Detective Inspector Kim Stone is back! Picking up after the previous book, Lost Girls, Stone and her team find themselves at Westerley research facility – otherwise known as a ‘body farm’. What should be an opportunity to discover how science is aiding police investigation soon takes a grim turn when the body of a young woman, complete with a smashed-in face, is found amongst the slowly-decomposing corpses.

Soon, a second woman is found on the same site. Like the previous victim, she has been drugged and her mouth filled with soil. This time, however, she is clinging on to life. Will Kim be able to discover the motives behind the killer’s crimes and will she be able to apprehend him before the body count increases?

Ever since reading Lost Girls, I have been waiting for the next installment of the Kim Stone Series and, happily, I was not disappointed! In Kim Stone, Angela Marsons has succeeded in creating a likeable lead character with a multifaceted personality. In Play Dead, we get to see her dedication to the job and how she will stop at nothing to ensure she gets her own way – her meeting with nemesis newspaper reporter, Tracy Frost, in the cafe is a prime example of this. We also, however, get to see her softer, more caring side in scenes with her dog and also, more poignantly, when dealing with the back story of one of the Westerley employees.

Play Dead is a gripping story and, just when you think you have the plot worked out, a curveball is thrown to make you rethink what is happening! Like many thrillers, there are interspersed chapters penned by the killer. What differs here, though is, thanks to Angela Marson’s brilliant writing, you feel a genuine empathy towards them because of their extremely troubled upbringing. This is at complete odds with how you feel about them whilst reading the rest of the book!

If you have never read one of the Kim Stone books before, don’t be put off because this is the fourth in the series. Although previous cases are referred to, they do not form part of this plot so it can be read as a standalone. (You will want to read the others after reading this, however!)

Play Dead is very highly recommended and can be pre-ordered from Amazon for just £1.99. It will be published on 20th May 2016.

This book was received from Net Galley and Bookouture in return for an honest review.