Very hard to believe it, but today marks 6 whole months since I first decided to give this blogging thing a whirl. And what a six months it has been. I’ve met some really great people, both authors and bloggers and both literally and figuratively, and I’ve had the amazing opportunity to read some of the best books out there. Out of pure curiosity, I thought I’d take a look back at my very first post on the blog, a post which just happened to be a review for a book by one of my favourite authors – Angela Marsons. So what better way to celebrate my halfiversary, than to look back at my reviews of some of Angela Marsons’ diverse range of books.
In the first of two posts, I take a look back at probably her best known books, featuring her most iconic creation, Kim Stone.
I read three of Angela Marsons’ books well before I set up the blog but you can’t talk about Kim Stone without looking back to where it all began. My particular journey with Ms Marsons and Kim Stone began on one of my lunchtime walks when I was messing around on Twitter and came across an article on a Midlands based writer, a former security guard at a local shopping centre known ‘affectionately’ (at least in my family) as ‘The Merry Hell’ or ‘The Hell Hole’, who had just celebrated her 1 millionth book sale. (This is quite possibly the only time I’ve ever read an article in the Express and Star. I owe them a debt of gratitude …). Being Midlands born and raised and having, for my sins, spent a great deal of time at University in and around the area these books were set, I couldn’t resist taking a look and seeing what all the fuss was about. And so I found ‘Silent Scream’ on Amazon, downloaded it, read it and never looked back.
The Official Book Blurb
Even the darkest secrets can’t stay buried forever …
Five figures gather round a shallow grave. They had all taken turns to dig. An adult sized hole would have taken longer. An innocent life had been taken but the pact had been made. Their secrets would be buried, bound in blood …
Years later, a headmistress is found brutally strangled, the first in a spate of gruesome murders which shock the Black Country.
But when 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?
Released in 2015, my Good Reads review for ‘Silent Scream’ can be found here.
This was the book that started it all. A chilling tale of someone who has waited years to get their revenge. But just who are they and what had their victims done which was so unforgivable? With the discovery of human remains, Kim and her team had a huge challenge on their hands to identify the victim and to find a killer before they are able to claim any more victims.
Such a thrilling and suspenseful story, this will tease and torture you as a reader. This was the world’s first introduction to Kim Stone and at the time I described her as a marmite character. In a way I think this still stands true, although as the stories have progressed, so has our understanding of what makes Kim tick, and what may have once been seen as personality flaws are also her greatest strength. The dynamic between her and her team is also key feature and part of the real appeal of these books. Kim is tough, she is no-nonsense. She is kind of kick-ass. A troubled past has led to a coloured view of the world but from this very first book I really liked her spikiness and her sarcastic nature and I was hooked.
The Official Book Blurb
The greater the evil, the more deadly the game …
When a rapist is found mutilated in a brutal attack, Detective Kim Stone and her team are called in to bring a swift resolution. But, as more vengeful killings come to light, it soon becomes clear that there is someone far more sinister at work.
With the investigation quickly gathering momentum, Kim finds herself exposed to great danger and in the sights of a lethal individual undertaking their own twisted experiment.
Up against a sociopath who seems to know her every weakness, for Detective Stone, each move she makes could be deadly. As the body count starts to mount, Kim will have to dig deeper than ever before to stop the killing. And this time – it’s personal.
Oh. My. Word. Okay so lets get the housekeeping points done. My review for ‘Evil Games‘ can be found here.
If you were in any doubts about this series after book one, then this is the book that would cement your love for all that is Kim Stone. This is the book that introduces the manipulative Doctor, Kim’s greatest foe, Alex Thorne. Alex is the Moriarty to Kim’s Holmes and while centred around some gruesome murders, this book is so much more. It’s a true a battle of wits between the two. Alex’s cunning and manipulative ways pitted against Kim’s determination and emotional strength. But as Alex finds a way to make it personal, can Kim be as strong as she needs to defeat her.
I loved this book. Beautifully written, the descriptions of the Midlands always make me smile, and as the story builds, so does my love for Kim and the team. And Alex? She has to be one of the most evil and yet undeniably popular antagonists that Ms Marsons has created to date. Kim’s ultimate nemesis and the woman everyone loves to hate.
The Official Book Blurb
Two girls go missing. Only one will return…
The couple that offers the highest amount will see their daughter again. The losing couple will not. Make no mistake. One child will die.
