Newest Review: ... many of Keyes's books, including her non-fiction books. Helen is a private detective by trade, and this book centres around her search f... more
A light read
The Mystery of Mercy Close - Marian Keyes
Member Name: hlb2009
The Mystery of Mercy Close - Marian Keyes
Advantages: A fantastic read
Disadvantages: not the best from this author
I absolutely love Marian Keyes' books. I first stumbled across this author about 7 years ago when I was given a book of hers for free and now I am really glad that I was given it as I devoured the book and have since read every single one! I now wait for the next one to be published! I got this for Christmas and couldn't wait to read it as I just love the way Keyes' manages to draw me in.
Marian Keyes has written several fiction books including:
Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married
This Charming Man
Last Chance Saloon
As well as these she has also written some short stories and also just had published a baking book which is part biographical and part cook book. I have found all of her books to be enjoyable reads and this latest one; The Mystery Of Mercy Close I believe is not her best book but is brilliant at drawing you in and giving you a form of escapism which is just what I like from a book.
Marian Keyes has told several stories involving The Walsh Family. Each book which has this family in features one of the Walsh sisters as the main character. This book shows us Helen Walsh, the youngest sister, one I'd been waiting to read for a while! Helen Walsh is a private investigator. She struggled through school to find her niche and kind of stumbled into being a private investigator but as we meet Helen in this book her work is drying up, business is not booming in Ireland and work is hard to come by. Helen is currently seeing Artie who has three children and she cannot believe she has a boyfriend who is not like her usual type at all although things are a little odd with his ex wife always being round and his teenage son having a huge dislike towards Helen so life is not at it's best... Helen is forced to move in with her parents due to her lack of work and the bank repossessing her flat which she adored.
She finds herself living back at home feeling dazed and confused, wanting to have her flat back, not able to move in with her boyfriend due to the awkward situation and then she begins to think about death. Helen has suffered from depression in the past and Keyes, throughout the story, recalls of how it consumed her, how she struggled to get through each day and how now she is afraid it is coming back. Struggling to keep the thoughts of doom out of her mind, Helen cannot help but resist an offer of some work.
The work comes from Jay Parker... Jay Parker who happens to be an ex boyfriend of hers and who, it is very plain to see, there is a lot of friction around and unfinished business. Jay Parker is a manager for a boyband- Laddz who are attempting a come-back. One of their main members has gone missing and he requires Helen to track him down. She finds herself face to face with world wide super stars and with keys to Wayne (the singer who has gone missing)'s house so she can investigate. This investigation helps to take Helen away from her gloom although it is still hanging in the background around her and tries to consume her when she isn't focussing on Wayne.
Throughout the story Keyes' adds airs of mystery from the disappearance of the singer- why has he vanished? How can nobody know where he is? Why are his band mates behaving strangely? To the relationship between Helen and Jay which clearly has lots of unfinished business. It takes various twists and turns as Keyes tells about the past between Helen and Jay as well as the past with Helen's depression whilst at the same time going through the mystery of Wayne's disappearance.
I found Helen to be quite odd to get my head around. She doesn't 'think' like most people, she is snappy, not afraid to tell people what she thinks of them, doesn't feel guilty easily and this made her quite a likeable character. She definitely isn't weak despite the depression, she appears unafraid of many situations, works her way through things albeit in a rather scatty way but isn't the typical lead character in a chick lit book and I liked that, I found it refreshing. I couldn't guess what she was thinking like with some characters and I think this was the point that Keyes' was trying to make- she isn't an easy to guess character, there are many layers to her.
The other characters were not as well defined but easily recognisable and had their own personalities. I like the way she described the other band mates and how they behaved, it made the entertainment industry look very amusing and all a bit of an act.
The way that Helen warmed to some characters and not others was written really well and made me as a reader make my own opinions on the characters too which i think was really clever. I do like the way that Keyes manaes to create really great cast members which mean you can really enjoy a story and get drawn in.
I do not think that this is Keyes best work of fiction, having said that I could not put it down! Every chapter finished with me thinking 'oh go on just one more...' and I read this book in record quick time. I really enjoyed it.
What I think I enjoyed most about this book is that it has everything I look for when reading; a decent plot which isn't easy to second guess and has lots of different elements in it, an ability to really get to know a character and nothing too heavy so that I can relax and enjoy escapism whilst reading.
The plot has lots of elements to it. The mystery surrounding Wayne was a main one and that had many twists and turns but in a realistic way, it wasn't all face-paced and we got to meet lots of interesting characters. Whilst learning about Wayne we also got to learn about Helen, I enjoyed hearing about Helen's friendships in the past and how they were affected by various events and throughout the book I could tell that something was going to come to light with them but was never sure what. Keyes' ability to write about the past but not confuse was really good. She would go back to writing about a past relationship or Helen's depression and it didn't take away from the present, in fact it made the present even more understandable as it helped to get a clearer picture on who exactly Helen is and how the characters in the story have influenced her.
The way that Keyes wrote about depression was very interesting. It was not written in a heavy way, instead she managed to add elements of humour to it whilst still being very true to how Helen felt and how it affected her. It wasn't patronising or unbelievable but written as though Keyes really knows what she is talking about. Despite having depression as a main theme in this book I wouldn't say it's a heavy read at all, far from it so I think she managed to get the balance just right.
I could never second guess the way the story was unravelling. Whilst reading I kept wondering if Helen and Jay would get back together or if Artie really was The One but I could never second guess it or know for sure. I like that it wasn't easy to second guess. I really enjoyed reading this book, I found it so hard to put down but there were times when I just couldn't keep my eyes open so had to!
In my opinion this is a great book. It isn't just full of chick lit cliches at all, it has far more depth to it than that, lots going on and many interesting characters. There is great humour throughout the book too which makes it even more enjoyable a read. It is a good holiday book that's for sure and gives great escapism. It's not hard to read, there's nothing very complex in it.
I really enjoyed this book and now miss it now I've finished it! I can't wait for her to write more!
Summary: 5 stars from me!