Top critical review
Just not quite good enough
5 October 2015
I reviewed Arlidge's first novel Eeny Meeny some time ago and gave it huge wraps. One of the best novels I've read in many a year.
I never bothered reviewing Arlidge's second - Pop Goes The Weasel - because it was a massive disappointment in comparison - the unique story line was gone, character development became confusing and complicated and the book just didn't live up to its predecessor.
This third novel, The Doll's House recovers somewhat and certainly keeps the reader interested. The unique storyline is lacking, but the reworking of a tried and true scenario of an abducted woman held as a prisoner by a psycho with a childhood problem is well executed. The parallel plot of "psychology at work" with work colleagues trying to destroy each other, climbing the ladder of success, wanting credit for the achievements of others and cliques within the work force was interesting but really didn't add a lot to the plot.
The pity is Arlidge came up with a cracker debut with a real twist on the serial killer theme and doesn't seem to have another "point of difference" to explore. I'll give the next release (Liar Liar) a try, but it needs to return to the heady level of Eeny Meeny or Arlidge will have lost me.