Book Review: Dead Souls (DI Kim Stone Book 6), by Angela Marsons

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 28th April 2017

So, here we are again. Angela Marsons: slaughterer of sleep, shredder of nerves, and a writer who consistently leaves your patience in tatters as you wait for the next DI Kim Stone fix. Its highly addictive qualities leave me craving more – every single time.

Each book is unique and maintains the focus on hard-hitting topics, which are not dowsed in sensationalism for kicks sake but are a reflection of real life.  And every one of them invites that special Kim Stone defiance to the table to give further insight into both her and her team’s personalities and their reactions to certain cases, like the one we find here…

A field, partial skeletal remains, abhorrent reasons for assault which escalates to so much worse, and an historic flashback to a captive, confused man not quite understanding the complete gravity of his startlingly grim situation, progress to the principle theme of hate crimes. The investigation uncovers what can only be described as human slurry eking their way onto the Black Country streets with alarming arrogance in a campaign directed at sectors of the community who don’t warrant such deplorable attention.

Remove one Stone from her office to work a case at a different station and we’re hoping the remaining officers don’t topple when faced with some incredibly weighty issues. The change allows the natural evolution of her team to be explored, together with the essence of their relationships. The team at Halesowen police station must learn to handle their boss’s absence, try not to inadvertently insult one another, and reconsider their own attitudes to some disturbing issues without overshadowing the communities affected or their colleagues, even if tensions are running feverously high.

The unforeseen re-ordering of rank, however temporary, gives them time to excel or crash, while acquainting us with further unexpected insights into my favourite detective’s past as she’s thrown into the territory of a former colleague with hints of an unwelcome episode preceding her DI days. From brief spats to complete silence, misjudgement seems the order of the day. It’s brilliant to watch how the situation between these two develops especially now she’s the outsider being permitted to tag onto someone else’s team.

I’m so, so happy to have seen more of the other officers and their abilities as they confront some truly contemptible people in an unbeatable face-off; although it was spectacularly orchestrated it’s utterly dreadful to try to imagine the intensity of raw fear, especially when it’s reinforced through the encouragement of others.

To sum up my thoughts upon reading Dead Souls: yet ANOTHER cracker to add to an already stunning series. This stomping great read from an exceedingly talented writer will have you furiously flipping the pages like there’s no tomorrow. 

Rating:   5/5

(I voluntarily downloaded a copy of this title courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley, with my thanks. It’s also on pre-order but I simply couldn’t wait any longer to read it!)

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

When a collection of human bones is unearthed during a routine archaeological dig, a Black Country field suddenly becomes a complex crime scene for Detective Kim Stone.

As the bones are sorted, it becomes clear that the grave contains more than one victim. The bodies hint at unimaginable horror, bearing the markings of bullet holes and animal traps.

Forced to work alongside Detective Travis, with whom she shares a troubled past, Kim begins to uncover a dark secretive relationship between the families who own the land in which the bodies were found.

But while Kim is immersed in one of the most complicated investigations she’s ever led, her team are caught up in a spate of sickening hate crimes. Kim is close to revealing the truth behind the murders, yet soon finds one of her own is in jeopardy – and the clock is ticking. Can she solve the case and save them from grave danger – before it’s too late?

An addictive, sinister crime thriller that will have readers on the edge of their seat.

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(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

Angela Marsons is the author of the Amazon Bestselling DI Kim Stone series – Silent Scream, Evil Games, Lost Girls, Play Dead, Blood Lines and Dead Souls and her books have sold more than 2 million in 2 years.

She lives in the Black Country with her partner, their cheeky Golden Retriever 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 (The Forgotten Woman and Dear Mother) 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 16 books in the Kim Stone series and her books have been translated into more than 20 languages.

Her last two books – Blood Lines and Dead Souls – reached the #1 spot on Amazon on pre-orders alone.

