Dead Souls (D I Kim Stone) by Angela Marsons

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Dead Souls (D I Kim Stone) by Angela Marsons

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Category: Crime
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Number six in the series and it's still one of the best crime thriller series around at the moment. Definitely recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 412/10h14m Date: April 2017
Publisher: Bookouture
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1786811615

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It was a field trip, but to be honest a lot of the students didn't really look all that interested in the excavation and Dr A really rather hoped that none of them would go into forensics. There was more excitement when the skull was discovered but at that point the students were quickly escorted from the scene and D I Kim Stone came on site to begin her investigation. Unfortunately D I Tom Travis from the neighbouring force also arrived with the same intention: the burial site was right on the border between the two forces and no one was quite certain where one ended and the other began. Stone assumed that it would be her case and was shocked and bewildered when she found that it was to be run as a joint investigation. She nearly refused: she and Travis had history.

Forensic examination soon made it clear that there was more than one victim buried in the grave and possibly as many as three. It's the state of the bones which causes the most shock though - there are signs that animal traps have been used and there are bullet holes. Whilst Stone's away co-leading this investigation her team are having to contend with a series of sickening hate crimes. They work well together but it's not long before the lack of Stone's direct oversight becomes evident: one member of the team goes off on her own investigation which hasn't been sanctioned and they're all forced to face up to the fact that whilst they might not think that they're racist there are ingrained attitudes to race and other differences which are hard to shift.

It's an excellent, thought-provoking story, particularly on the subject of race. It's all well and good to make the excuse that all kids feel a bit 'different' at school, but the fat kid can lose weight. In the morning the black kid will still be black. I was brought up to be racist and it's been a constant struggle to change the attitudes and reactions which were hard wired into my brain and it was useful to be reminded that the person who overcompensates can be as insulting as the person who makes racist remarks.

Racism is a big part of the plot and it's extremely well done with some excellent twists to keep you guessing. The ending is stunning: I think I stopped breathing at one point and the pacing is perfect. The interactions between Stone and Travis added considerably to the enjoyment. If you're particularly squeamish than this might not be the book for you, as there are some quite graphic descriptions of violence and injuries, although I didn't find any of it gratuitous.

Rather than read the book I listed to an audio download (which I bought myself) narrated by Jan Cramer. She's narrated previous books in the series and I particularly like her rendition of Kim Stone - hers is the voice I hear when I read the books - and whilst she doesn't have an extensive range of voices I found the narration more than acceptable and look forward to listening to more from Cramer.

The books would all read well as stand alones but you might get more if you read the books in chronological order.

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