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DI Kim Stone

Deadly Cry by Angela Marsons

A little girl is found in a busy shopping centre all alone, her mother, Katrina, having seemingly disappeared. When Katrina’s body is found in an abandoned building, DI Kim Stone is perplexed – why would anyone want to kill a mother out shopping with her young daughter? When a second body of a woman is found, killed in the same way, her young son missing, Stone fears that she has a serial killer on her patch. A letter purporting to be from the murderer addressed to Kim worries her even more – he needs to be found before something happens to the missing boy.

I think I am running out of words to say about the Kim Stone series as we are now thirteen books in and I am loving these books just as much as I did when it first started. From the first book, we have seen Kim’s team develop to the point where they are now like old friends to the reader, each person bringing their own skills to a close-knit group of detectives. I love how Kim trusts her team, letting them work on cases without too much interference, knowing that they can be relied upon to bring in the results.

The story has multiple plots, each one contributing towards a fascinating case for Kim. In addition to the murders, Stacey finds herself re-investigating two rapes where she wonders whether the right man has been convicted. Over the course of this series, we have seen Stacey’s character grow in confidence to the point where she now feels strong enough to question the work of other detectives. I found the end of the book intriguing and I can’t wait to see what plans Kim (and Angela!) has for Stacey in forthcoming books.

As well as the humour throughout the book, mainly in the interactions between Kim and Bryant, Angela Marsons is incredibly adept at pulling at the heartstrings. There is a very touching scene between Penn and his brother, Jasper, who are trying to come to terms with the death of their mother. Although a minor character, I have great affection for Jasper and enjoy the relationship he has with Penn and hope that he becomes a regular feature in later books.

The Kim Stone series is going from strength to strength and I am already looking forward to the next one. I’ve said it before but would a TV company please make this into a series?! It would be a sure-fire ratings winner!

With thanks to Bookouture and Net Galley for my ARC.

Take a look at my reviews for the rest of the series:

Silent Scream

Evil Games

Lost Girls

Play Dead

Blood Lines

Dead Souls

Broken Bones

Dying Truth

Fatal Promise

Dead Memories

Child’s Play

First Blood

Killing Mind

First Blood by Angela Marsons

When the body of a man is found, brutally mutilated and beheaded, the police are disturbed to find a young girl’s bedroom and a concealed laptop at his home. With his sister seemingly overjoyed at the demise of her brother, it is apparent that there are hidden secrets in this house. When Detective Kim Stone makes a connection to another case, it is up to her and her newly-gathered team to prove that there is a serial killer in operation. Will they be able to apprehend the murderer before more blood is spilt?

Well, this was definitely a surprise! As a huge fan of Angela Marsons’ Kim Stone series, I wasn’t expecting another book this year and I certainly wasn’t expecting a prequel! First Blood is the book we didn’t know we needed, but now it is apparent that we obviously did!

In Kim and her team, we already have a good understanding of what makes each of her characters tick, but now, we have had the opportunity to see how they got to where they are. Kim, we discover, has worked her way around numerous police stations, her attitude preventing her from being able to call any of them her own. Her new team are a real mish-mash of officers: Bryant is good at his job but unwilling to climb any further up the promotion ladder whereas Dawson is full of ambition and keen to take any glory. The final member of the team, Stacey is a new detective, eager to impress. I loved finding out more about these characters, and was especially delighted to see one that I didn’t think we’d meet again!

Perhaps the biggest revelation to me was the backstory of Kim’s boss, Woody. Although he has featured prominently in the series, I developed a new-found respect for him in this book and will certainly view him more favourably in subsequent books!

The plot is a very emotive one dealing with abuse, both domestic and child abuse. In some chapters, we hear from an unknown person, who is seemingly on some sort of vigilante mission. Although the murders are quite barbaric, Angela Marsons has succeeded in making you feel some sympathy towards the killer as it is apparent that they have, themselves, suffered in the past. There are a few twists along the way and I was genuinely surprised when the killer was revealed, even if there were some clues along the way!

Each time I read the next Kim Stone book, I wonder how Angela Marsons manages to keep up the quality and she has done it yet again with First Blood. This was a great pre-Christmas present to all of her fans, and I can’t wait for the next one!

Read my reviews of the rest of the series:

Silent Scream

Evil Games

Lost Girls

Play Dead

Blood Lines

Dead Souls

Broken Bones

Dying Truth

Fatal Promise

Dead Memories

Child’s Play

 

 

Child’s Play by Angela Marsons

When Detective Kim Stone arrives at the crime scene, she is not prepared for what she finds: a woman, tied to a child’s swing with barbed wire, the letter X carved into the back of her neck. It soon becomes apparent that the victim, Belinda Evans, a retired Professor of Child Psychology, had something to hide. Belinda’s home revealing a side of her that few seem to know about and a sister hardly forthcoming with information, Kim begins to wonder what the secret was that lead to her untimely death. When more bodies are found bearing the same markings, Kim and her team make the breakthrough that is needed – all were about to attend the same annual tournament for gifted children. With a list of potential suspects as long as her arm, Kim and her team must work quickly to prevent another death.

