Good morning friends, and thank you for stopping by for my appearance on the Child’s Play blog tour supporting Angela Marsons’ latest installment in the D.I. Kim Stone series. Most of you know how obsessed I am with these books, and how they’re one of the only series that I recommend starting from scratch and reading through, regardless of the intimidating 11 books to date. If you’re new to the series, and enjoy stories that are equal parts exciting murder mystery and engrossing character study, then look no further. If you’re also a fan who is awaiting this latest installment, you’re in for a treat. 🙂 Below, you’ll find my full review of the book, plus information on the blog tour, author, and where you can purchase the book. ❤
Synopsis: Finally we’re playing a game. A game that I have chosen. I give one last push of the roundabout and stand back. ‘You really should have played with me,’ I tell her again although I know she can no longer hear.
Late one summer evening, Detective Kim Stone arrives at Haden Hill Park to the scene of a horrific crime: a woman in her sixties tied to a swing with barbed wire and an X carved into the back of her neck.
The victim, Belinda Evans, was a retired college Professor of Child Psychology. As Kim and her team search her home, they find an overnight bag packed and begin to unravel a complex relationship between Belinda and her sister Veronica.
Then two more bodies are found bearing the same distinctive markings, and Kim knows she is on the hunt for a ritualistic serial killer. Linking the victims, Kim discovers they were involved in annual tournaments for gifted children and were on their way to the next event.
With DS Penn immersed in the murder case of a young man, Kim and her team are already stretched and up against one of the most ruthless killers they’ve ever encountered. The clues lie in investigating every child who attended the tournaments, dating back decades.
Faced with hundreds of potential leads and a bereaved sister who is refusing to talk, can Kim get inside the mind of a killer and stop another murder before it’s too late?
I’m amazed that, 11 books into the series, I’m still just as much of a die-hard Kim Stone and Crew fan as I was at the end of book 1. Usually, I hang around for 3 books in a long running narrative, maybe 5 if I’m truly addicted, but I always find myself tapering off and becoming distracted by other books that I feel merit my time. Whether it’s due to the wonderfully flawed characters who have become like family to me, or the well plotted mysteries that I’m always surprised by in some form or fashion, I’m glad I decided to listen to the opinions of my Goodreads friends and jump on board this train. As a series that is published by a more intimate company, I think it speaks measures that these books initially made their splash by word of mouth from regular old readers, like you and I. It’s difficult some days to remember that not all books are bought solely due to a large marketing budget and overexposure online, which gives readers continuous hope in finding the diamonds in the rough.
If you’ve been following the series, by this point you realize that D.I. Stone’s team is functioning at normal capacity again, after the loss of one of their own a few books prior, yet things get thrown up in the air as department regulations begin to limit the amount of hours the officers are allowed on the clock, and one character is pulled back to his old stomping ground to close out his final case from his days on the West Mercia force. What follows are two separate cases, unfolding simultaneously, that DO NOT intertwine in the end. This may be bothersome or feel unnecessary to some readers, which I understand, but for me I loved this! So many books are following the same, dreary formula, and I was pleased at the surprise of receiving two intricate cases for the price of one.
No spoilers here, but I do want to take a moment and state that I found this installment to be another well-balanced tale. I always treasure the furthering of the personal lives of our main characters, and we get that here. We also have a case that the team is solving where I had NO CLUE who the killer was. This was due to some clever writing on the author’s side, but also due to the fact that the book is entertaining enough that I wasn’t focused on scrutinizing every single moment and allowed the twists to hit me naturally, which made the reading experience that much more wonderful, IMO.
If you enjoy well-written mysteries filled with relatable characters and a spectrum of emotion impressed upon the reader, you really need to take the leap and start this series. While I suppose you could technically read this as a standalone, there are a few spoilers for previous books mentioned, and you’d be doing yourself a HUGE disservice by not creating a relationship with our recurring characters first. I cannot recommend these books highly enough, and it is one of a handful of series that I recommend people invest the time in starting, even though 11 books published sounds daunting. Now, if you need me, I’m off to start the waiting period for the next Kim Stone novel. 🙂
*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy via NetGalley.
Angela Marsons is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of the DI Kim Stone series and her books have sold more than 3 million in 3 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.
Many of her books, including Blood Lines, Dead Souls, Broken Bones, Fatal Promise and Dead Memories reached the #1 spot on Amazon on pre-orders alone.