Vicky (A Backpack Full of Adventures)'s Reviews > The Mystery of Mercy Close

The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes
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Jun 26, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: chick-lit, read-in-2012, for-review
Read from September 13 to 19, 2012

Originally reviewed at:

Marian Keyes has been one of my favourite authors ever since I can remember so seeing one of her books hit the shelves always fills me with excitement. The Mystery of Mercy Close is the fifth and final Walsh sister book, featuring the youngest Walsh sister, Helen. Although I was sure the book would be another fantastic read, I had absolutely no idea what to expect from Helen. We already met her in her sisters’ books when she was still a teenager – she was the pretty and popular one who was known for her sharp tongue, her sarcasm and brutal honesty. She was hilarious in her own way but for some reason I could never relate to her character as much as I could to some of her sisters’. Which was another reason why I’ve been so eagerly waiting for this book – I was really intrigued to see how her quirky character would work if she had her ‘own book’ and to see how much she’s changed throughout the years. As it turns out, she has changed a lot. So much so that a few chapters in she became my favourite Walsh sister and The Mystery of Mercy Close turned out to be my favourite book from the series.

I loved this story for so many different reasons. Helen is a great narrator – she’s sarcastic, she doesn’t care what people think about her, but she’s witty and more importantly, very entertaining. The book itself is quite fast paced – a lot faster than any of the previous four books were – and there’s literally not one dull moment. Keyes has never written mysteries or anything like this before but she pulled it off perfectly. She kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish and I literally couldn’t tell what was going to happen next. As a huge mystery/crime fan I loved the fact that I kept guessing almost till the end and even though I had at least three different solutions for Wayne’s disappearance, none of them were right. (It all starts to make sense towards the last ninety pages or so, and once you figure out what the title – which is another brilliant touch – refers to you’ve figured out where Wayne is but even then, you just can’t predict how it’s all going to end.)

On top of these countless twists and turns, another thing that makes The Mystery of Mercy Close so unique is the fact that there are basically two completely different stories within the book. On the one hand, there’s the investigation and the whole Laddz business but on the other hand, there’s Helen’s own story, her battle with depression and everything she’s been through in the past. Since Keyes herself has been diagnosed with depression back in 2009 and the book was written in the following years, Helen’s take on this issue is frighteningly real. The way she describes how desperate, helpless and afraid she felt, how nothing seemed to help and how she got to the point where she even had a suicide kit is both heartbreaking and beautifully written. Keyes went through the exact same things (including going into psychiatric hospital and even having the suicide kit) and describes them in such detail, with such honesty that I was moved to tears several times throughout the story. But at the same time, the book has quite an optimistic message as well: Helen’s story is proof that things do get better eventually. You might not be the same person as you were before but you will get better and this, just like everything else, will pass.

If I had to sum this book up in five words, I’d say it was worth the wait. I know I won’t be able to do it justice no matter how much longer I carry on but I really hope you’ll pick it up. Don’t worry if you haven’t read the previous four books, there are no major spoilers and it doesn’t really matter what order you read them in. The Mystery of Mercy Close is a marvellous page-turner with a hilariously funny narrator and a fantastic plot which will definitely stay with you for a long time. I loved every second of it!
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Quotes Vicky Liked

Marian Keyes
“Waiting to be 'better' is the wrong approach. It's learning to live with it.”
Marian Keyes, The Mystery of Mercy Close

Reading Progress

09/14/2012 page 110
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Sally great review :-).. just started it and can't wait to get going x

Vicky (A Backpack Full of Adventures) Sally Noctor wrote: "great review :-).. just started it and can't wait to get going x"

Thank you so much! :) I hope you'll enjoy the rest of the book! Happy reading x

Gail I too LOVED this book. It was, as you say, deeply moving with the depression side of things as Marian has battled her our demons with this. I cried when I finished it, especially her wonderful dedication to her beloved Tony

Vicky (A Backpack Full of Adventures) So did I. Even the acknowledgements were moving, just as you say. Loved it. :)

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