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 35 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 daughter, Bryant is the glue that holds Kim’s team together. He is sensible and level-headed, a perfect foil for Kim’s impulsiveness and easy temper. 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 lives with her girlfriend and they are planning their wedding. This time out, Stacy is working two cases and proves just how invaluable she is to the force.
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. When not working, he cares for his 15 year-old mentally challenged brother. This time out, Penn and his brother Jasper are grieving the recent death of their mother. Also, a potential love interest for Penn is introduced and her name is Lynne. (chuffed to see a character who spells her name like I do… but I digress) Lynne worked with Penn before he came to Kim’s team.
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 book, Kim and Woody have a strong difference of opinion about how to handle the public relations of their current case.
Alison Lowe – criminal behaviorist/profiler. She was seconded to the team once before and nearly lost her life. This time, she has to be coerced into helping them, as she has lost all her confidence in her abilities and has taken time away from her career to write a book.
Kim and her partner Bryant are working a murder case which has just turned into a serial murder case – Three murders in three days! The killer is begging Kim to make him stop and contacts her at first directly via letters. He identifies himself as ‘Noah’. Later, he communicates with Kim and her team via commentary on online news articles written by series regular, Tracey Frost.
Meanwhile, Stacy Wood is working a cold case. A rape victim who has never seen closure.
Interestingly enough, these two cases converge in a clever way.
This is the 13th novel in the fabulous D.I. Kim Stone series. If you haven’t yet started the series…. why haven’t you? I read this novel in the week between Christmas and New Year’s. As the characters seem more and more like family to me by this point, it seemed the perfect time.
Note: When I downloaded this book it had the title “Death Score” – a title which I personally think fits the novel better than its present title.
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 and appreciate the evolving dynamic between the characters.
This time out, the book examines the dynamics of sibling rivalry, and the extreme role it can play in the lives of the people involved. Thankfully, Angela Marsons balances her disturbing subject matter with liberal doses of witty sarcasm which I thoroughly enjoy.
As I devoured this 13th novel in the series, I felt even more invested in the characters than I was with the previous dozen titles. I will certainly recommend the series to all lovers of gritty crime fiction. I have read all thirteen novels in the series, but have not yet read the prequel. I look forward to reading the future installments in this brilliant crime series. Oh, and in case you didn’t already guess… “Deadly Cry” is very highly recommended by me.
This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Bookouture via NetGalley.
ISBN: 9781838887322 ASIN: B08FJ71854 356 pages
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.