With Child’s Play being the eleventh book in the Kim Stones series, I am genuinely running out of superlatives to describe how fantastic these books are! With each new installment, I am left wondering how Angela Marsons keeps up such a high quality, but she does it with aplomb.

For me, the best thing about these books are the characters. I love the relationship between them and, over the years, I feel that I have come to know them very well. In Child’s Play, due to a directive from her superiors telling her not to overwork her team, we see a different side of Kim and her fellow officers, and this provided some laugh-out-loud moments as they struggled with their home lives due to them working more sociable hours! You could almost sense their relief when they had to stay at the tournament! New character ‘Tink’ is a breath of fresh air and I hope that we see more of her in forthcoming books – I can see some great scenes with Kim ahead!

I feel that this is the book where, despite not being part of the investigation, Penn cemented his place as part of the team. The sub-plot involving a potential wrongful arrest and imprisonment gave us the chance to get to know Penn better and I feel I have more of an understanding of this character now. In a book where there are particularly gruesome murders, the relationship he shares with his brother is a beautiful contrast. This part of the story also gave me my favourite moment – all I will say is, What would Billy do??!!

With thanks to Bookouture and Net Galley for providing me with yet another superb book from Angela Marsons.

Broken Bones by Angela Marsons

When a young prostitute is found murdered, Detective Kim Stone and her team find themselves on the hunt for a serial killer who is preying on the more vulnerable residents of the Black Country. Meanwhile, an abandoned baby and the subsequent search for the mother leads the detectives into the murky world of illegal immigrants, trafficking and modern-day slavery. As secrets from Kim’s past come to light, will she be able to solve the case before the death toll rises?

Broken Bones is the seventh book in the Kim Stone series and, once again, Angela Marsons has managed to write an absolute page turner! From the very first few pages, I was hooked as we are introduced to a young woman, forced into prostitution by her own family. Her story, along with the story of the other women who were murdered, was incredibly tragic and whereas some people are of the opinion that their predicaments are as a result of their lifestyle, Kim believes that no person is above another and is determined to bring the culprit to justice. In true Kim style, she makes many enemies along the way and her conflict with the abhorrent pimp, Kai Lord, is a joy to read. You just know that in a case where there can be only one winner, Kim is going to enjoy the battle.

The other main plot in the book is a very emotive one, featuring the subject of human trafficking. With little evidence to go on, Kim’s tenacity has obviously rubbed off on the rest of their team as they try to find the identity of the mother of the abandoned baby, facing obstacles at every turn. This case becomes much bigger than they could ever imagine and exposes the dark underbelly of the Black Country where people are forced into a life they would never have chosen for themselves. After the traumatic events of the previous book, Dead Souls, it was good to see Stacey getting herself stuck into a case alongside her new protector, Dawson. I loved reading about the relationship between these two characters with Dawson showing a very different, pleasing side of his character!

One of the things I enjoyed most about this book was how easy it was to read despite it being a very impassioned plot. There were several humorous asides and it was amusing to picture the very practical Kim Stone in charge of a young baby when we are more used to seeing her handle motorbike parts! One caveat I will make is that there are references to events that occurred in previous books (Dead Souls and Evil Games) so it would definitely be worth reading these books before starting this one. Why wouldn’t you have already read them though?!

Every time I read the next installment in the Kim Stone series, I always wonder how Angela Marsons will top the previous book, but she has done it yet again. Surely it’s time we saw Kim on the small screen…

With thanks to Bookouture and Net Galley for my ARC.

 

 

Evil Games by Angela Marsons

71HtaSfrGELWhen a rapist is found brutally murdered, it does not take Detective Inspector Kim Stone and her team long to find the perpetrator. After more vengeful attacks, however, Kim begins to wonder if there is something – or someone – behind each of these cases. Step forward Alexandra Thorne – a professional who is abusing her position in order to manipulate her patients. At the same time, Kim is pursuing the abuser of two young girls and she will not stop until all those involved are brought to justice.

I was not introduced to the Kim Stone series until the third book, Lost Girls, and so I have read them out of sequence. As a result, I was already familiar with the sociopath, Alex Thorne, before reading this book, but this did not spoil my enjoyment in any way.

In Alex Thorne, we have the perfect adversary for the unflappable Kim Stone and it was fascinating to see the cat and mouse game they played as they tried to figure out what made each other tick. With the introduction of Thorne, we also had the opportunity to find out a bit more about Kim’s childhood and were able to meet Patty Stone, the reason behind Kim being a closed book. The scene at the end, where Kim finally lets down her defences slightly and allows Bryant to share a particularly private moment, was a very touching one.

