Book Review: The Doll’s House

(Helen Grace #3)
02.02.2016 | NAL
Rating: 5/5 stars


Ruby has woken up in a strange room. This room is filled with furniture that does not function, but are instead replicas of actual items. This isn’t a house, but a doll’s house. Overwhelmed and unsure how she has landed in this prison, Ruby meets her captor. A man who continually calls her by another name. A man who tells her that her family doesn’t want her. No one wants her except him.

The body of a young woman is found on a secluded beach buried deep under the sand. Detective Helen Grace is assigned the case and from first glances at the body, quickly decides that the person who killed this woman is no amatuer. This is not their first time killing and likely not their last. Is this killer holding another victim in their grasp at this very moment? Helen Grace must work against the clock to piece together minimal clues to lead her to a dangerous killer.


M.J. Arlidge continues to blow me with his Helen Grace series! THE DOLL’S HOUSE has officially won favorite out of the three I’ve read from the series. This book has a captivating mixture of alternating narratives, tension, and police procedural to keep a reader up long past their bedtime!

Arlidge has a knack for perfectly formatting this series. Each book contains narratives from the killer, Helen Grace and her fellow officers, as well as a look into the victim’s first hand experience. By showing all of the sides to the central case Arlidge is able to solidify a personal connection with the reader. You are now intrigued as to what will happen with the victim, how the police will find the killer, and discovering the real identity of the killer. Along the way there are plenty of red herrings throughout the investigation to keep the reader on their toes and quickly flipping pages on the search for the truth.


In conjunction with the breathtaking narrative, Arlidge utilizes extremely short chapters as a way to hook the reader and drive the story. There is nothing that slows me down more when reading than long chapters. I live for that mentality of “oh the next chapter is only 4 pages, I can squeeze that in”. Before I know it with books like that I’ve read another ten chapters and am mentally calculating how many hours of sleep are needed to fully function at work!

While THE DOLL’S HOUSE is written in a way that potentially would work for a reader as a standalone, I urge you not to take the chance. Why risk not knowing that crucial backstory when you could go back and love this series from the start? I promise you that the first book is just as brilliant as the following titles. So what are you waiting for? Add this to your TBR now!

This book is available to buy from: Amazon | Book Depository

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

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