Lost Girls – Angela Marsons
The couple that offers the highest amount will see their daughter again. The losing couple will not. Make no mistake. One child will die.
When nine-year-old best friends Charlie and Amy disappear, two families are plunged into a living nightmare. A text message confirms the unthinkable; that the girls are the victims of a terrifying kidnapping.
And when a second text message pits the two families against each other for the life of their children, the clock starts ticking for D.I. Kim Stone and the squad.
Seemingly outwitted at every turn, as they uncover a trail of bodies, Stone realises that these ruthless killers might be the most deadly she has ever faced. And that their chances of bringing the girls home alive, are getting smaller by the hour…
Untangling a dark web of secrets from the families’ past might hold the key to solving this case. But can Kim stay alive long enough to do so? Or will someone’s child pay the ultimate price?
My thanks to Bookouture for my review copy which I received through Netgalley.
Back in March I reviewed the debut appearance of DI Kim Stone in Angela Marson’s Silent Scream, I really enjoyed it. Then in late June I reviewed Evil Games (the second in the series) and it blew me away – a really gripping thriller. Now it is early November and I get to review the 3rd Kim Stone novel: Lost Girls. I may need to break out my thesaurus to find some new superlatives I can use in my review.
Lost Girls is stunning. A majestic race against time for DI Kim Stone to recover two kidnapped girls. But the twist is that the kidnappers are only interested in returning one of the girls and are playing the parents off against each other to see who will pay the most to recover their child. Nasty and brutally effective – the emotion Angela Marsons generates between the families makes for compelling reading and Stone is caught in the middle.
The reader gets to see the investigation into recovering the girls but also we follow the kidnappers and experience the trauma of the girls too. The shifting viewpoint really emphasises the enormity of the task facing the police. We share the fear of the victims, the hopeless and angry tension of the families and we see the stone cold evil from the kidnappers – one of whom is delighting in the possibility of harming the children. A comprehensive overview of the whole story and it works splendidly, you cannot help yourself from being hooked by this thriller.
A double kidnapping is more than Stone can be expected to co-ordinate on her own and good use is made of Stone’s squad. I enjoy seeing the return of these characters and I always feel that the supporting cast in any series needs to be believable and enjoyable to keep me returning book after book. Added to the existing team members are external specialists in hostage/kidnap scenarios and these new faces cause Stone some additional issues to contend with – she is not a woman who enjoys being out of her comfort zone and this case is really stretching her to her limits. Factor in the additional pressure from the police chiefs and the need to maintain a press black-out (while a local journalist is snooping around determined to score points off Stone) and you have all the key ingredients for a tense thriller.
Lost Girls was an amazing read, I read the final chapters with a racing heart as the endgame played out. There were twists and shocks right up to the very end and it is hard to think of any other books this year which have held my attention as much as this one did. Lost Girls easily scoops a five star score from me – loved it, didn’t want it to end.
Angela Marson’s DI Kim Stone books are essential reading for any crime fiction fan. For Angela Marsons to have produced three top quality novels in a single year is a phenomenal achievement, a quality writer on stunning form. I am already looking forward to seeing what the future may bring when the next Kim Stone novel is due, hopefully there will not be too long to wait.
Lost Girls is published by Bookouture and is available from 6th November.
Follow Angela Marsons on Twitter at : @WriteAngie