Book Reviews

All Fall Down by M. J. Arlidge Book Review. #AllFallDown #MJArlidge #BookReview #DIHelenGrace

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  • All Fall Down (DI Helen Grace #9).
  • M. J. Arlidge.
  • 496 pages.
  • Thriller / Psychological Thriller / Mystery.
  • My Rating: Hellyeah Book Review.

hbg-title-9781409188438-25

Book Blurb.

“You have one hour to live.”

Those are the only words on the phone call. Then they hang up. Surely, a prank? A mistake? A wrong number? Anything but the chilling truth… That someone is watching, waiting, working to take your life in one hour.

But why?

The job of finding out falls to DI Helen Grace: a woman with a track record in hunting killers. However, this is A case where the killer seems to always be one step ahead of the police and the victims.

With no motive, no leads, no clues – nothing but pure fear – an hour can last a lifetime…


Book Review.

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Eight years ago five teenagers were out on the South Downs hiking and participating in the Duke of Edinburgh award for their school when they were abducted. With one of the group injured, the mist coming down outside, in the confines of an isolated farmhouse and at the mercy of the depraved Daniel King they were physically and psychologically abused and tortured enduring a night of hell before they barely managed to escape from their captor. Sadly, not all were able to flee, not all made it out alive, only four of the group managed to survive and at the hands of King one of the group was murdered.

After the group escaped, King subsequently fled into the night. It is believed that he killed himself and there is some minor evidence to corroborate the theory but no remains have been discovered and his body has never been found. 

In the present, the once close group of friends have gone their separate ways and their relationship has fractured. Some occasionally still keep in touch and they will always be linked by that fateful night, the suffering that they shared, the terror of the ordeal and the loss of one of their own. But, time moves on, people drift apart and their lives have diverged. Some have dealt with the past better than others carving out a new life for themselves and finding success while others have struggled to let go of the past and the demon that is Daniel King still haunts them.

After finishing work Justin Lanning, one of the survivors receives a phone call from an unknown number. In a calm and measured voice, the caller tells Lanning that “you have one hour to live”. Ominous words are spoken, a terrifying sentence, a portent and a promise that is fulfilled. Lanning is reported missing and later found brutally murdered.

Another of the group has recently released a book, a memoir and their written account of the nightmare called ‘One Dark Night’ bringing Daniel King, the murder and the abduction back into the limelight, the media and the public eye.

Are the murder of Lanning and the release of the book simply a coincidence? Is the murder linked to the past? Are the other survivors at risk? Is the looming spectre of death stalking them? As implausible as it sounds has Daniel King returned from beyond the grave? Since King’s disappearance, there have been sporadic sightings of him over the intervening years and there is a possibility that he is still alive, roaming free, finally seeking his vengeance and looking to finish what he started all those years ago. Or, is it a fan of King wanting to carry on his legacy and using the renewed infamy of his name to finish the work for him? It is up to DI Helen Grace and the rest of her team at Southampton MIT (Major Incident Team) to catch the calculated, clever, deadly and elusive killer before they strike again.

All Fall Down is the ninth book in the DI Helen Grace series and my first. In coming to the series late I have missed out on the history of DI Helen Grace, her team, their previous cases and the personal dynamics and relationships that have been forged within the team. But, after being lured in by the sinister premise I was easily able to pick up All Fall Down, I wasn’t disappointed with Arlidge delivering a twisted delight, a darkly gripping tale and I thoroughly enjoy it. While the investigation and the murder is the main focus of the story there is enough given by Arlidge in the narrative to get a feel for Helen and the team. Helen, herself is scarred, determined and resilient. She has faced danger many times before, survived and is prepared to put her own body and her own well-being on the line to solve the case and catch the killer. DS Charlie Brooks, Helen’s friend and unofficial second-in-command is dedicated and a ‘good’ person. DS Joseph Hudson has an air of trouble to him, selfishness and anger that simmers beneath the surface. And then there is Emilia Garanita, not a member of MIT but a thorn in their side, a carrion eater who feeds of corruption and a journalist who will do anything to get the inside scoop and the story.

With All Fall Down Arlidge takes you on a dark and disturbing journey with plenty of twists and turns. The story unfolds through multiple perspectives and builds to a high octane climax, showdown and satisfying conclusion. Interspersed with the investigation into the murder of Lanning and the hunt for the murderer are occasional excerpts from the book ‘One Dark Night’ detailing the ordeal that the survivors went through and what happened to them on the night that they were abducted by King. I liked the inclusion of these excerpts. They do take you out of the investigation but they add additional insight into what went on in the farmhouse and allow you a glimpse into how twisted an individual King was. The chapters themselves are short, snappy and rapid-fire serving to keep the pages quickly turning and propel the story forwards at near breakneck pacing. The writing flows well, is addictive and Arlidge does a stellar job of maintaining a sense of tension throughout the duration of the compelling story.


Pre-order All Fall Down (DI Helen Grace #9) by M. J. Arlidge released on June 11th, 2020.

Amazon UK   /  Book Depository


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9 thoughts on “All Fall Down by M. J. Arlidge Book Review. #AllFallDown #MJArlidge #BookReview #DIHelenGrace

  1. This novel sounded good when you listed it in a previous post, and now that I’ve read your review I know it will be a very engaging read. The fact that it can stand alone despite being part of a series is a plus, although who knows? If this one works, as I believe it will, I might look for its… siblings 😉
    Thanks for sharing!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you.👍📚 I think that lots of thrillers in series work as stand-alone books. Sure, you miss out on the events and history of the characters from the over the previous books but when the author gives you enough to get a feel for them you still get that connection. And, the case starts at the beginning and finishes at the end of the book, contained. Unlike fantasy which carries on the same story over the course of the trilogy/series.

      I’m not a fan of starting fantasy late in a series but thrillers, I seem to mostly come to the series late on and still manage to end up enjoying them.👍📚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have just read All fall down by M J Arlidge. I must confess I was disappointed. I hoovered up all the previous Helen Grace novels with relish but the uncovering of the killer fell short for me because Polly was hardly mentioned in the book at all. We knew nothing about her and when Grace did meet her outside the nightclub Arlidge got Polly’s surname wrong. He called her Polly Walton then proceeded to call her Walker which got me confused because they already had someone on the case with that surname. Meridith Walker. I thought the end was very ill conceived and would have been better if Polly was interspersed witin the book more so that we could know her and like her thus the end would have been shocking and the bike on the roof was just silly.

        Like

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