This is the second in the Helen Grace series. The first I enjoyed, lots of twists and turns and Helen Grace is a complex, interesting character. I am giving this a 3 on Goodreads, on the strength of the writing and the story. However, this book raised some questions for me but I don’t know how to address them without giving spoilers. So….spoilers below…
Let’s just say there are no, with the exception of Charlie perhaps, redeemable/positive female characters here. Helen Grace is self-destructive, falling apart at the seams, her new superintendent, female, is amoral among other things, the female journalist is sociopathic, willing to reveal in the newspaper that an adopted boy was the child of serial killer, the wife of one of the victim’s is a party to his abuse of her child, “innocent” men are being killed as they attempt to purchase sexual services. Even the murder and torture of a sadistic pimp is seen as evidence of female violence to men.
I had to think about this for a little bit. It seemed as though the purpose of the book was to say that “see women are just as violent, immoral, and depraved as men.” While it is true that there are female serial killers, they are few and far between. Statistically speaking they are an anomaly, the idea that one local police officer would encounter two back to back in her career is pretty much an impossibility. Women are much more likely to be the victims of violent crime, rather than the perpetrators.
The writing is good and the actual investigation as written is interesting and I definitely wanted to know what happened, but even the resolution raised questions that were not resolved.