It gives me great pleasure to be joining the launch day blitz for Fatal Promise, the very latest Kim Stone thriller from Angela Marsons. Now, I may have hidden it well (I haven’t), but if you didn’t know, I’m quite a fan of this series so must say a massive thanks to Kim Nash of Bookouture for including me in the blitz and providing the advance copy of the book for review. Here is what it’s all about.
About the Book
Eeeny meeny, miney, moe. Who lives, who dies only I know.
When the body of a doctor is discovered brutally murdered in local woodland, Detective Kim Stone is shocked to discover the victim is Gordon Cordell – a man linked to a previous case she worked on involving the death of a young school girl. Gordon has a chequered past, but who would want him dead?
As the investigation gets underway, Gordon’s son is involved in a horrific car crash which leaves him fighting for his life. Kim’s sure this was no accident.
Then the body of a woman is found dead in suspicious circumstances and Kim makes a disturbing link between the victims and Russells Hall Hospital. The same hospital where Gordon worked.
With Kim and her team still grieving the loss of one of their own, they’re at their weakest and facing one of the most dangerous serial killers they’ve ever encountered. Everything is on the line. Can Kim keep her squad together and find the killer before he claims his next victim?
The killer is picking off his victims at a terrifying pace, and he’s not finished yet.
From multi-million copy number one bestseller Angela Marsons comes another absolutely nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat crime thriller.
This is quite possibly going to be one of the hardest reviews I have ever written as everything I want to say may contain a spoiler for the previous book in the series, Dying Truth. If you haven’t read that book then read on at your peril as I am going to do my best not to let any cats out of the bag but I won’t make any guarantees. It may be as much what isn’t said that gives the game away as much as what is.
The story sees Kim just coming back to work from an enforced period of sick leave. Rather than take it slow, as if that would ever happen, she launches herself straight into a murder case, one which has somewhat emotional connotations for all of the team. The killing is quite brutal, the evidence confusing. And it’s only the tip of the iceberg. With the bodies piling up it falls to the team to find the motive for murder before the killer strikes again.
And that’s all you are getting from me. Apart from read the book, it’s fabulous …
Okay … so I lied. There is more, but here is where it gets tricky so this really is your last warning. If you are a fan of the series but haven’t read Dying Truth yet then step away from the review. Now. Go. This is one time when I will categorically state that you need to have read, at the very least, the book before this in order to understand and appreciate what you are reading here, and to avoid the spoilers which are contained within the story itself.
Still here? Okay then. Here we go.
Fatal Promise really is a brilliant book. I know that probably gets said a lot but there are many reasons why this is true of this story. Not only do you have a complex and bewildering case, some top class narrative and fabulous characters, but this story has an emotional depth that fans of the series will totally understand. I’m still not over the ending of the last book and reading this one just bought it all back. There are scenes which will tug at your heartstrings and draw the tears to your eyes, notably one scene between Stacey and her partner Devon. It is raw and packed with such feeling that you can’t help but experience it for yourself as you read. It’s also great to see Stacey coming further out of her shell and dipping her toe into the murky world of field based investigation, as she does again this time, thankfully in much less dramatic fashion than in prior books.
It’s fair to say that the overall tone of this book is quite different to what you have read before. Yes, there is still a murder mystery at its heart. You get chapters told from the killer’s point of view, steering you along and making clear their m.o. long before the team cotton onto it, but giving you no clues as to who the guilty party is. The opening chapter is both packed with emotion and yet also emotionally isolated, and it set my mind whirring before we even got into the bones of the case. It is still a thriller in every sense and the closing chapters will see your pulse skyrocket as Angela Marsons once again excels in building the tension in the final third of the book, leading us to a rather dramatic showdown. Not quite as dramatic as the last book mind, but enough to drive you to chomp those nails down to the quick.
What I loved about this story was watching the interaction of the main team. Yes, the line up is slightly different this time around. Unavoidable to be fair. We see more of Penn, who is a character we met in two previous cases. I have to say he’s a great character and I’m looking forward to seeing more of him in the future. Boyd was his usual fatherly self although his relationship with Kim is more fractious this time around, the usual easy banter not sitting well with either of them. Their’s is a strong friendship but by ‘eck does Angela Marsons push them to the limit this time around.
But one of the key successes in this novel, which marks the just past half way point in the series, is the way in which it further explores the background and psychology of Kim Stone herself. We are aware of her losses, they were exposed very early on in the series. We know her coping strategy, again explored to a manipulative extent by Alex Thorne in Evil Games. This time around it is in mandatory counselling with her long time confidant, Ted Morgan, that we learn even more about Kim’s past and the events which shaped her life and her personality. This is not something that Kim would freely admit to anyone so having that outsider view really brings home her character quirks and reinforces your belief in the woman we all know and love, no matter how prickly she may be. And boy is she prickly this time. Even by her usual standards she’s going some. You get the true sense of Kim being on a kind of precipice in this book, with the possibility of the case sending her either limping home to safety or crashing over the edge. It truly could go either way.
Are there spoilers here? Perhaps not. Maybe by omission rather than inclusion but then I know what happens …
If you are looking for a tension filled thriller, travelling in the company of a brilliant cast of characters, a read that is high on drama but equally high on raw emotion, then pick this book up. If you have enjoyed the previous books in the series then, yes, this does mark the start of a new era, but Angela Marsons has managed the transition perfectly, capturing not just the emotions of the characters but, I suspect, those of more than a few of her readers too. We may be saying goodbye to the past, but the future is shaping up to be a pretty fluffing dandy one I’d say.
If you’d like a copy of the book for yourself, and let’s be honest, why wouldn’t you? then you can find it at the following links:
About the Author
Angela Marsons is the author of the International Bestselling DI Kim Stone series and her books have sold more than 3 million copies in 2 years.
She lives in the Black Country with her partner, their cheeky Golden Retriever 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 (The Forgotten Woman and Dear Mother) Angela turned to Crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away.
She is signed to Bookouture.com for a total of 16 books in the Kim Stone series and her books have been translated into more than 27 languages.
Her last three books – Blood Lines, Dead Souls and Broken Bones – reached the #1 spot on Amazon on pre-orders alone.