Play Dead by Angela Marsons

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About the Book

The girl’s smashed-in face stared unseeing up to the blue sky, soil spilling out of her mouth. A hundred flies hovered above the bloodied mess.

Westerley research facility is not for the faint-hearted. A ‘body farm’ investigating human decomposition, its inhabitants are corpses in various states of decay. But when Detective Kim Stone and her team discover the fresh body of a young woman, it seems a killer has discovered the perfect cover to bury their crime.

Then a second girl is attacked and left for dead, her body drugged and mouth filled with soil. It’s clear to Stone and the team that a serial killer is at work – but just how many bodies will they uncover? And who is next?

As local reporter, Tracy Frost, disappears, the stakes are raised. The past seems to hold the key to the killer’s secrets – but can Kim uncover the truth before a twisted, damaged mind claims another victim …?

My Review

Play Dead is a welcome return for one of my favourite detectives, Kim Stone. It’s gorier than the previous three books and I would recommend not reading the beginning whilst eating or cooking. I was caught out twice! Plenty of dead bodies feature, some are already present when Kim is sent to Westerley as a ‘reward’ but there is also one that is unexplained and Kim and her team have to investigate. Tracy Frost is still a thorn in Kim’s side but during one of their usual spats she mentions a cold case that Kim might be able to look at. Despite initial misgivings she has a closer look and soon ends up trying to solve both.
The tale is told by various points of view, Kim’s, Tracy’s and the unknown killer. The killer’s tale is told by flashbacks and it’s hard not to feel sympathetic. With quite a bit of the storyline focusing on Tracy I got to like and understand her a bit more. Still annoying, but she was a little more approachable.
One of the reasons I like this series so much is because all of the team are normal people. They all have lives away from the job, all have faults and all make mistakes. Kim more than anybody else. As the series has progressed she seems more willing to open up to people and not keep them at a distance. I would love her to allow somebody to get close to her emotionally
I did work out part of it but not everything. The full reasons why the killings were happening were quite sad and shows how the past can affect later life. I’m looking forward to the next in the series.

With thanks to the publisher for the copy via NetGalley.

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