Scream! Marian Keyes’ new book is out on Thursday – and you could win a copy (as well as a set of the other four Walsh family novels)! Plus, we’ve got fab video of Marian herself and even a sneak peek of the book. Yes, we are VERY good to you…
The Mystery Of Mercy Close, by Marian Keyes, (£18.99. Michael Joseph) is published Thursday, September 13.
Helen Walsh is a private investigator who’s failing to make ends meet. The recession’s hit, she’s had to give up her beloved flat and move back in with her parents, and she starts to spiral back into the dark depression she knows only too well. Plus, although she loves her boyfriend Artie, there’s the slight complication of his three children and perfect-but-unhateable ex-wife. Then an old flame, Jay Parker, gets in touch with a case he wants her to take on – for which he’ll pay her handsomely. He’s manager to boy band Laddz, who are about to perform a series of high-profile reunion gigs. The only problem is one of them has gone AWOL. Wayne Diffney has disapperared and Jay – and the rest of Laddz – are desperate to find him before the biggest gig of their flagging careers in just a few days time. It’s Helen’s job to track him down, but quickly she finds herself lost in a world of underground criminals, crazy neighbours and boy band diva strops. And that’s before her family have had their say…
The Mystery Of Mercy Close is Marian Keyes’ fifth novel centered around the Walsh sisters and head of the family, Mammy Walsh. Fans of the other four books won’t be disappointed, as there’s plenty of Walsh family wit, sarcasm and understatement. But, equally, this novel is a great stand-alone read. It’s full of Marian’s trademark Irishisms and humour, but what sets it apart as new and fresh, is the way the ‘mystery’ is played out. Just as Helen is trying to discover where Wayne is, I also turned detective as I read the book attempting to guess what would happen. And when the truth was finally revealed , it was very clever and satisfying!
Helen is central to the book, and it’s her character that makes it so readable. Marian has spoken out about her personal battle with depression, and it’s clear that she brings her own experiences of the illness to Helen. This makes the character believeable and rounded, and although she can be quite a hard person to like, it’s this sense of her being human that means you start to empathise and root for her.
Some of the best bits of the book are the scenes with Laddz. The boy band members are exaggerated versions of pop stars you might well recognise and I loved all their diva moments, especially when they’re rehearsing for the gigs and practising their routines – they’ll definitely make you giggle!
The Mystery Of Mercy Close is Marian at her absolute best. Well-written, witty and wonderful, it’s a guaranteed best-seller.
So you’ve read what I think of The Mystery Of Mercy Close – now find out what Marian herself thinks in this fab video:
And as if you needed any further convincing to go out and buy this book today, we’re treating you to the first few pages of the novel! Read On for your exclusive sneak peek…
I was thinking about food. Stuck in traffic, it’s what I do.
What any normal person does, of course, but now that I
thought about it, I hadn’t had anything to eat since seven
o’clock this morning, about ten hours ago. A Laddz song
came on the radio for the second time that day – how about
that for bad luck? – and as the maudlin syrupy harmonies
filled the car I had a brief but powerful urge to drive into a
There was a petrol station coming up on the left, the red
sign of refreshment hanging invitingly in the sky. I could
extricate myself from this gridlock and go in and buy a
doughnut. But the doughnuts they sold in those places were
as tasteless as the sponges you find at the bottom of the
ocean; I’d be better off just washing myself with one. Besides,
a swarm of huge black vultures was circling over the petrol
pumps and they were kind of putting me off. No, I decided,
I’d hang on and –
Wait a minute! Vultures?
In a city?
At a petrol station?
I took a second look and they weren’t vultures. Just seagulls.
Ordinary Irish seagulls.
Then I thought: Ah no, not again.
Fifteen minutes later I pulled up outside my parents’ house,
took a moment to gather myself, then started rummaging for
a key to let myself in. They’d tried to make me give it back
when I moved out three years ago but – thinking strategically
– I’d hung on to it. Mum had made noises about changing
the locks but seeing as she and Dad took eight years to decide
to buy a yellow bucket, what were the chances that they’d
manage something as complicated as getting a new lock?
I found them in the kitchen, sitting at the table drinking
tea and eating cake. Old people. What a great life they had.
Even those who don’t do t’ai chi. (Which I’ll get to.)
They looked up and stared at me with barely concealed
‘I’ve news,’ I said.
Mum found her voice. ‘What are you doing here?’
‘I live here.’
‘You don’t. We got rid of you. We painted your room.
We’ve never been happier.’
‘I said I’ve news. That’s my news. I live here.’
Are you a big fan of Marian? Tweet me what you’re reading @FabFrosty. See you next week!