When two teenagers are found chained to a radiator on the fourth floor of Chaucer House, a block of flats on the notorious Hollytree estate, alarm bells begin to ring for Detective Inspector Kim Stone. Thirty years before, there had been a similar scene at the same block of flats, only this time, the victims were Stone and her younger brother, Mikey. Another crime scene bearing a similarity to the deaths of her foster parents sees Kim fearing the worst – someone is recreating traumatic events from her past. Will Kim be the next victim?
For long-time readers of this series, Kim Stone’s history has not been a secret. Spending her early years with her mentally ill mother before being moved around a series of foster homes, she had a more traumatic upbringing than most. So far, though, with the exception of a few occasions, we have seen her trying to keep these memories at bay, focusing all her energy on her professional life. Now, however, in Dead Memories, Kim is forced to face her past and, although we still see her in control of the investigation, for the first time we see cracks starting to develop in her hard exterior.
One of the reasons I think this series continues to go from strength to strength is the relationship between the main characters. Events in previous books have really cemented their closeness and although the recent arrival of an outsider, Penn, could have disrupted this harmony, it has been good to see how quickly he integrated within the group, despite the circumstances surrounding his arrival. The return of profiler, Alison, also added a new dynamic to the group, at times providing some much-needed light-hearted moments in a hard-hitting storyline. Her sub-plot was also gripping and was worthy of a book of its own!
I don’t want to say too much about the book for fear of giving away too much but what I will say is that Dead Memories has a well-written, enjoyable plot and existing fans of the series will definitely love revisiting crimes of the past. I enjoyed being reacquainted with characters we have already met and was particularly pleased to see a cameo appearance from a certain newspaper reporter!
I don’t know how she does it but Angela Marsons keeps the quality of this series consistently high – I would go as far as saying that, for me, this is one of the best in the series. Hopefully, this is a series that will run and run.
With thanks to Bookouture and Net Galley for my copy. Take a look at my reviews of the rest of the series: