For the past year or so, I have been downloading each Kim Stone book by Angela Marsons as it has been released. In fact, I read and reviewed four of them, Dying Truth, Fatal Promise, Dead Memories and Child's Play. However, as it has been a goal to read this series from the beginning, I made a plan to binge read the entire series, starting with the prequel, First Blood.
Now, I noticed when compiling the screen shots for the book covers, that First Blood was a prequel, with Book One being Silent Scream. One of the recommendations I got was to read the series in chronological order. However, I found on both Goodreads and Fantastic Fiction that First Blood, although written in 2019, so technically after Child's Play was released, that I should start with First Blood, then move onto Silent Scream. That ended up being a very wise decision for someone like me, a complete and utter series fanatic. So, without any further ado, here are mini reviews for all seventeen books in the Kim Stone series by Angela Marsons.
In normal book reviews, I include the publisher's blurb and then my review. This series review will be done differently. Going forward in this review, I will link Goodreads with each title, while only giving you my summary and thoughts on the books in the series. These mini reviews are written as I progressed through each book in the series, and assume that readers are familiar with DI Kim Stone, her team and occasionally recurring characters.
First Blood The prequel for one of the best series I had the pleasure of reading. In this book, Detective Inspector Kim Stone has just been reassigned to a new station. She is a hard-wired cop with an attitude that has made it difficult to work with. She has been assigned to Halesowen station, and has a new team - Bryant, Dawson and Stacey, as well as a new boss she calls Woody. Will this new assignment and team stick for Kim, or will she be packing up and starting over again somewhere else? In short order, Kim and her team are assigned the case of a mutilated young man who proved to be a victim of a pedophile. Before Kim and her team can even properly get to know each other, they must jump in feet first in this case, finding the killer, especially before another young life is ruined and lost. What I liked most about this book is seeing how Kim came from a very difficult childhood and life, yet her brilliance shown through time after time in this and every case she has in this amazing series. Now, even though I had read a few of the books in this series a couple of years ago, I got a fresh start with this compelling prequel.
Silent Scream Teresa Wyatt is dead and Kim Stone must find out why. There is a10-year pact that involved Teresa Wyatt, and this means there just might be other bodies. Kim is definitely a ball buster and rule breaker, but this case means everything to Kim, for a very specific reason. It shows her humanity and compassion despite the inherent anger that lines her very soul.
This book stopped me twice. One time was due to this line - "Much as they wished to, they knew they were incapable of saving the whole world – but sometimes you just had to deal with what was right in front of you." Also, there was a shocking twist that I never expected and this book left me with a huge lump in my throat.
Evil Games This addictive series introduces Alexandra Thorne, an uncouth and unethical therapist. A man has been murdered and Kim uses her remarkable sixth sense to solve this latest murder, especially when she starts locking horns with Alex. In fact, Alex just might have something to do with Kim's latest case. Kim never gives up and works her cases like solving a difficult jigsaw puzzles. Will Kim catch on to Alex's tricks before another life is lost? Once a connection between cases begins to make itself clear, Kim gets closer to finding answers, even if it means putting her very life at stake.
Lost Girls In Book Three of this series, two little girls, Charlie and Amy, two nine-year-old best friends, are kidnapped. Both sets of parents are working closely with Kim and her team, but it doesn't take long before they are at odds with each other. In fact, there are devastating secrets revealed as Kim works feverishly to locate the girls, truly hoping to find them both alive.
Play Dead begins with a reluctant Kim Stone reluctant to accept an award for solving the kidnapping case of Charlie and Amy in Book Three. Instead, she is working hard to stop a serial killer that is claiming innocent lives. One thing a lot of police have a problem with is reporters. Facts could be revealed that could ruin solving a case. For Kim, that person is Tracy Frost. She apparently has gotten in the killer's crosshairs. Oh the twists in this book! No matter how carefully I read, I was not been able to suss out the killer! Good job Ms. Marsons!