Evil Games is another fantastic addition to the Kim Stone series and I am more than a bit sad that I have now read them all – until the next one is published that is!

You can currently purchase the kindle version of  Evil Games on Amazon for only 99p!

 

Silent Scream by Angela Marsons

imageFive people stand around a grave, each one having taken their turn to dig. They are all complicit in the murder of an innocent child – a secret they know they must take with them to their own graves. Now, some years later, a headmistress is found dead, strangled in her own home. Are the crimes connected, and how do they link to the human remains that have been found at a former children’s home? Detective Inspector Kim Stone must try to answer these questions before any more people lose their lives.

As is often the case, I discovered the D. I. Kim Stone books late into the series, reading  Lost Girls first, before enjoying the next two books in the series, Play Dead and Blood Lines. With Silent Scream, sitting on my bookshelf for quite a while, I decided that it was finally time to see how the Kim Stone journey began!

The case is a particularly poignant one for the main character, as we discover that she was a product of the care system, having spent her formative years between foster parents and children’s homes. Her experience, therefore, provides a very useful insight into the lives of the children and also helps to explain Kim’s ‘never give up’ attitude.

As in her later books, Angela Marsons manages to create a story full of suspense with realistic characters who you can totally relate to. I was particularly pleased with the twists and turns throughout, as just when you think you have the plot worked out, she hits you with a major curveball, making you rethink your entire theory!

Silent Scream was a very strong debut and it is easy to see how a series has ensued. Just Evil Games to go now!

Blood Lines by Angela Marsons

When a social worker is found dead in her car with a single stab wound to the heart, Detective Kim Stone knows straight away that this is not a bungled robbery. Her fears are realised when another woman is found dead with an identical wound. With no apparent link between the victims, she has her work cut out to find the killer before they strike again.

Unfortunately, at the same time as trying to bring a conclusion to the case, Kim is facing a battle of her own when she receives a letter from Dr Alex Thorne, a sociopath she helped put behind bars. This leads her to coming face to face with her own mother – the woman who killed Kim’s brother, Mikey.

Blood Lines is the fifth book in the Kim Stone series (I have also reviewed Play Dead and Lost Girls), and yet again, Angela Marsons has pulled it out of the bag! From the first few pages, you are pulled into the book as we seemingly see Kim about to become the victim of a brutal attack. All is not what it seems, however, and we immediately see the tenacity of the detective that has kept readers hooked in the previous four books. In this novel, though, we do get to find out much more about Kim’s early life thanks to her nemesis, Alex Thorne. Some of these revelations are horrific and it helps the reader to understand exactly why Kim is so hellbent on putting away the bad guys.

Usually, there is a point in a crime novel where you begin to get an inkling as to who the guilty party is. In Blood Lines, however, I can honestly say that when the murderer was unmasked, I was completely taken unaware! It is testimony to Angela Marson’s skilful writing that although the killer was extremely unexpected, it made complete sense.

Although Dr Alex Thorne made a more than suitable adversary for Kim Stone, I do admit to missing reporter Tracy Frost. Hopefully, we will see her return in the next book!

This is another five star read from Angela Marsons which is published on November 4th and available to pre-order on Amazon.

With thanks to Net Galley and Bookouture for the advance copy.

 

Play Dead by Angela Marsons

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.

Lost Girls by Angela Marsons

51f3We1-dVLI received this book from Net Galley in return for an honest review.

How much would you pay to have your abducted child returned? Would that change if you realised that by paying a ranson, your daughter’s friend, a fellow abductee, would be killed? These are questions that DI Kim Stone has to come to terms with as she heads the investigation into the taking of two young friends, Charlie and Amy. What is more disconcerting, is that this is not the first time this has happened. The previous year, two other girls were abducted, one of them never to return. DI Stone is determined that history is not going to repeat itself, vowing to bring both girls home safely…

To confuse issues further, Kim is an aquaintance of one of the girls’ mothers, stirring up memories of her time in the care system as a child. This, teamed with other revelations in the book, means that Kim and her team are treading on eggshells throughout the investigation as they try to find the culprits before the inevitable happens.

There is a running theme throughout the book concerning the love of a parent (or carer) for their child as opposed to the sheer bloodlust we experience from the character we become to know as Symes. Also, it soon becomes apparent after an incident outside the ‘war room’ that one of the members of Kim’s team is not all they seem. Throughout the book, I found myself looking for telltale clues but Marsons succeeds in keeping this well hidden and the reveal is a genuine surprise.

This is the first time I have read an Angela Marsons book but it definitely won’t be the last. If you enjoy a fast-paced, tense thriller that has you on the edge of your seat, this is the book for you!

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