Thursday 26 May 2016

REVIEW: Angela Marsons - Play Dead (D.I. Kim Stone #4)

Genre: Crime / Thriller
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 20th May 2016
Pages: 366

I received an advance copy of Play Dead (D.I. Kim Stone #4) by Angela Marsons from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Bookouture.

Every April, you can be guaranteed that I will down tools and all books I am currently reading and pick up the new John Connolly instalment of Charlie Parker. I never thought a series of books would captivate me enough for that to happen again, but nowadays every time I get the nod that there is a new Angela Marsons book on the go, I just have to get it. Book four in the wonderful Kim Stone series is just out. I downed everything else and went straight for it. I couldn’t wait. This series is just fantastic.

Although it is book four, you can read them all as stand-alone books. Yes, you do get to know some of the characters as the series progresses but they are all individual stories so I urge you to pick them all up. You can read my previous reviews on the blog and links are provided at the bottom for you.

So, book four. Any good?

Kim Stone and her team are in between their many cases. They are sent to a top secret research facility called Westerley. It’s a body farm, using bodies in experiments to help with details on decomposition in varying conditions.

Whilst there, a body turns up that is not one of the customers. Kim and her team just happen to be on scene so there is no time like the present for them to add another to the list.

This case will bring up secrets from the past. Secrets that many people wish to keep to themselves. If they hadn’t, the case may have been a lot easier for Kim Stone.

Without giving anything away about the previous books, our characters have largely remained the same. The leader of the gang is obviously Kim Stone. A young woman totally driven by her dedication to her job and the drive to solve every case that lands on her desk. Still dealing with a troubled past, she seems to be getting better at it but still doesn’t let to many people in. The three remaining members on her team are the same. Her wonderful sidekick, Bryant is a very capable number two. Again dedicated to his job, he possesses a wicked, dry sense of humour and is the only one who can get away with certain things with his boss. Dawson is the young reckless one. He is getting better but still has a way to go. He knows how to rub Kim up the wrong way but also knows how to get round her again. Stacey is the brains of the outfit. She doesn’t get out of the office much but without her computer and research skills, the operations would fall to pieces.

One other character that carries over is Tracy Frost, the mouthy, pushy reporter from the local paper. She still doesn’t see eye to eye with Kim and vice versa. Her part in this story is much bigger than any that have come before.

The plot is what has now become a typical Angela Marsons plot. There isn’t really one. Well there is but you won’t figure it out until very near the end of the book and if you do figure it out early, you are lying. Basically bodies are turning up. Killed in a specific way, Kim and her team need to find out the connections and fit all of the pieces of the puzzles together to make sure another body doesn’t turn up. When it looks like someone they know has gone missing and may possibly be the next victim, everyone steps it up a gear to figure out who the killer is and try and stop them in time.

So what makes this series any different to any other crime series you may have read in this past ten years? To be honest I don’t know. Well I do but it seems too simple an answer. Well it is a simple answer and I know it to be true. Angela Marsons is quite possibly the greatest writer of British gritty crime thrillers that I have ever read. A bold statement I hear you say. I know it is, and I stand by every word of it, and I also make predictions that in the next few years’ people will be watching this lady on the teevee, being interviewed about her latest new series starting soon and people will sit back and go, ahhhhhh that’s that girl Nev Murray was talking about all those years ago.

Her writing is sublime. It’s clever. It’s devious. It’s fast paced. It’s emotional. It’s scary in some ways. It’s heart wrenching. It’s tense. It’s uplifting. It’s gripping. Most of all, it’s entertaining. I could make this review into a three-thousand-word essay by getting my thesaurus out and just listing every single superlative I can find to tell you just how wonderful this lady’s writing is but there is really only one way to see for yourself. Go buy it. Go buy them all. If you do and you don’t enjoy them, I will eat a hat of your choice. Hell, I’ll eat my own liver. I am that confident that if you are a lover of crime books that you will not be able to resist these ones.

For once in a review, at this point I am stumped. I really don’t know what else to say to convince you to go out and buy these books.

I was asked a while back that if I was going to a deserted island and could one series of books with me, which would it be. I said then the Charlie Parker books by John Connolly. I still stand by that but I would bloody well sneak these little babies along with me as well!

To summarise: don’t be stupid – just buy it.

Highest possible recommendation.

General rating:

★★★★★ perfect.

Thriller rating:

★★★★★ perfect.

If you would like to help support Confessions of a Reviewer, then please consider using the links below to buy Play Dead or any other books from Angela. This not only supports me but also lets me know how many people actually like to buy books after reading my reviews.


You can read my review of Silent Scream (D.I. Kim Stone #1) here.

You can read my review of Evil Games (D.I. Kim Stone #2) here.

You can read my review of Lost Girls (D.I. Kim Stone #3) here.

Book Synopsis:

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 …?

The latest utterly addictive thriller from the No.1 bestseller Angela Marsons.

Angela Marsons is the author of Amazon #1 Bestseller SILENT SCREAM.

She lives in the Black Country with her partner, their bouncy Labrador and a swearing parrot.

She first discovered her love of writing at Junior School when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read "Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people's".

After years of writing relationship based stories (My Name Is and The Middle Child) Angela turned to Crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away.

She is signed to in an 8 book deal.

And for more about Angela, visit her site or find her on social media:

WebsiteFacebook - Twitter - Goodreads - Amazon Page

1 comment:

  1. Nev, worryingly I have no words to thank you for this fantastic review. I am beaming right now at these words. I am so pleased you enjoyed it and thank you for your support. X