For some time now I have noticed that the D.I. Kim Stone series has been highly praised by my fellow book bloggers. Therefore, I decided that despite my lengthy TBR, I would read the series in its entirety, one title every month. What a wise decision I made!
D.I. Kim Stone – An acerbic, brusque, and driven young woman who works as a Detective Inspector for the West Midlands Police, the second largest police force in the country. She is socially inept, and has been known to break the rules, as well as to disregard instructions and protocols in her search for justice. An insomniac, she is fueled by nervous energy and lots of coffee, and is beautiful, but she works hard to hide it. She is 34 years old, brilliant, hot-headed, and damaged. As a child, she suffered horribly, and was shunted from foster home to foster home. Only once did she experience a nurturing, loving relationship – and that was very short lived…. Now, when not working, her favourite thing to do is work at restoring vintage motorbikes. Bikes are her passion, and she uses a Kawasaki Ninja as her regular form of transport.
- D.S. Bryant, twelve years her senior, is Kim’s partner and dearest friend. He is married and the father of daughters.
- D.S. Kevin Dawson, a good copper, but young, vain, and not yet mature.
- Constable Stacy Wood, a diligent and hard-working local girl.
D.C.I. Woodward (Woody) is Kim’s long-suffering superior. Like the rest of her team, he is loyal and stands up for her when the higher-ups would have her removed from the case. Kim gives him lots of reason to use his stress ball.
In DI Kim Stone’s second outing we find her and her team working on a child sexual abuse case AND a murder case.
The series protagonist, D.I. Kim Stone, continues to attempt to make herself unlikable. She is brusque, taciturn, and often outright rude…. yet, you just have to love her. Her horrendous past makes it impossible not to feel a deep empathy for her. Not pity, because she would not abide that. This time around Kim has adopted a dog, Barney, and he seems to fill a gap in her life that she was not even aware of. I hope Barney stays with Kim a long, long, time.
“It was disturbing just how easily he had fit in to her lifestyle. Probably more disconcerting was the amount of time she spent talking to him.”
I enjoyed the camaraderie between Kim and her police partner, Bryant. They worked perfectly together and thoroughly understood each other. I liked that despite this, they were platonic friends only. I enjoyed reading about how Kim and her ‘team’ worked together and their unquestioning loyalty to Kim and each other.
In this, Kim’s second outing, she meets her nemesis. Dr. Alex Thorne is a well-regarded psychiatrist who also just happens to be an evil sociopath. She uses her patients by manipulating their fragile psyches to further her own devious agenda, playing on their weaknesses. Brilliantly intelligent, the good doctor has no empathy for her fellow human beings and no sense of moral responsibility. Beautiful, she feels contempt and disdain for everyone who is less intelligent, or less beautiful than she is. She is fascinated by Kim Stone and works at undermining what little grip Kim has managed to build on her emotional state. Alex deems Kim a worthy adversary.
“Alex couldn’t help but wonder how far she could push Kim until she fell into the abyss of her fragile psyche.”
The novel references a quote from Milton’s “Paradise Lost” that is very fitting for the story. “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.”
In “Evil Games” we get to learn more about what makes D.I. Kim Stone tick. Also, the novel delves deeply in what makes guilt such a powerful force in the human psyche.
This second novel in the series has a great cover, but I’m not convinced it really relates to the content of the book.
By the time I finished this second novel in the series, I was left with the feeling once again that I wanted MORE Kim Stone. Lucky for me I purchased the entire series in order that I might read one installment every month for my “Marsons of the Month” blog series. I look forward to reading the third book, “Lost Girls” in March. Oh, and in case you didn’t already guess… “Evil Games” is highly recommended by me.
Angela Marsons discovered her love of writing at Primary School. She wrote the stories that burned inside and then stored them safely in a desk drawer.
After much urging from her partner, she began to enter short story competitions in Writer’s News resulting in a win and three short listed entries. She self-published two of her earlier works before concentrating on her true passion – Crime.
After many, many submissions she signed an eight book deal with Bookouture as their first crime author. Her D.I. Kim Stone novels have sold 3 million copies.
Angela Marsons is from Brierley Hill in the West Midlands and is a former security guard at the Merry Hill Shopping Centre. She continues to live in the Black Country with her partner and their bouncy Labrador and potty-mouthed parrot.
Follow Angela Marsons on Twitter.