Thursday, December 18, 2014

REVIEW: The Mystery of Mercy Close (Walsh Family #5) by Marian Keyes

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.


Marian Keyes could publish a book filled with purely nonsensical 
words, and more likely than not, I would buy it. When word broke about her newest installment of the Walsh family antics, The Mystery of Mercy Close, I closed my eyes and breathed in a sigh of happy anticipation. Sadly though, I was disappointed by this book, and found the hilarity to be sub-par to what Keyes usually produces.

First and foremost, the confusion. Helen was the oddest of characters, to say the least. She suffered from anxiety, and depression, and was consistently popping pills whilst super sleuthing around town. I got that, and appreciated the author's decision to shed light on a topic that deserves more attention: mental health. What I didn't get, and bare with me here, was her tendency to be slightly schizophrenic as well. One minute she hates children, music, books (yes...BOOKS!), movies, and-oh the list goes on, and the next, she's professing her not-so-secret love for Michael Buble, and even points out that she was a screaming fan at his concert. I couldn't pin her down, and felt as though Keyes was attempting to make her what she was, all while hoping she came off as something else. The same went for her best friend, Bronaugh, who I was hoping to get a lot more back story on.

The Mystery of Mercy Close was just that: a mystery. SO much so that I forgot at times that I was reading a Keyes novel. I wasn't anticipating the laugh out loud moments, because there were barely any. Even Mammy Walsh seemed more reserved and toned down!

For what it's worth, I enjoyed being back in the presence of the Walsh family and was rooting for Helen's personal and romantic life. However, by the end of it all, I realized that I could take or leave this particular Walsh sister. The punch was in the underlying topic, and that was the struggle of the mind. If you're looking for a book that highlights the sometimes tangled wires of the human brain, and don't mind some humour thrown in for good measure, this one is definitely for you.

Also, N'SYNC. You'll see why...

Read if you like:  
Contemporary, Satire, Humour, Romance, Sophie Kinsella, Cecilia Ahern




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