Blood Lines brings Kim's nemesis back. Yes, The sociopathic psychologist Alexandra Thorne is back! The recent murders that Kim is working to solve show a clear pattern, although Kim cannot find any way to link the victims together. Knowing that she is dealing with a sick, twisted individual, Kim feels she must get into the mind of the killer. Who better to understand such a mind that Alex Thorne. While Alex seems like the last person that Kim would talk to, she finds she has no choice when it comes to striving to understand the killer's mindset. While this case strains Kim on a professional level, there is something that hits Kim and the rest of the team on a personal level, bringing this book to an incredibly heartbreaking ending.
Dead Souls Kim and her team are forced to work alongside another team, including her nemesis. They are working on trying to identify bones that have been uncovered, especially when it appears that there is more than one victim. While this case is as intriguing as each and every case Kim is faced with, the team faces some serious issues, including prejudice, racism and sexism.
**At this point in my review, I highly encourage the readers of this Kim Stone series to read each and every Acknowledgement that Angela Marsons includes at the end of each book. These notes from our esteemed author help readers to understand the inspiration behind each book that Kim writes, including the fact that Ms. Marsons gives Kim a strikingly different case each time.
These books reflect today's climate while helping readers understand every person on Kim's team, including their pasts, their challenges, and how they become a very strong unit.**
Broken Bones Injustice is only one thing that Kim Stone faces in her next case. In fact, facing someone from her childhood could really sideline Kim. This book starts off with a baby abandoned in front of the Halesowen police station. Then the body of a 16-year-old girl is found. Was it suicide or was it murder? Not only is there evil, but prostitution that ultimately relates to slave labor. In this installment, Stacey continues to grow as each book continues. Working with Dawson has been proving challenging, all while desperation faces Kim as she is forced to face her past.
Dying Truth takes place over the course of one week and as the book starts, Kim is dealing with a broken leg. However, the story really began six days previously when thirteen-year-old Sadie Winters fell to her death. Did young Sadie really jump, or was something else going on. For Kim and her team to sort out what is going on, she has no choice but to consult again with sociopath psychologist Alex Thorne. Despite the fact that Alex is determined to destroy Kim one way or another, Kim's dedication to unfortunate victims makes it necessary for her to consult with Alex yet again. This is very important because Kim begins to see some inconsistencies in what appears to be an apparent suicide. In this installment, the reader is given privy to the killer's POV, and this proves that Sadie was only the first victim. The emotional journey in this series shows how Kim feels about each team member, especially as it is time for her to do their performance appraisals. All I can say is to have a box of tissues right at your disposal because this book had a very sad ending, making this book the most impactful book in this series thus far..
Fatal Promise has Kim and her team struggling with the loss of one of their own and they are all in deep stages of grief. However, murders are still going on and the newest victim is connected to a previous case of Kim's. Another victim is soon discovered, all while each of the team deals with their loss in a different way, placing the reader right in the thick of things when it comes to how the team is coping all while dealing with new team member Penn.
Dead Memories brings another incredible challenge to Kim, especially as she approaches her newest crime scene. Someone is recreating every traumatic point in Kim's life. No doubt this is done to make Kim suffer, and it might come to no surprise that the end game just might result in Kim's death. What makes this case especially hard for Kim is that she is forced to work with Alison, a profiler, and, simply put, Kim hates profilers, and has always had a hard time thinking that this is the way to solve a very difficult case. This is another fast-moving story, especially because someone seems very aware of each low and tragic point in Kim's life, leaving readers of this compelling installment in one of the best series I have ever read.
Child's Play, the latest case Kim has is when a former child prodigy is murdered. When another victim is discovered, the connection is made to people who were unable to live normal childhoods due to whatever special talent they had as children. While the link between victims is being established, the team sort of breaks off in different directions, especially Penn doing his own thing in his determination to solve the murder of a young man. While several of the books in this series delved into the personal lives of some of the team members, this book is more procedural. Impressive as always, Angela Marsons has written another winner.
