Monday, 23 May 2016

Play Dead - Angela Marsons

About the book… 
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 …? 

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About the author… 
Angela discovered a love of writing at Primary School when a short piece on the rocks and the sea gained her the only merit point she ever got.

Angela wrote the stories that burned inside and then stored them safely in a desk drawer.

After much urging from her partner she began to enter short story competitions in Writer's News resulting in a win and three short listed entries.

She used the Amazon KDP program to publish two of her earlier works before concentrating on her true passion - Crime.

After many, many submissions Angela was signed in a 4 book deal to as their first crime author.  Her first book SILENT SCREAM was published in February 2015 and was an #1 Amazon best seller.

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My thoughts…
Angela's latest book Play Dead - absolutely, definitely was on my list of must read books, I literally couldn’t wait to start.

Play Dead is the fourth book in the D.I. Kim Stone, detective, thriller series and is equally as gripping and terrifyingly, breathe holding as the first.  As ever, Kim is on the hunt for a serial killer, this time the case is discovered whilst visiting a body farm.  Kim identifies a newer body than those she's there to look at and so begins the hunt for the person who has brutally murdered a young girl, dumping her at a supposedly secret to the public location.  Westerley research facility is studying the decomposition of the human body by natural elements and insects - my stomach is still turning at the thoughts and images evoked whilst reading this book.  Yet, Angela has the knack of delivering just the right amount of detail to be realistic, stopping just short of the need to have me committed to a secure unit as a gibbering wreck.  

Play Dead is very similar to the rest of the series in that the main character is a constant.  Kim Stone is still the brash, matter of fact, hard nosed inspector hell bent on solving a crime - breaking the rules, yet knowing just how far she can push her boss and her team before pulling back.  She has the knack of shutting out the here and now and getting under the skins of the victims and everyone around her.  Despite the gruelling pace she expects her team to work under it's clear they have her back - working a mind numbing number of hours when necessity calls.

Angela Marsons, in Kim Stone drives the narrative at an alarming rate, I literally couldn't put this book down.  Just how many bodies were going to be discovered in the same shocking manner before the case was solved?  This had me reading faster and faster. If I read quicker and got to the end, perhaps I'll save a few people - shocking, unbelievable but it's how I felt.  She really does get under your skin, with characters that are flawed but likeable.

As ever when reading a crime book I like to second guess which character is the guilty one. In Play Dead I guessed, second guessed, third guessed and sat with just pages to go with my mouth open - totally shocked.  At one point I partially guessed but then dismissed the whole idea as ridiculous.  I didn't see that ending coming at all.  The characters are complex and all seem to have a side we as the reader are not privy to, hence questioning everyone's motives. 

I can't tell you how massively brilliant this book and whole series is.  Each could be read as stand alone books but by reading the whole series you'll get a greater insight into what makes D. I. Kim Stone tick.  She really is a multi-faceted, diamond of a character. Sharp, shiny and at the top of her game - four books into this series and there are a few smoothed edges, almost as if she's becoming comfortable with her readers so revealing more of herself.

I can only say if ever I had the need of a detective that would leave no stone unturned and rip the clues apart in pursuit of a serial killer - Kim Stone would be the first, in fat only person I'd call.  Thank you Angela for another book of escapism that is just that little bit too close to reality to ever be a comfortable read - I like the edge of seat, heart hammering experience you provide - until the next time.