When Kim Nash of Bookouture asked if I’d be interested in taking part in a Blog Tour for Angela Marsons’ fourth book, Play Dead, I can say with all honesty that I bit her hand off – in fact, she probably still has the marks (sorry, Kim). I blame my reaction on the DI Kim Stone Series being SO outstanding. Book #4 is no exception, aaaand here’s my review…
Publisher: Bookouture | Publication date: 20th May 2016
Play Dead is the fourth book in an impressive line up of crime thrillers featuring the indomitable DI Kim Stone. This series isn’t just detective fiction, it’s effective fiction. Its gripping opener and the suspense that followed prevented me from stopping until I’d finished. I consumed it in one greedy sitting, it was just SO good!
Returning from her ordeal in Lost Girls (book three) DI Kim Stone is restored to her optimum ‘don’t even think of messing with me’ self. She and her team are invited to a hush, hush scientific facility in a remote area of the Black Country for a rare training opportunity. It’s certainly an experience they won’t forget, as the scientists studying the effects of human decay under an assortment of circumstances are faced with a cadaver that they can’t account for.
The perpetrator’s signature is particularly brutal and unpleasantly ‘earthy’. As a sickening routine is soon established, we get a sense of their fragile unhinged state from a little voice that raises its head between the main chapters. No one could anticipate just how much their irregular upbringing would influence their twisted ambition in life. I’m not saying any more, as it’s best to allow their peculiar brand of oddness introduce itself!
As Stone’s regular team attacks every lead a pattern emerges to reveal that a newshound she’s locked horns with in the past may hold information crucial to their case. But while the Inspector’s character would audibly growl at the anyone who rubs her up the wrong way, she never allows her resentment to get in the way of any investigation – she’s thorough, just don’t expect the pleasantries. And to further complicate matters, a cold case has come to light that isn’t even within her jurisdiction. A little discreet digging later sees not just one skeleton in the cupboard, but a queue is starting to form.
What I love about Stone’s character is that despite regularly embracing her anti-social side, her own troubled background allows her to relate easily to the majority of the victims and their families. Every investigation invites us a little further into her life and occasionally a softer side peeks out from behind the protective mask she wears on duty. And is that a hint of romance in the air? A little bit of Bryant’s meddling will see his boss bumping into a colleague from a previous investigation at the most inopportune moments, resulting in close encounters of a VERY brief kind!
Well, I’ve discovered three things at the end of this novel: 1. The reasons that prevent our infamous newshound’s ‘Frosty’ exterior from thawing, whose pushy antics are renowned for getting my favourite DI’s hackles up, 2. Barney (Stone’s dog) is quite possibly the canine equivalent of his owner, and 3. Kim Stone once again excels at being her exceptional and impatient best.
This series already has the edge over most others in its category but that edge just got a whole lot sharper, as Play Dead is breathtakingly superb. But is it really, you ask? ABSOLUTELY. It’s the only series I pre-order without even reading the book summary.
My reviews for the other books in the DI Kim Stone series:
(Courtesy of Amazon UK)
The dead don’t tell secrets…unless you listen.
The girl’s smashed-in face stared unseeing up to the blue sky, soil spilling out of her mouth. A hundred flies hovered above the bloodied mess.
Westerley research facility is not for the faint-hearted. A ‘body farm’ investigating human decomposition, its inhabitants are corpses in various states of decay. But when Detective Kim Stone and her team discover the fresh body of a young woman, it seems a killer has discovered the perfect cover to bury their crime.
Then a second girl is attacked and left for dead, her body drugged and mouth filled with soil. It’s clear to Stone and the team that a serial killer is at work – but just how many bodies will they uncover? And who is next?
As local reporter, Tracy Frost, disappears, the stakes are raised. The past seems to hold the key to the killer’s secrets – but can Kim uncover the truth before a twisted, damaged mind claims another victim …?
The latest utterly addictive thriller from the No.1 bestseller Angela Marsons.
(Courtesy of Amazon UK. Author Photograph courtesy of Publisher.)
She lives in the Black Country with her partner, their bouncy Labrador and a swearing parrot.
She first discovered her love of writing at Junior School when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read “Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people’s”.
After years of writing relationship based stories (My Name Is and The Middle Child) Angela turned to Crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away. She is signed to Bookouture.com for a total of eight books.
THE DI KIM STONE SERIES ‘LINE UP’:
You can also visit these other fantastic blogs on the Play Dead Blog Tour today:
Thanks for stopping by!