Sunday 12 May 2024

The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes

The Mystery of Mercy Close (Walsh Family, #5)The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 4 days

Pages - 508

Publisher - Penguin books

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Helen Walsh doesn’t believe in fear – it’s just a thing invented by men to get all the money and good job – and yet she’s sinking. Her work as a Private Investigator has dried up, her flat has been repossessed and now some old demons have resurfaced.

Not least in the form of her charming but dodgy ex-boyfriend Jay Parker, who shows up with a missing persons case. Money is tight – so tight Helen’s had to move back in with her elderly parents – and Jay is awash with cash. The missing person is Wayne Diffney, the ‘Wacky One’ from boyband Laddz. He’s vanished from his house in Mercy Close and it’s vital that he’s found – Laddz have a sell-out comeback gig in five days’ time.

Things ended messily with Jay. And she’s never going back there. Besides she has a new boyfriend now, the very sexy detective Artie Devlin and it’s all going well, even though his ex-wife isn’t quite ‘ex’ enough and his teenage son hates her. But the reappearance of Jay is stirring up all kinds of stuff she thought she’d left behind.

Playing by her own rules, Helen is drawn into a dark and glamorous world, where her worst enemy is her own head and where increasingly the only person she feels connected to is Wayne, a man she’s never even met.

My Review

So I think the first thing I would say is this book is a bit darker in some of the themes than any of her others, well that I remember. Don't get me wrong there is still some laughs, hilarity, some oh no she/they didn't and jaw dropper moments. However the book centers around Helen Walsh and she is a very unique individual. She doesn't seem to have a filter, she struggles to gel with people, she is abrupt, brutally honest and has mental health issues. Now I don't often put trigger warnings, I do tend to highlight themes without spoilers but I am putting a trigger warning here so if you have issues with dark mental health/self harm - stop reading here.

Helen is a private detective, she is dealing with some personal problems and the work and focus is good for her. Her new assignment is helping track down a member of a previous very popular boyband member, the band is getting back together (minus the one who burst to great stardom) and now Wayne is missing. We follow Helen tracking him down, working with her ex boyfriend, awks much, looking for a famous dude and trying to keep the black dog (depression) at bay.

The investigation is interesting and how she manages to work the case and juggle so much in her personal life. The mental health stuff, her struggles with her depression, how her family reacts to it and how she herself deals with it. The book jumps around a wee bit and I think that helps to cement the way Helen is and how she gets through her day to day life. I think Keyes does great infusing humour with some really tough/harsh real life topics. Depression, self harm and all the darkness that can go with it is throughout the book along with infidelity, splashes of humour, regular and dark, family and obvs the missing celebrity. We get a peak into how the world of celebrity looks through Helen's eyes and the access she gets through her job.

I don't really know how I feel about this one, I liked parts of it, I think if you have had a history of depression or had any battles with mental health you will take something different. Understanding, empathy, maybe even just feeling "seen" because despite this being a fictional character/book the author has done due diligence with the topics, if you know you know. Overall 3.5/5 for me this time, I am missing gaps in the Walsh books I am sure so I need to catch up with them. Yes I have read them out of order *twitch* but they can pretty much be standalones.

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