Monday, May 16, 2016
Play Dead (Kim Stone #4) by Angela Marsons
3.0 out of 5 stars -- Whatever the horror that happens to you as a child, you must not let it define you. You should not seek revenge. Some can't let it go...
The corpse of a woman is found on the grounds of the body farm, Westerley, and DI Stone of the West Midlands Police discovers that this is one of the victims of a serial killer. She and her team think they catch a break when one of the intended next victims is found battered, but alive. Unfortunately, the woman cannot remember anything and is unable to help with any identification of the killer. Nor can she provide a possible motive for why she was targeted.
The narrative jumps around in point of view as the police begin the investigation. The voice of the killer tantalizes with snippets of childhood memories. A reporter gets very involved in the hunt when she realizes that she knew one of the victims back in her school days. All the while, Kim Stone tows the typical hard line to see the case through. And in the usual plot device, Kim almost becomes a victim herself.
This is the 4th book in the DI Kim Stone series, but the first one that I have read. My enjoyment of this thriller might have suffered because I do not know anything about this character nor about her past though there are some references in the narrative. I suppose nothing surprised me, however, as it seems to be the norm in this genre for the female lead investigator to be "damaged" in some way. This prevents them from having typical relationships and behavior -- and does not predispose me to really feeling the empathy that the author may hope to invoke. I'm sympathetic to a degree, and I was quite thankful there was no romance with a colleague in this book, but aren't there any "normal" women in police work? I believe that most of them are and would prefer more realistic portrayals of females in the police in leadership positions.
I would possibly read another in this series and definitely wish that I had started with the first three before picking up this one. Somehow I missed the fact that this was a series when reading the book synopsis and becoming intrigued by the premise. The pace was a bit slow in places and was not particularly suspenseful and I enjoyed it overall despite not feeling "gripped" with thrills.
Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for the e-book ARC to review.