Despite my best efforts last year, I didn’t quite finish the D.I. Kim Stone series as I had hoped. This is the 11th novel in the series, I SHOULD have read and reviewed it in November 2019 and I’m only getting to it now. Woe is me…
I read this book while traveling on the plane to Florida. The perfect distraction from my uncomfortable seat as it was an engrossing read.
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.
“No matter what the day held, Barney’s welcome was enough to put a smile on her face.”
Her team respect her and are very loyal. And no wonder – Kim never asks her team members to do anything that she would not do herself. She is fiercely protective of people she cares about and has an overriding passion for her job.
D.S. Bryant, twelve years her senior, is Kim’s partner and dearest friend. Devoted to his wife and daughters, Bryant is the glue that holds Kim’s team together. Their banter is a delight to read.
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 in a lesbian relationship and lives with her girlfriend, though in this novel her relationship is at a crossroads…
D.S. Austin Penn, is the newest member of the team, but not a complete stranger as he has worked with them twice before for short terms. Penn arrives at work every morning carrying a ‘man-bag’ and a tupperware container of cakes. Penn is slowly becoming accepted as one of the team. When not working, he cares for his mentally challenged brother. This time out, Penn has been seconded to his previous workplace to testify at a trial for one of his earlier cases. The case is found to be full of holes and Penn is determined to see it through to a satisfactory conclusion. In doing so, he inadvertently endangers the life of his brother, Jasper.
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.
Tiffany, filling the vacancy created by Penn’s absence, is seconded to the team. She has a sunny disposition and is at first underestimated by Stacey. She comes to prove herself with her online investigative skills.
Kim is emotionally invested in this case because many of the victims, like her, have undergone severe emotional cruelty as children. The victims are all linked to an annual tournament for gifted children/child prodigies.
In DI Kim Stone’s eleventh outing, the relationships between siblings and parents of exceptional children is the prime subject. Brilliance comes in many forms and being the sibling or parent of a brilliant child comes with its own unique set of challenges. Topics covered are sibling rivalry, parental neglect, mental cruelty, and deception.
Murders are being committed with a unique signature. All the victims are found posed in a ‘playful’ atmosphere. Some in playgrounds, some near games of some sort.
Marson’s characters are becoming more and more like family to me. The series just seems to go from strength to strength. I highly recommend though that this series be read in order to fully realize its brilliance.
As I devoured this 11th novel in the series, I felt just as invested in the characters as I was with the previous ten titles. I will certainly recommend the series 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 future installments in this brilliant crime series. Oh, and in case you didn’t already guess… “Child’s Play” is very 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.
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