Down and Truth or Dare.


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