Killing Mind Did Samantha Brown commit suicide? DI Kim Stone has her doubts, especially when the manner of death is considered. As the investigation deepens, evidence of a cult caled Unity Farm is involved one way or another. Meanwhile, Bryant becomes embroiled in a previous case when it comes to someone that might be released from prison, which is something Bryant is desperately fighting. He is certain that if the man is released, he will kill again. Side note: I loved that Bryant's wife Jenny is a diamond painter, which is one of my favorite hobbies.
Deadly Cry deals with the case involving the fact that three women were killed in three days. Six-year-old Archie, the son of one of the victims, is missing. It is race against time for Kim and her team. With this complicated case, Alison, a profiler that Kim is not all that fond of, is back to work with the team. However, her expertise is greatly needed with hopes of finding Archie and stopping any more bodies from piling up.
Twisted Lies brings about the case of two victims, with no apparent link at first, while Kim and her team discover that a secret that was buried deep is coming into play. Tracy Frost, a reporter that Kim initially despised, has information involving the previous murder of a woman. Kim is none too pleased that her boss insists she work with Tracy on this newest case. Kim really has her hands full this time around with another book full of shocking twists. In fact, each and every book is as or more thrilling that the previous book.
Stolen Ones takes on a different angle. First, Alex Thorne is back. The sociopathic psychologist is not done with Kim and carefully orchestrates her prison release. Then we have Alison Lowe, the behaviorist that helps Kim deduct the final clue that will close her current case. They already have the killer, but until he reveals something of extreme importance, things will not be resolved, and this includes the fact that there are girls missing that must be found alive. Then there is Alex, determined to get out of prison - now. And, she has not let up in her plans to ruin - or end - Kim. One of the things that really drew my attention to this book was learning about the opposite of Stockholm syndrome. This is Lima syndrome, where the "captor can become attached to his subject." The example used is the film Beauty and the Beast.
Six Graves has one of Kim's most stressful cases. A murder-suicide might not be what it seems and that is only the tip of the iceberg for Kim. Something from her disturbing past comes up yet again, even to the point where she will find herself in grave danger. But first, the harrowing case has four victims. Just as in every single book in this stunning series, the plot is fast-paced, has thrilling twists and turns, a riveting conclusion, all while whetting the reader's appetite for the next book in the series.
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Angela Marsons stated at the end of her books that in each Kim Stone book, she presents Kim with something completely different. So as readers indulge themselves in this thoroughly engaging series, they get to see Kim and her team work cases that are as different as night and day. However, despite the differences in each case that they face, we have a litany of regular characters. Of course we have Kim, Bryant, Stacy, DI Woody, Kim’s boss. But we also have Alison, the profiler. Or Dr. Alexander Thorne, the twisted sociopath that who has become the bane of Kim’s existence. For all the years that Alex was behind bars, she continued to haunt Kim. There is even a new minor character introduced in the last few of the books in this series.
Although I did read four books in the middle of this series a year or two ago, reading each book in quick succession from the prequel, First Blood, to the last book, Six Graves, left me in complete awe. While each book has independent cases there are many reasons for reading this series in order. For one thing, Kim is not a people person, but there seems no one better at getting into the minds of killers, stopping them as soon as she can, all while working together with a team that is very much like a family. Kim doesn't get too close to anyone, except for Bryant. They have become real friends.
Always intriguing when it comes to Angela Marsons, every book is different. Every book is compelling. Every case is critical. The interpersonal relationships with Kim and her team are wonderful. It is with bated breath that I eagerly await book seventeen in this illustrious series.
Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Please also enjoy my YouTube video review -
After much urging from my partner I began to enter short story competitions in Writer’s News resulting in a win and three short listed entries. I self-published two of my earlier works before concentrating on my true passion – Crime.
After many, many submissions I signed an 8 book deal with Bookouture as their first crime author.
I live in the Black Country with my partner, our bouncy Labrador and potty-mouthed parrot. My books SILENT SCREAM, EVIL GAMES, LOST GIRLS AND PLAY DEAD are all available from Amazon, Kobo and iBooks.