Nursery rhymes creep me out. But that didn’t stop me from reading Eeny Meeny, a debut thriller by M. J. Arlidge, in which characters are forced to play a very deadly game of eeny meeny miny moe.
Two people are abducted and trapped in an abandoned diving pool, left with a gun, one bullet, and a message: The price of freedom is to kill or be killed. When one emerges alive with this far-fetched story, Detective Inspector Helen Grace–the constant presence in this soon to be series–is highly doubtful. But when another victim comes forward with a similar story of an abduction and incarceration, this time in an abandoned silo, DI Grace realizes she has a serial killer on her hands.
Arlidge shows no mercy to his readers. Through third person omniscient and revolving first person perspective, we are introduced to each character long enough to perform amateur psychoanalysis in an attempt to determine who will live and who will die. And long enough to care.
And when the connected dots of these attacks reveal DI Grace as the underlying factor, it becomes obvious that this hard-shelled, no-nonsense detective has her own demons to slay.
Eeny Meeny is a 117 chapter, fast-paced, “make it stop” ride. It’s contemplative and twisted enough to make you ponder what you would do in the same situation. And then second guess yourself.
The series debuted in the UK last summer, and with foreign rights sold to 20 countries, the titles are hitting the United States in rapid succession. We only have to wait until October for the next one: Pop Goes the Weasel. (Great. Another nursery rhyme.)
Eeny Meeny by M. J. Arlidge (New American Library | 9780451475497 | June 2, 2015)