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.
Other than her second in command, Bryant, she is friendless. Her one real weakness is her fondness for her adopted dog, Barney.
“Barney wasn’t keen on other people and certainly not on other dogs. Kim often wondered what had happened in his early years to make him such a complex little character. She supposed he wondered the same thing about her.”
Her team respect her and are very loyal.
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, young, vain, fit, and impulsive. Each book in the series shows his growing potential to be a great police officer. This time he works directly with Bryant in Kim’s absence.
Constable Stacy Wood, a diligent and hard-working local girl who excels at online research and data-mining which is often invaluable to the team’s success. Stacy is black – and because of this she plays a pivotal role in this novel.
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. In this novel, Woody assigns Kim to work with a neighboring police force and leave her team to fend for themselves.
In DI Kim Stone’s sixth outing we find her working a cold case alongside a former colleague. Some human bones have been found and they are located on the border of two police jurisdictions. Despite years of animosity, Kim is ordered to work with Travis, the DCI of the neighboring police force, in a joint investigation.
Meanwhile, Kim’s team are investigating a recent spate of hate crimes. Blacks, Polish, Pakistanis, Gays, no one is exempt. Bryant and Dawson are out in the field, while Stacy Wood is working at the office behind her computer screen. She resents the attitude of her co-workers who want to shelter her from the ugliness of the case because she is black. She investigates on her own, without telling her co-workers or her superiors. This will prove to be a grave mistake on her part…
The narrative of “Dead Souls” alternates between the cases of Kim and Travis, and that of Bryant and Dawson.
Kim is striving to understand why she and Travis have been unable to get along despite the fact that they were once friends and partners on the job.
The two cases converge when DS Stacey Wood is abducted.
This sixth novel in the series has proved to be a worthy successor to the first five. It was interesting to see how Kim’s team manage to work without her. At the same time, it shows a little more of Kim’s history before we met her in the first book.
This novel exemplified the intolerance possible in human interaction. It opened my eyes to just how evil we can be to each other… It spoke to racism and xenophobia.
“The internet makes it much easier to hate”.
As I finished this sixth novel in the series, I felt certain that this entire series is one I will certainly recommend to all lovers of gritty crime fiction. 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 seventh book, “Broken Bones” in July. Oh, and in case you didn’t already guess… “Dead Souls” 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.