The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes

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The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes

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Buy The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Women's Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Thought-provoking, funny, warm and a good read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 528 Date: September 2012
Publisher: Michael Joseph
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0718155315

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Helen Walsh is a Private Investigator. She's also back home living with her elderly parents (you've heard about Mammy Walsh, right?) because she can't keep up the mortgage or her (very small) flat in Dublin and she hasn't got an office either, for much the same reason. Work is decidedly thin on the ground and to make matters even worse some of her old demons have bubbled up. She's suffered from depression before and she knows the signs: those vultures in the sky were a bit of a giveaway. An old boyfriend resurfaces too. Jay Parker was always charming but too dodgy to be a keeper. It's a difficult choice when he wants to employ Helen but Jay has cash and he's putting on three gigs in Dublin. The trouble is that one of the members of former boyband Laddz, whose comeback starts the following week, has gone missing and without Wayne Diffney a lot of money is going to have to be repaid to the punters.

Throw into the mix the Walsh family; we've met - and loved - them before and Artie Devlin, boyfriend, policeman and rather too close to his ex-wife for Helen's peace of mind and you've got the makings of a very good story, particularly when Helen finds herself getting just a little too close to the mind of the missing Wayne Wacky One Diffney. It's the colours on his walls, you see. They'd turn most people off, but Helen loves them. There's a running riff of jokes about what the colours are called and that's not the only thing that's going to have you laughing out loud.

It's delightful, very Irish humour but there is a darker side and that's Helen's depression. Marian Keyes has been there and she knows what it's like. (She bakes cakes to heave herself out of the abyss.) It never gets too heavy - sometimes there's a line of black humour - but she never minimises or makes light of what it's like either. Helen Walsh's depression is an exemplary piece of writing.

The plot is clever and I really didn't see how it was going to turn out. In fairness, it took Helen Walsh the best part of a week (or about five hundred pages, whichever way you look at it) and she's a private investigator. If you're looking for a good, relaxing read that's still thought provoking then this could be your book.

I'd like to thank the publishers for dropping a copy into the Bookbag.

For another Dublin-based Private investigator, you might like to try Friends and Lovers by Maureen Martella, but we think Marian Keyes is rather better.

Buy The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes at Amazon.co.uk


Buy The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes at Amazon.com.

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