Last Updated on February 4, 2018
I have quite recently found out about Angela Marsons through Bookouture. After reading the DCI Erika Foster series by Robert Bryndza, I checked out the publisher’s site for more authors that they work with, and the rest is history. Reading the Angela Marsons books in order is well-worth doing in my opinion.
Play Dead has as main scene a body farm, a research facility where scientists study the decomposition stages of bodies using insect activities and other methods which are usually not for the faint of heart. Normally bodies are the norm on the body farm, but when someone discovers a fresh unknown body at the Westerly research facility, a body which shouldn’t be there under usual circumstances, Kim and her team are sent to the scene to investigate.
And when further bodies are found on the premises, they know that a killer is on the loose, and he needs catching fast before he strikes again.
While reading this book it dawned on me that it was a good thing I’ve read the previous novels in the series. They do stand on their own regarding the cases Kim solves, however, there are recurring characters which gives the whole plot more sense if you know the previous stories in advance. Be warned.
For example we have the pesky journalist Tracy Frost which we all love to hate – well she has quite a major role in this particular book. Once she starts dipping her nose into brews that are beyond her dipping range, things start to turn bad for her and she goes missing, so Kim is working against the clock to find her – alive if possible.
In each new installment we also learn more about Kim herself. What drives her, what makes her tick and what is her connection to Tracy Frost in the first place. Kim is sort of blunt, straight in her actions and a bit flawed. Just like every human being is. But she is a very likable character, who grew on me right from the first book.
As the story progresses, we are thrown several fat red herrings which you can’t avoid from getting your hooks into because they’re so expertly placed throughout. Think you figured out who did it? Think again, because it’s definitely not that one, and neither is the the other one. Or is it?
The storyline is great, the pacing seems to go even faster than in the previous Kim Stone novels, and the writing style pulls you in and keeps you tight until you finish the last page of the book. And the fact that it actually has a Body Farm as a central part of the story, it’s a major win for me (I love love love the Body Farm series by the Jefferson Bass author duo). I have to say, Bookouture definitely knows to catch all the talented British crime mystery authors.
Overall this is a great book not to be missed, but again, it would be to the reader’s advantage to catch up with the previous novels before starting with Play Dead. And now all I can think of is the fact that in just two months Blood Lines, book 5 in the series is coming out!