Wednesday, 4 February 2015

REVIEW: Angela Marsons - Silent Scream ( D.I. Kim Stone #1 )

Genre: Mystery / Crime
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 20th Feb 2015
Pages: 307


I received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This book is published by Bookouture.

Five people have gathered in a field. Burying the body of a child in a shallow grave they all took turns to dig. They are burying secrets they pray will stay buried forever. Ten years later, a school headmistress is murdered. Strangled and drowned in her own bath. DI Kim Stone and her team have been given the case. Human remains are found in a field beside a former children’s home. Are these the same bones buried ten years earlier? What’s the connection with the headmistress? Stone has her own hidden past and her own demons and her own buried secrets. She is beginning a race against time to find who knows the secrets from ten years ago, before they are all dead.

Crime novels. All over the place these days. Hard to make them original. Hard to make them so your reader wants to come back for more. Angela Marsons seems to have uncovered the secret.

This book follows a lot of the normal practices of a good crime novel. A crime is committed, police get on the case, a twist or two if you’re lucky then the crime is solved and everyone is happy. One subtle difference makes this book stand out for me over many I have read recently. Emotion. Tons and tons of emotion.

DI Kim Stone has a past many people would struggle with to make it past their twenties. Where she came from was bleak and where she is now is nothing short of a miracle. She is a determined, some would say hardnosed, woman who knows exactly what she wants and will not let anything get in her way. She is abrupt, to the point of ignorance sometimes, but at the same time if you don’t “get” her and feel for her and support her you are one cold individual.

The rest of the characters in this story are a pick and mix. Stone’s team come across as the ultimate professionals. Dedicated to their boss. They know she can be a pain sometimes but she will be the first at their back in times of need. Her partner Bryant is more laid back. More happy go lucky. Their chemistry is fantastic. They know exactly what the other is thinking and needs. The rest of the team have their jobs to do and do them well. Their own individual characters are again very well suited and come out more and more through the story. Stone’s boss is the stereotypical hard ass boss that wants everything done by the book but at the same time there is a softer side there and knows he has a good detective.

The smaller characters fit perfectly into the story in their own ways. Some of them are charming. Some of them are vile. Some of them you want to cuddle. Some of them you want to punch repeatedly.

They all have their own little part to play in a story that I found to be tough to deal with at times given the subject matter but handled so beautifully that the aforementioned emotion just shines through.

This story is fast paced. Plenty of action. Plenty of murders. It deals with the less desirable side of serious crime in that there are children involved. For most of us this would be hard to read. It is at times but the characters pull you through this, keeping you engrossed as the murderer is hunted down. Stone seems to just miss them at every turn and this builds the tension perfectly until the last quarter of the book where the frantic race to the finale starts. There are one or two brilliant twists in this last section that you will never see coming in a million years.

This appears to be book one in a new series. There are a lot of those about at the minute but believe me this is definitely one I will follow whenever book 2 comes out. It’s got a very likable and believable character in Stone and I believe we haven’t even touched the sides of her character. There is much much more to come.

General rating:

★★★★★ = Absolutely loved it. Highly recommended.

Thriller rating:

★★★★★ = Where are my blood pressure tablets?

You can buy Silent Scream here:

Book Synopsis:

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?

Angela Marsons lives in the Black Country with her partner, a 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.

In September 2013 she was signed to in a 4 book deal starting the DI Kim Stone series in SILENT SCREAM to be published 20th February 2015.

Angela’s authors page is here.

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