Oh it is so good to be back in the Black Country with the feisty DI Kim Stone as she battles for justice in this, her fifth outing.
When compassionate Deanna Brightman is found with a single stab wound to the chest Kim Stone and the team root through her life to find the motive for the killing without much success and then, a prostitute is killed using the identical method. The team are off chasing the connection between the two women before anyone else dies.
Kim Stone is still feisty, not a complete maverick and a hard taskmaster who gets results but she has her demons and in Blood Lines we meet up with the dangerous Dr Alexandra Thorne who made her entrance in the second book in the series; Evil Games. The result is a battle of wills and while I desperately hoped Kim Stone would emerge victorious there was no doubt that Alexandra Thorne had more up her sleeve than I’d have liked.
One of the key strengths in Angela Marsons’ writing is her characterisation. No one is too insignificant for her treatment with each crime scene is a chance not only to learn about the victim and ultimately those who were close to them, but the officers attending. The depth these men and women now have has me convinced that I know them in real life, I can predict some of their dialogue because they are rooted in a reality that is reassuring and believable. That isn’t to say any of this book is predictable, far from it! The twists and turns in the investigation are, as always superb. The victims and their families are an excellent mixture of those who you’d happily strike up a conversation with, to those you may nod awkwardly at to those who you’d run as fast as you can from, preferably in the opposite direction. The author isn’t interested in giving the stereotype of the bogeyman, she is there drawing your attention to his every pimple to ensure the hairs on the back of your neck really stand up!
As always with this series there are a number of different tales being told, in Blood Lines we are following the team, led by the seemingly indefatigable Kim Stone, while they use all their skills to work out the link between their disparate victims. No stone is to be left unturned in the pursuit of the killer. The other strand is far more personal. The evil heart of Dr Alexandra Thorne is still, even in prison, masked by the attractive face, and her fight with Kim takes an ever more personal turn as the doctor uses dirty weapons in her fight. As always the plots are fantastic, one strand just as enthralling as the other and keeping me reading to find out what on earth is going to happen next.
It isn’t only the content of Angela Marsons books that I enjoy, the style, in this one including letters, journal entries as well as the straightforward narratives gives me (another) element to ponder over. Be warned though, this book has short chapters, that means you are easily tricked into an endless cycle of ‘just one more’ until you realise that you haven’t managed to have anywhere near enough sleep to propel you through the next day.
A thoroughly satisfying and entertaining read from an author who has been on my ‘must-read’ list from her first book in this series, I have to say they just keep getting better. If you love contemporary crime and haven’t yet read this series, it is one that needs to be read in order, and boy, you are in for a treat!