TWITTER   |   FACEBOOK   |   WEBSITE

Other books in the DI Kim Stone series:

My other reviews for books in this series:

Silent Scream

Evil Games

Lost Girls

Play Dead

Blood Lines

Book Review: Blood Lines (DI Kim Stone Book 5) , by Angela Marsons

Publisher:  Bookouture

Publication date: 3rd November 2016 (Version – Kindle)

blood-lines-my-review

blood-lines-by-angela-marsonsDon’t you just love it when a book is completely flawless? The ones that tick ALL the boxes for an incredible read are a rare find, but Blood Lines should strut to the front of the stage and take a well-deserved bow.

DI Kim Stone is one of my absolute favourite characters in ANY genre. The trials in her own background determines how she responds to individuals is rated on the varying degrees on her personal ‘don’t muck me about Stoneometer’: the vulnerable ones have her full and immediate attention, her close knit team know how she works especially when they’re testing the little patience she possesses, and throw in the odd psychopath now and then and it’s a challenge she will rise to.

Stone’s frosty attitude is a stark contrast of how she fights the corner of the victims in the cases she works. In this case, two unrelated victims from entirely different backgrounds are discovered with a single fatal stab wound and, as ever, she is determined to get justice for them – thank heavens for Bryant, her trusty side-kick, who has ample diplomacy for the both of them when dealing with the general public and oddly uncooperative family members!

During the investigation Bryant senses a shift for the worse in the DI’s usual testy mood and realises something is amiss, but as his boss rarely lets her guard down its difficult to determine the reason why. But, we know that Dr Alexandra Thorne is attempting to wheedle her way back into the detective’s life via ways she know will breech the DI’s tough exterior and cause her to lose control – inviting someone with the merciless supremacy of Alex Thorne into the driving seat of your life is not something you would want given her track record, believe me!

After her first appearance in Evil Games Thorne was SO wickedly sinister it was difficult to believe the author, Angela Marsons, could achieve that level of awesome villainy again. Well, she ruddy well has and Blood Lines is equal if not better than book two of the series (that is hard to live up to as I rated it a 6/5!).

There’s something about Alex Thorne as Kim Stone’s adversary that you just can’t top. Let’s face it, she may be safely behind bars but that doesn’t mean to say that everyone else stop looking over their shoulder! Her puppet mastery skills have an incredibly looong reach. The events she orchestrates are taken to a whole new level of devious manipulation and vengefulness, and she will stop at nothing until she antagonises ‘Kimmy’, her irritating pet name for the DI, just enough to provoke  the reaction she desires.

There are many, many, many other character’s traits I love too, like Barney the dog (yes, a dog), Keats the pathologist, and Stacey’s broad Black Country accent. Not to mention the absence of Stone’s culinary skills and her minimalistic, solitary lifestyle – I think we can safely assume that she won’t appear on Come Dine with Me any time soon!

Take it from someone who very rarely continues to read a series when I say this collection is tremendous. It’s a series that never fails to deliver just the right amount of compassion, credibility, action, wit and suspense. This is crime fiction at its finest.

Rating:  5/5

(Source: My own purchased copy.)

My reviews for the series so far:

Book 1:  Silent Scream

Book 2:  Evil Games

Book 3:  Lost Girls

Book 4:  Play Dead

blood-lines-book-summary

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

A victim killed with a single, precise stab to the heart appears at first glance to be a robbery gone wrong. A caring, upstanding social worker lost to a senseless act of violence. But for Detective Kim Stone, something doesn’t add up.

When a local drug addict is found murdered with an identical wound, Kim knows instinctively that she is dealing with the same killer. But with nothing to link the two victims except the cold, calculated nature of their death, this could be her most difficult case yet.

Desperate to catch the twisted individual, Kim’s focus on the case is threatened when she receives a chilling letter from Dr Alex Thorne, the sociopath who Kim put behind bars. And this time, Alex is determined to hit where it hurts most, bringing Kim face-to-face with the woman responsible for the death of Kim’s little brother – her own mother.

As the body count increases, Kim and her team unravel a web of dark secrets, bringing them closer to the killer. But one of their own could be in mortal danger. Only this time, Kim might not be strong enough to save them…

A totally gripping thriller that will have you hooked from the very first page to the final, dramatic twist.

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blood-lines-author-profile

(Courtesy of Amazon UK – Author photograph courtesy of Publisher)

Angela Marsons photo

Angela Marsons is the author of Amazon #1 Bestseller SILENT SCREAM.

