The Mystery of Mercy Close


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 opinion: Let me just start by coming straight out with the fact that I love Marian Keyes. Her books are always so well written, funny and have more substance than your average chick lit. I also think that she is hugely inspirational as a person.

Anyway, I had this book for Christmas and it has taken me forever to read, not due to the content of the book, but the fact that the hardback is massive and also pretty heavy! I may have become a bit lazy since getting my Kindle! I finished off the last 200 pages last week sat in the sun on the one day of Summer we had in Wales.

Yet again, Marian has produced a cracker! We pay another visit to the Walsh family, this time to Helen who has turned her hand to private investigation, and her world seems to be eroding slightly around her.

The story has the theme of mental health and we hear about the darkness that Helen experiences during a period of depression, and how she fights it. It is starkly honest about how shit it is to be depressed and I imagine that Marian as drawn on her own experiences to write this account. Saying that, it is not a depressing book. It is truthful, yet quite light in tone. Mental health issues are not stigmatised in the book in any way, and I think goes some way to breaking down barriers to talking about depression.

The story is funny, has a sprinkling of romance, and a great big dollop of Mammy Walsh, who I am pleased to say hasn’t changed a bit! A fab read that has luckily just been released in paperback. It would be great as a holiday read!

My rating: A big fat 5 stars!