First Chapter First Paragraph: Down to the Woods by M J Arlidge

Every Tuesday First Chapter, First Paragraph/Intros is hosted by Vicky of I’d Rather Be at the Beach sharing the first paragraph or two of a book she’s reading or plans to read soon.

Down to the Woods by M J Arlidge is one of the books I’m currently reading.

Down to the Woods (Helen Grace #8)

She reached out and found only emptiness. The silky fabric was cool to her touch, which confused her. Where there should be a warm sentient being, there was just … a void.


There is a sickness in the forest. First, it was the wild horses. Now it’s innocent men and women, hunted down and murdered by a faceless figure. Lost in the darkness, they try to flee, they try to hide. In desperation, they call out for help. But there is no-one to hear their cries here…

DI Helen Grace must face down a new nightmare. The arrow-ridden victims hang from the New Forest’s ancient oaks, like pieces of strange fruit. Why are helpless holidaymakers being targeted in peak camping season? And what do their murders signify? Is a psychopath stalking the forest? Is there an occult element to the killings? Could the murders even be an offering to the Forest itself? Helen must walk into the darkness to discover the truth behind her most challenging, most macabre case yet.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

This is the 8th DI Helen Grace thriller. I haven’t read any of the earlier books but although it’s obvious there’s a lot of back story, it doesn’t seem to matter as I’m following this fast paced mystery with no problems. And it’s scary, set in the depths of the New Forest where evil is at large.

14 thoughts on “First Chapter First Paragraph: Down to the Woods by M J Arlidge

  1. I read the first three of these but gave up because I felt it was one of those series where what happens to the main police chareacters was no longer believable. They would either have been retired on grounds of insanity or sacked. I feel the same way about McDermid’s Tony Hill novels

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s interesting – from what I’ve read in this book so far DI Grace certainly has an eventful (!!) history. I couldn’t bear to watch Wire in the Blood on TV so have never tried the Tony Hill novels.


  2. It certainly sounds like an eerie book, Margaret! And the New Forest is quite a good setting for that sort of novel. I’ll be interested in what you think of this one.


  3. I would, it sounds a good story and the New Forest is a place I know… even if in this story it’s a looming sort of thing. It’s good you’re able to read the 8th without reading the others first. Always nice when there’s enough included to jump right in.


  4. I’ve read one book in the series and meant to get back to it. And this is #8. Well, one day. The pace of these seems to be very fast and so the reader gets caught up in finding out what will happen next. Maybe I’ll try this series on audio.


Comments are closed.