The Mystery of Mercy Close (Walsh Family, #5) The Mystery of Mercy Close question


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Terrific book but missed opportunity?
Lisa Lisa (last edited Dec 31, 2012 01:53PM ) Dec 31, 2012 01:50PM
Firstly, I simply adore everything by MK and raced my way through this, a Christmas present. I loved the mystery, and Helen being a PI.

But I do think something was missing, and I don't feel that is the author's fault. In the previous books Helen was described by others - her sisters, usually - as gorgeously deliciously feminine; tiny, with long silky dark hair, and feline green eyes, and perfectly at ease in her own skin. Here, she is only described as looking good in the last few pages. We could have done with one of the larger Walsh sisters turning up and being a bit jealous of her looks again... Also, it belatedly occurred to me that Helen's individuality could be down to being Asperger's; knowing that she has to 'learn' the right thing to say because she basically has no self-edit button.

As I say, I very much doubt that it is MK's fault that the book is under-written in this way - I'm sure Michael Joseph were so thrilled that she had been able to write again that they didn't dare ask her to do more work - but it could have been tactfully suggested that expanding on certain things would have benefited the book as a whole. Authors don't generally mind being asked to write more - it is taking stuff out that they hate. Any other opinions?



I agree with you. I don't want to leave the impression that I didn't like the book. I loved it! It felt like an old friend. I never thought about Asperger's being an issue. I just read it as part of Helen's feeling disconnected.

I know what you mean about it being under-written. I was also expecting something bigger with the end of her friendship with Bronagh. I read into that somehow Jay was involved with it ending, but nothing really materialized.

I hope that there will be more novels! I would certainly read anything Marian Keyes writes.


I thought the end of the friendship was clearly explained - both in terms of who Bronagh really was as a friend (as in not much of one really, being the sort unable to cope when Helen had her breakdown) and the simple fact that financial arrangements between friends should be avoided as if they go bad, nothing can ever make things right again.

I also think that with the book being from Helen's point of view - and her stating on a a number of times that she would never be the same person she was ever again even though she might be 'better' after her depressive episodes, that to have the sister make comments like that makes it too happy ever after and not at all true to Helen as a character. The fact that she was able to even register looking good at all in those last few pages shows how far she has come in her personal journey. She also states how her relationships with her sisters changed after the first depressive episode and suicide attempt, I would expect that to affect how they saw her and basically stop them saying things like how they are jealous of her looks.

It was a bit muted, definitely, but I think that it was deliberate. It was Helen's life through Helen's eyes, detailing the descent into a depressive episode. The only true richness in her life, the only really explicitly written part of her life was her sex scene with Art, and I felt that that was because that was the only time she felt alive and real and stopped dwelling in the blackness of her depression.


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