First Blood is the latest in the Angela Marsons Kim Stone series, and it goes back to Kim’s roots. Have you ever wondered how did Kim end up with her current team and what were the dynamics between them at the start? Well, wonder no longer, because this book shows Kim’s first case ever working with D.C. Stacey Wood, D.S. Bryant, and D.S. Dawson.
Things didn’t start all that well with the new team. Each of them displaced from other teams, they all have to work together and find a rhythm that doesn’t disturb the rest and gels with the others, but that is a hard feat to do. D.S. Bryant is the quiet older detective who is not all too independent, D.C. Stacey Wood is the newbie, quite green behind the ears but all too eager to learn and contribute, and D.S. Dawson is the thorn in everyone’s finger.
He is as independent as he gets, but he can’t work well with others, and he definitely doesn’t like to follow orders. Above all, he likes to show off his brilliance. Not the best qualities Kim is looking for. But can they all make it work so they stay together as a team past their very first case?
As usual with the other Angela Marsons books, this story was gripping, fast-paced, and creepers too. Just the mix I like in my crime thrillers. It was fun to follow the main characters that we know and love from their group conception, each with their own quirks and oddities. Had I not read the previous books, I wouldn’t have been all too sure that they actually stayed together. Kim must have seen something in each because when given the choice, she chose yes to them all. And this is not a spoiler; after all this is book 12 in the series featuring the same set of main characters.
I liked how each contributed in their own way to solving the puzzling case, and each showed to Kim their own strengths (and weaknesses) that she could harness from now on. The relationship between characters is tense, and it takes a long time for them to really start to work together and trust each other. But it’s fun to see it all unfold, in baby steps. Also, reading the previous books in the series, I was curious to see how they actually got together. Kim is not the easiest person to be around or work for. And there are some strong personalities involved in the team. They all have their reservations about each other and with good reason. So how Kim managed to keep the team working so smoothly, it was always a small curious question at the back of my mind.
Their first case together takes them to a serial killer who murders their victims in some extreme and brutal ways. You can’t but wonder what those poor victims did to deserve such a horrible death. The closer the gang gets to catching the killer, the more dangerous the hunt becomes, until you are not sure who exactly is hunting whom.
For someone new to the series and looking to read the Angela Marsons books in order, I would definitely advise First Blood before reading Silent Scream. If you’re already familiar with the series, then just read it as the new entry for some interesting backstory, interaction, and character development.
Overall, I was not disappointed by this latest installment of the Kim Stone series.
First Blood by Angela Marsons
Series: D.I. Kim Stone #12
Published by Bookouture
Genres: British Mystery, Crime Mystery
Source: purchased copy
Also by this author: Play Dead, Blood Lines, Broken Bones