When nine-year-old best friends Charlie and Amy disappear, two families are plunged into a living nightmare. A text message confirms the unthinkable; that the girls are the victims of a terrifying kidnapping.
And when a second text message pits the two families against each other for the life of their children, the clock starts ticking for D.I. Kim Stone and the squad.
Seemingly outwitted at every turn, as they uncover a trail of bodies, Stone realises that these ruthless killers might be the most deadly she has ever faced. And that their chances of bringing the girls home alive, are getting smaller by the hour…
Untangling a dark web of secrets from the families’ past might hold the key to solving this case. But can Kim stay alive long enough to do so? Or will someone’s child pay the ultimate price?
Quite possibly the most emotionally demanding of the five Kim Stone books, ‘Lost Girls’ takes a look at the abduction of two young girls from a local swimming pool. The case mirrors that of a previous abduction case that was never solved. In that case the parents with the most money paid the ransom and their daughter was returned. The second girl was never found. My review can be found here.
This was a real roller coaster of a ride,the narrative flitting between the investigation team and the person responsible for the abduction. The feeling of mistrust that starts to creep in between the parents and the tension between Kim and the expert negotiator brought in to manage the situation, all add to the intensity of the story. And the fact that Kim has been requested when she is hardly known for her sensitivity, makes things even more tense. There are moments when the team are allowed to shine and by this book even the office tart that is Kev Dawson had grown on me. If this book doesn’t have you on the edge of your seat and worried about those girls then I don’t know what will.
And this is it. The book that kicked of the whole blog. My first ever review posted on ‘Jen Med’s Book Reviews’, ‘Play Dead.‘
The Official Book Blurb
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 …?
So this was it. Book four. Technically read and reviewed prior to my blog going live but the first post I could think of to start my blogging career so to speak. And what a book it was. Kim Stone and the team, a body farm and a blast from the past last seen heading back north of the border in Silent Scream, the dishy Doc from Dundee, Daniel Bate. The team are as sharp as ever, the dynamic between Bryant and Kim as strong as ever. We even get to see another side of reporter Tracy Frost and get another glimpse of the more human and empathetic side of Kim Stone. Yes. There is one. Fast action mixes well with solid investigation in a crime scene so heavily contaminated it’s hard to know what is a clue and what is an experiment. The writing is as all consuming as ever and the hours will just fly by. When you start reading this you won’t want to come up until you’re done.
And so to the latest review which can be found here. ‘Blood Lines‘. Kim Stone book 5 – the one everyone has been looking forward to. The one in which Kim’s greatest ever nemesis returns. Yes ladies and gents – Alex Thorne is back.
Well. What is there to say. If you read my review then you’ll probably get that I quite liked this book. As I said in the review, Angela Marsons has done it again – delivered a story that has the needle frantically bouncing around at the top of the unputdownability meter. Mixed in between a case with a seemingly unsolvable murder – a crime committed which has left practically no forensics and no clue as to its perpetrator – Kim has another overriding concern. Contact from the woman she fought hard to bring to justice – Alex Thorne. Once again, Alex seems determined to use Kim’s emotions to manipulate her while plotting her ultimate revenge against those she feel betrayed her.
Once again, Dawson takes a greater role in this book and he is a character I am really starting to like a lot. He’s more competent and passionate than he perhaps appears and throughout the story he and Kim reach a greater level of understanding which should see him develop more as the books go on. And I can’t wait.
Fast paced and gripping, uncompromisingly complex and yet also beautifully simple, this is one heck of a story. The edgy conflict between Kim and Alex has lost none of its edge and it’s almost a shame that it is over … for now. Somehow I still think we’ll hear from Alex again.
At least I hope we will …
Hopefully this has given you a taster of what the Kim Stone series is about. I love these books and I love this author. From previous posts you may be aware that I recently won an charity auction which made me the proud owner of the hand written 1st draft of bloodlines and a signed paperback copy of the book too. I could not be happier to have received these and they have pride of place in my signed book collection.They are priceless and sorry, but you can’t have them. But you can purchase the books so what are you waiting for?
You can purchase any of the books by selecting the links below.
About the Author
Angela lives in the heart of the Black Country with her partner, bouncy Labrador and potty mouthed parrot.
It has taken many novels to find that one character who just refused to go away. And so D.I. Kim Stone was born.