Published: 20th May 2016 (Bookouture)
Synopsis: 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, its 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 …?
I first discovered Angela Marsons in December 2015 following a recommendation of her books through a Facebook group. Having read the synopsis for the first in the series, Silent Scream, I purchased all 3 as I could tell from the start that they were ‘me’ books. I then proceeded to read the first 2 back to back which is pretty unheard of for me, and then the 3rd book a couple of weeks later.
These books do need reading in sequence (and it really isn’t a chore reading them all!), because whilst the actual storyline in each book is standalone, the back stories are important to truly understand DI Kim Stone, her team and not forgetting journalist, Tracy Frost.
Play Dead opens with he first person narrative of an unknown character talking about someone who we understand is their mother, who has very recently died. The narrative then switches to present day whereby Stone and Bryant are watching a house, waiting for a warrant to enter the property. Stone, as impatient as ever changes tactics in order to gain access to the house in a different way, temporarily becoming Bryant’s wife.
Once this investigation is completed, the team are sent on a field trip to a local body farm to understand what they do and the help that their findings have upon investigations. It is during this visit that a young woman’s body is found and it is clear that she has been murdered.
I personally love Stone; she is strong and ballsy, copes with her past by focusing on her career and building a strong team around her – although she is careful to stay aloof from them, not letting anyone in too close, other than Barney, her loyal canine companion.
Interestingly in this book, we see a different side to the journalist Tracy Frost – we learn more of her character and why she is the person she portrays herself to be. I really enjoyed this element of he book, seeing the dynamics between Stone and Frost shift.
The pace of this book is relentless, it had me guessing the whole way through and just when I thought I knew what was going, another theory was ruled out!
Marsons currently has a 8 book deal for DI Kim Stone which I am very grateful for as I don’t want Stone to go anywhere just yet!
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