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The Beauty of the End
Debbie Howells

from FictionZeal.com re: The Doll's House by M.J. Arlidge

The Doll's House - M.J. Arlidge

Dead people don’t send text messages.  That news was hard to hear for the estranged family of Pippa Briers, who was found buried in sand about two years after she’d left home.  Since she would periodically text them, her family thought she was just not ready to return home.  But, there are other victims.  One is still alive … and time is running out.  The story opens with Ruby as she wakes up being held captive in a basement.  Her captor likes things to go along smoothly – no hassle.  So, when she doesn’t act or talk the way he likes, he shows his ugly, violent side.  She happens to have the attributes that attract him – long dark hair and baby blue eyes.  What is she missing?  A Bluebird tattoo that he is more than willing to carve into her shoulder.


The author must have temporarily transformed himself into a madman to capture the essence of the mind of this serial killer.  I found it to be very uncomfortably real.  This is the third in the Helen Grace series, but was easily read as a stand-alone.  Helen Grace, as well as the other characters, are all well-defined.  The story also offers a couple of interesting subplots for readers to become engrossed in.  Quite frankly, what doesn’t work for me is more on a personal level.  I don’t read erotica nor books about dominant / submissive relationships.  Our protagonist visits a Dom on occasion.  Although the scenes are not sexually explicit, and while I do expect our main characters to have flaws as we all do, I just didn’t expect nor want this.  Rating: 3.5 out of 5.