Friday, 20 February 2015

Silent Scream - Angela Marsons

About the book...

When a headmistress is found brutally strangled, the death marks the beginning of a spate of gruesome murders that shock the Black Country. 
But as human remains are discovered at a former children’s home, disturbing secrets are also unearthed. D.I. Kim
Stone 
fast realises she’s on the hunt for a twisted individual whose killing spree spans decades. 
As the body count rises, Kim needs to stop the murderer before they strike again. But to catch the killer, can Kim confront the demons of her own past – before it’s too late?









About the author...
Angela Marsons was born and raised in the Black Country and still lives there, along with her long-term partner, as well as a bouncy Labrador and a potty-mouthed African Grey parrot. Although she has been writing since her early teens, Silent Scream is her first novel. 






My thoughts...
The day has finally come when I can share my review of this amazing book with you all.  I was given an ecopy from Bookouture, Angela Marsons publishers in exchange for an honest review which I'm more than happy to do.

There are rare times when you pick up a book, by an author you've never heard of and are blown away - this was one of those times.  When I heard Bookouture had signed a thriller writer I was beyond excited - my expectations were high and Bookouture and Angela Marsons surpassed each and every one of them.

The story begins ten years back in time with five people stood around a grave that had just been dug, the assumption from the text is that the grave is that of a child - they make a pact to keep the truth to themselves and then we are fast forwarded to the present day and before we are 1% into the book we're witness to a murder that had my heart pounding - it was like a scene from 'Sleeping With The Enemy'. With my heart pounding, I felt the same as I did when I watched the film - desperate to read on, but almost too scared to do so.

Enter D. I. Kim Stone - a woman with more facets than a diamond - first impressions are a brash, matter of fact, hard nosed Inspector hell bent on solving a crime - she really takes no prisoners, with suspects, colleagues or superiors. Yet, it is clear from the off that her team have her back - despite the gruelling regime she expects them to work under.  I get the impression they see her character clearer than she does herself.  Though, even from the beginning there are hints for the reader to a softer character hidden beneath the hard exterior she's built around herself.  She clearly has a history that has shaped her into the person she's become and as the novel progresses and her 'story' unfolds along with mounting crimes we, the reader, begin to understand a little of the reasoning behind her drive and determination.  

The book is set in the Black Country and the story revolves around a now closed children home, bones have been found in a shallow grave in what used to be the grounds.  So now there is a historic death to solve - are the bones that of a child if so is there a link to the death that occurred in the first chapter? I was totally gripped, the pace of Silent Scream was just at the heart pounding stage - a list of people to question was composed and just before, or just after they are questioned by D. I. Stone and her team they meet an unfortunate end!  How many murders will there be before the crimes are solved and are the modern day murders linked to the bones found and or the children home.

The hints and insinuations that the bones unearthed are children bones and found within the grounds of a children's home focuses the mind in only one direction, some kind of child abuse. A very disturbing and brave subject for an author to pursue in a first novel - there has been so much historic abuse brought to the fore in recent years. D. I. Stone does an incredible job, driving the narrative, pushing her team forward - her instructions are un-negotiable.  Yet, every now and again her true character, buried so deep it's impossible to see, comes to the fore and she displays a sensitive side - putting her own head on the block whilst protecting her team - fully prepared to take the wrap because her drive to solve the crime goes deeper than anyone could possibly imagine.

I like to second guess 'who dun-nit  as I'm reading a crime novel and all too often authors can be so embroiled in blood and gore they leave the plot and culprits out to dry for anyone to see, not so in this case.  I had no idea who, what or why until almost the end.  Even then getting it wrong.  At one point I thought I had it solved crying NOOOOO it can't be ........, I was gutted, only for the story to pitch again. There are so many twists and turns - chapters that are seemingly unrelated, characters that show themselves but are so 'holier than thou' they don't even touch the radar. It was a breathe of fresh air to read about complex characters not drowned in blood - so unnecessary to a story in my opinion - only resulting in detracting from the story and putting me off!

For an author to spin such a complex tale, that kept my heart beating at an increased rate but didn't scare me to death is, in my humble opinion, truly brilliant.  Angela gave just enough detail to satisfy the curiosity, leaving me wanting more - I can't tell you how excited I was to realise there will be a series based around D I Stone - something that I'd totally missed until way after I d finished the book. I look forward to digging deeper into her character.  She is a character at odds with herself - she has such a high profile job - happy to go out and shout her mouth off in the line of duty but preferring to blend into the background on a personal level, not wanting any accolades or acknowledgements for herself personally.

I really can't tell you how brilliant this book was, I turned the pages at a rate of knots desperate to read just one more chapter - willing myself to get to the end of the book and solve all the crimes.  Disappointed and sorry when I did.  Not because the book was disappointing, but because I felt bereft.  I didn't really know what to do with myself when I finished Silent Scream.  The outcome was traumatic, yet at the same time uplifting   I'll be shouting about this book and author for a long time to come and drumming my fingers repeatedly until book 2 is released.

I was fortunate enough to interview Angela Marsons and you can read my interview HERE.

2 comments:

  1. Dawn, your review has rendered me speechless. Thank you so much for this. There is no stronger inspiration for a writer than to have this effect on someone so trust me I am now totally fired up to crack on with the next. Thank you so very much xxx

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  2. Oh, you are more than welcome, a style of writing that's edgy, tense and clear without the gore - win win for me - loved it :) xx

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