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.

The second, third and fourth books in the Kim Stone series, EVIL GAMES, LOST GIRLS and PLAY DEAD are also now available.

TWITTER   |   FACEBOOK   |   WEBSITE

OTHER BOOKS IN THE DI KIM STONE SERIES

DI Kim Stone Series 4

*BLOG TOUR* Book Review: Play Dead (Detective Kim Stone Book 4), by Angela Marsons

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 My Review

Play Dead Kindle CoverPlay 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.

Rating: 5/5

My reviews for the other books in the DI Kim Stone series:

(MASSIVE thanks to Bookouture, Kim Nash and Angela Marsons for providing an advanced digital copy for review and saving a seat on the tour bus, I’m forever grateful.)

Play Dead Book Summary

(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.

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Play Dead Author Profile

(Courtesy of Amazon UK. Author Photograph courtesy of Publisher.)

Angela Marsons photoAngela Marsons is the author of Amazon #1 Bestseller SILENT SCREAM.

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.

TWITTER  |  FACEBOOK  |  WEBSITE

THE DI KIM STONE SERIES ‘LINE UP’:

You can also visit these other fantastic blogs on the Play Dead Blog Tour today:

Crooks on Books

Crime Book Junkie

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Thanks for stopping by!

Wendy sig

Book Review: Lost Girls (Detective Kim Stone Book 3), by Angela Marsons

Publisher:  Bookouture   |   Publication date:  6th November 2015   |   Edition:  Kindle (Review Copy)

Lost Girl Review

Lost Girls by Angela Marsons Kindle Cover

Lost Girls is the third book in a series of consistently traumatic crime thrillers from Angela Marsons, and boy does she know exactly how to create tension. It starts with a ripple, then rises like high tide until engulfs you entirely. When DI Kim Stone was born, crime fiction just got grittier.

With a kidnapping plot escalating, Stone is confronting an invisible adversary and family secrets, that not even an experienced liaison officer can iron out.

One of the worst possible scenarios has occurred – two children are missing. Hideous enough by itself you’d think, that is until a solitary text is received indicating the severity of the situation. While everyone is scratching around for clues, Stone is making promises she may not be able to keep and her already low patience threshold is declining rapidly.

The anonymous texter sends shivers through the team with their carefully selected words. The only way to retrieve the girls is to barter for their lives – highest bidder, winner takes all. Well, their child anyway. The other will not return, leaving one family empty handed after suffering the same ordeal. The question on everyone’s lips is exactly how do you place monetary value on the life of your child? And why should someone else’s be worth any less?

Emotions run feverishly high. Guilt faces the parents at every turn – by not offering enough they risk losing the game, or too much and sealing the fate of another family’s flesh and blood. As a reader you feel every moment of anguish they suffer, while the texter stops at nothing to achieve their goal.

Given Kim Stone’s harsh approach in social situations, you’d think she wouldn’t be assigned to deal with the public in any capacity. But as she was invited to lead the investigation in this instance she’s been warned to keep her manners in check by her Super. Alas, her last ounce of patience is relentlessly poked with a stick when the intervention of so-called expert negotiators is called for and she is forced to bite her tongue. It’s not long before she forges ahead with her own unique approach to bring those responsible down – it’s not always pretty, but it’s very, very effective.

Drawing from her own tragic background, she has developed an aptitude for honing in on the Black Country’s most wanted. Like a dog with a bone, she won’t let go. Especially when there’s kids involved, or one of her team, then you definitely do not want her on your tail, as she’s willing to make the necessary sacrifices to protect them all.

Lost Girls offers yet another viciously cruel game and a supremely unnerving plot. You hear from the good guys, the bad guys and the victims themselves, until the layers of the crime scene paint a picture so vivid you will feel like you’re sitting right in the middle of it – which is perfect, as you won’t want to miss a thing.

ABSOLUTELY, WITHOUT A DOUBT,

H I G H L Y   R E C O M M E N D E D  ! ! !

~ Yes, that’s 5 out of 5 – AGAIN ~

It’s a good ‘un!

