|Child's Play (D I Kim Stone) by Angela Marsons|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: It's the eleventh in the series and for me benefited from not going back to Kim Stone's past quite as much as earlier books have done. It's a good, engaging story which had me gripped from neginning to end and I didn't spot whodunnit! Recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 397||Date: July 2019|
|External links: Author's website|
There's a prologue and we know that we're dealing with someone who is very disturbed. The descriptions are horrifying, but worst of all is the coldness of the killer.
Late on a summer's evening DI Kim Stone is called to Haden Hill Park - the scene of a dreadful crime. A woman in her sixties has been tied to a swing with barbed wire, stabbed and an X carved into the back of her neck. Careful readers will note that bad as this scene is, it's not the one we read about in the prologue. Belinda Evans was a retired Professor of Child Psychology. Stone and her team search the victim's home and find an overnight bag packed as though for a trip - but they also encounter Veronica Evans, Belinda's sister. Apparently the sisters could not stand one another - but if that's the case why are they in contact with each other as much as a dozen times a day?
DI Stone has most of her team with her. Keates is still the pathologist with whom she has a love/hate relationship, with the balance being rather more to the hate. She's got DS Bryant by her side and Stacey back at base and doing all the data mining. DS Penn is back with West Mercia police, originally just to give evidence in a case for which her was Senior Investigation Officer. He's got an uneasy feeling that something's not right - and his case gradually unravels in front of him.
Kim Stone is not faring much better as the body count mounts. The killer is ruthless and it seems that the victims are linked by their association with a tournament for gifted children. Angela Marsons takes a cool look at the lives of child prodigies and their families, sees how they cope in the adult world and how they were exploited, even abused in their childhoods.
The characters are great. I've always been admiring of the way that Marsons can take a character who's not particularly likeable, but make you want the situation to work out for them. Stone herself is not entirely pleasant and would not thank anyone who made the attempt to like her but in Child's Play she meets a few people who could give her a run for her money.
But it's the plot you want to know about, isn't it? It's good, with a finale which I really didn't see coming despite the fact that all the clues were there. The background scenario - the child prodigies and the tournament - is woven neatly through the plot as are DS Penn's problems in West Mercia. It was a deeply satisfying read and I'm keen to read the next instalment.
At the moment Child's Play is only available as an ebook, costing £2.99. That's really very little to pay for a police procedural of this quality and I'd like to thank the publishers for making the book available to the Bookbag.
Do yourself a favour and read the series from the beginning. You won't regret it.
You can read more book reviews or buy Child's Play (D I Kim Stone) by Angela Marsons at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Child's Play (D I Kim Stone) by Angela Marsons at Amazon.com.
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