Play Dead by Angela Marsons

Play Dead by Angela Marsons is published tomorrow.  I was lucky enough to be gifted a copy of this bloomin’ brilliant book for review by Bookouture and Netgalley.

 

The Blurb

The dead don’t tell secrets unless you listen.
The girl’s smashed-in face stared unseeing up to the blue sky, soil spilling out of her mouth. A hundred flies hovered above the bloodied mess.
Westerley research facility is not for the faint-hearted.  A ‘body farm’ investigating human decomposition, it’s inhabitants are corpses in various states of decay.  But when Detective Kim stone and her team discover the fresh body of a young woman, it seems a killer has discovered the perfect cover to bury their crime.
Then a second girl is attacked and left for dead, her body drugged and mouth filled with soil.  It’s clear to stone and the team that a serial killer is at work – but just how many bodies will they uncover? And who is next?
As local reporter, Tracy Frost, disappears, the stakes are raised.  the past seems to hold the key to the killer’s secrets – but can Kim uncover the truth before a twisted, damaged mind claims another victim…?
The latest utterly addictive thriller from the No.1 bestseller Angela Marsons.

My Review

Ok, so you will probably think I have been living under a rock as this is my first novel by Angela Marsons. My mum has been raving about her, but I had not got round to reading her books, so I jumped at the chance when Play Dead came up for review. I’m so glad I did, and in this case it’s certainly true when they say that “Mum is always right” as I was not disappointed.
In brief a woman’s body is found at Westerley Research Facility with her head smashed in and dirt coming out of her mouth, soon followed by another body and a woman who is left for dead. DI Kim Stone must find the killer and stop the fourth from meeting the same end.
This is the fourth in the DI Kim Stone series, however it works as a stand alone novel, I had no problems getting to know the characters and did not feel I was missing anything by not having read the first three. The characterisation is fantastic and I can see why Kim Stone is so popular. Straight talking, no-nonsense, competent, but also compassionate with an interesting back story, I warmed to her pretty much immediately. Angela also puts detail into other minor character’s back stories, including the killer’s, which makes for a more interesting read. I really liked the way the story was punctuated by the killer’s voice at various chapters.
The backdrop of the body farm (do these places really exist?) make it incredibly creepy and gruesome but it also has dark humour (Cher, Jack and Vera) which I love.
Angela is very talented at telling a story and her writing is great. Each chapter ends at precisely the right moment (or not, if like me you are reading in bed and need to get to sleep!) to keep you intrigued and having to read just one more chapter, which inevitably turns into two or three or more.
I tried, as I always do, to work out who the killer was and was totally wrong with every guess, which is great as there is nothing worse than working it out halfway through. The twist at the end surprised me, but was also believable, and it fitted together perfectly.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, one of the best detective based novels I have read in a while, and Angela is going straight up there as one of my favourite crime authors. Kim Stone and I will be meeting again as I catch up on the first three books. Fantastic!
Thank you Angela Marsons, Bookouture and Netgalley for the advance copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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