(A thousand thanks and more to Team Bookouture and Kim Nash for providing a digital copy of this book for review, and extra-special thanks to the talented Angela Marsons for writing it. Now, the last time I got my hands on a book in this series I offered my left kidney, but if I continue like this I will expire before I’ve read them all. Erm, would you consider an I.O.U. ? Please?)

Lost Girls Book Summary

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

The couple that offers the highest amount will see their daughter again. The losing couple will not. Make no mistake. One child will die.

When nine-year-old best friends Charlie and Amy disappear, two families are plunged into a living nightmare. A text message confirms the unthinkable; that the girls are the victims of a terrifying kidnapping.

And when a second text message pits the two families against each other for the life of their children, the clock starts ticking for D.I. Kim Stone and the squad.

Seemingly outwitted at every turn, as they uncover a trail of bodies, Stone realises that these ruthless killers might be the most deadly she has ever faced. And that their chances of bringing the girls home alive, are getting smaller by the hour…

Untangling a dark web of secrets from the families’ past might hold the key to solving this case. But can Kim stay alive long enough to do so? Or will someone’s child pay the ultimate price?

The latest utterly addictive thriller from the No.1 bestseller Angela Marsons.

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Lost Girls Author Links

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

Angela Marsons is the author of Amazon #1 Bestseller SILENT SCREAM.

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 in an 8 book deal. The second book in the Kim Stone series, EVIL GAMES, was released on 29th May 2015.

TWITTER  |  FACEBOOK  |  WEBSITE

BOOKS IN THE DI KIM STONE SERIES:


 

BookoutureThriller

Silent Scream (Detective Kim Stone Book 1), by Angela Marsons

Publisher: Bookouture | Published: 20th February 2015 | Edition: Kindle (own copy)

The innocence of the life taken was known to them all but the pact had been made. Their secrets would be buried…

Good grief, what a ride!

Silent Scream THIS ONE

Silent Scream is a crime reader’s dream…

Silent Scream is a crime reader’s dream. Pacey and plot driven, it is filled with ‘real’ characters that you gain an immediate rapport with.

The story unfolds in 2004 with five people huddled around a fresh grave on a winter’s night. This was such a great opener, I just had to read on to discover who had succumbed to this awful fate. It didn’t take long for me to become addicted to each and every chapter.

In the present day, when headmistress Teresa Wyatt is found murdered in her own home, a punchy, determined, take-no-messing Detective Inspector named Kim Stone is called to investigate her death.

The enquiry into this seemingly unmotivated attack leads our Detective and her team down a winding historical path. Whilst revisiting the past, the investigation takes them to the scene of an old children’s home in the Black Country where the murdered Principle used to work.

The home had previously been destroyed by fire, but the ground on which it stood had become the subject of a recently permitted archaeological dig: Cue our elusive watcher in the shadows…

With the body count starting to rise, some slightly unorthodox investigative processes are deemed necessary to catch a killer who seems to be determined to see through what they’ve started. But will Stone’s usual resolve be strong enough in order to catch them? Only time with tell if she will succeed – as this case grows darker, the Detective must also confront her own past.  By the end of the story you see that victims and survivors come from all walks of life.

If you’re still thinking you’re in need of a little more atmosphere after all that, the killer also ‘voices’ their creepy motivations periodically. These little snippets are fed to readers at perfect opportunities. And if that doesn’t convince you, there is the most excellent finale.

This is the first book I’ve read with the local Black Country Dialect included in parts of the dialogue and it was conveyed perfectly. It’s a cracking debut and one I would thoroughly recommend.

So, here’s hoping ‘The Scream’ goes on for a very long time.

(Book 2 in this series was published on 29th May 2015 and is even more exceptional. You can read my review here:  Evil Games )

Rating: 5/5


CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR:

And you can follow the both the writer and the publisher on Twitter:

Author: @WriteAngie  |  Publisher: @Bookouture

TWITTER  |  FACEBOOK  |  WEBSITE

BOOKS IN THE DI KIM STONE SERIES:


Concerning the locality: 

On a personal note, I’m now nick-naming this book Silent Squeal. After working in this area for over twenty years I recognised all of the places in it. It’s such a cracking story, I don’t think I can pass the main murder scene again without thinking about this book…