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Release Date: 11th July 2019 / Publisher: Bookouture

Finally we’re playing a game. A game that I have chosen. I give one last push of the roundabout and stand back. ‘You really should have played with me,’ I tell her again although I know she can no longer hear.

Late one summer evening, Detective Kim Stone arrives at Haden Hill Park to the scene of a horrific crime: a woman in her sixties tied to a swing with barbed wire and an X carved into the back of her neck. 

The victim, Belinda Evans, was a retired college Professor of Child Psychology. As Kim and her team search her home, they find an overnight bag packed and begin to unravel a complex relationship between Belinda and her sister Veronica.

Then two more bodies are found bearing the same distinctive markings, and Kim knows she is on the hunt for a ritualistic serial killer. Linking the victims, Kim discovers they were involved in annual tournaments for gifted children and were on their way to the next event. 

With DS Penn immersed in the murder case of a young man, Kim and her team are already stretched and up against one of the most ruthless killers they’ve ever encountered. The clues lie in investigating every child who attended the tournaments, dating back decades.

Faced with hundreds of potential leads and a bereaved sister who is refusing to talk, can Kim get inside the mind of a killer and stop another murder before it’s too late?

The addictive new crime thriller from multi-million copy, number one bestseller Angela Marsons explores the dark side of child prodigies and will have you absolutely hooked.

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My Review

This is book #11 in the Kim Stone series.  It can be read as a standalone, but I would recommend reading the previous books first to understand the story of the characters. 

Kim is back and is called to the scene of a murder of a woman in her sixties tied to a swing in a children’s play park.  The victim was a retired college professor and when Kim and her team begin to investigate her life, they find that she had a very complex relationship with her sister.  As more murders happen, Kim finds herself involved in an annual tournament for highly gifted children, which has links to all the murder victims.  Can Kim and her team work out who the murderer is before anyone else dies?

Welcome back Kim!!  I am particularly partial to a Kim Stone book, so jumped at the chance of an early read when I was offered it!!  The book goes straight into the action when the body of a woman tied to a swing is found in a children’s play park.  The first murder was deliciously gruesome and there was no way that I would be putting this book down until I’d finished it after reading those opening chapters!!  I’ve always loved Kim’s character and as we are now up to book number 11, it feels like we are welcoming back a very close friend! 

I also love the relationship Kim has with her team, particularly Bryant and the banter that she has with him always leaves me laughing!  There is also a new addition to Kim’s team, Tiffany (who was fondly nicknamed Tink) and paired with Stacey, it’s fascinating to read how Tiffany and Stacey work their way through all the clues.  There is also a separate storyline running alongside for DS Penn involving a previous case he’d worked on before he joined Kim’s team.  The storyline switched between both of the stories and it was great for Penn to get a little side story of his own.  Whilst we had been introduced to Penn previously, it gave us the opportunity to know some more about him and particularly his honesty and principles which not all police officers have!

Despite this series being 11 books in, the action and suspense doesn’t let up at all and the plot lines just keep getting better with each book.  The investigation into the murders is hypnotic and it feels like you are right there in the middle of the action.  I found the first murder a lot more upsetting than the others, particularly as the victim’s relationship with her sister wasn’t what it appears.  I also liked how Kim also felt this way, and showed a tender side to her which we don’t often get to see!!

I have loved reading these books and will continue to do so as long as the author keeps writing them!  They are gruesome, gritty and raw with a little dash of humour to offset all the bad stuff that happens!  The characters are genuine and believable and in every book the story just fits together perfectly!  The storyline twists and turns, keeping you on the edge of your seat waiting to see whether your guess at who the murderer is was right – which for me it never is!  I also love reading about the places around where I live, and I can usually find that I have some connection with the locations in the books (this time it was Wombourne!!).  A thoroughly enjoyable book, a fabulous series and a fantastic author!  Roll on book #12!!

The Author

Angela Marsons is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of the DI Kim Stone series and her books have sold more than 3 million in 3 years.

She lives in the Black Country with her partner, their cheeky Golden Retriever and a swearing parrot.

She first discovered her love of writing at Junior School when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read “Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people’s”.

After years of writing relationship based stories (The Forgotten Woman and Dear Mother) Angela turned to Crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away.

She is signed to Bookouture.com for a total of 16 books in the Kim Stone series and her books have been translated into more than 27 languages.

Many of her books, including Blood Lines, Dead Souls, Broken Bones, Fatal Promise and Dead Memories reached the #1 spot on Amazon on pre-orders alone.