May 25

Play Dead – Angela Marsons

Play-Dead-KindleThe dead don’t tell secrets… unless you listen.
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 …?
The latest utterly addictive thriller from the No.1 bestseller Angela Marsons.


My thanks to Kim at Bookouture for my review copy and for the chance to join the blog tour.


Let me cut to the chase – Play Dead is brilliant. I am going to give it a 5 star score and I am going to urge you to read it. The only excuse you are permitted for not reading it immediately is that you have not yet read the first three books in the series.  To be clear, you don’t *need* to have read them to start Play Dead…but why miss out on all the previous amazingness?

Still here?  Then let me elaborate a bit on why Play Dead has had me hooked over the last couple of days.

First is the return of Kim Stone – a lead character that shuns social niceties, keeps everyone at a distance and has a deep rooted sense of justice that makes her an excellent police officer. She has, for me, been one of the stand-out characters in crime fiction since her debut in Silent Scream.

Next up a serial killer. Through flashbacks we are given a small insight into what may be motivating the brutal murders of local women, faces smashed, soil forced into their mouths. Their bodies are dumped in a secret research centre (a ‘body farm’) – the researchers particularly disturbed to have unexpected bodies landing in their facility. Nasty. But good Nasty.

Three – the return of Stone’s nemesis, journalist Tracy Frost.  The interplay between these two makes for fabulous reading.  Frost plays a much larger role in Play Dead but this may not necessarily be a good thing for her! Readers will get to know Ms Frost very well in Play Dead and I will wager that some opinions of the odious journalist will change as readers progress through the story. I found myself wondering how her relationship with Stone would have developed had they both been aware of their respective backgrounds before they crossed swords in a professional capacity. Shame we will not get to see how that develops in future books…or will we?  **NO SPOILERS**

Four – not content with hitting her heroine with a demanding series of crimes to investigate we also learn a bit more about Kim’s background. And here Angela Marsons broke me a little.  Returning readers will know that Kim had a tough childhood, elements of this are explored in more detail through Play Dead. If you have developed any emotional attachment to Kim’s character (and it seems I have) then some of the revelations will make for tough reading.

Getting upset on behalf of a fictional character? Yeah, that happened.

Five – EVERYTHING ELSE. The pages practically turned themselves and I didn’t want to stop reading. Play Dead sees Stone back at her tetchy best and I just cannot get enough of these stories.  5/5…oh I said that already.


The blog tour draws to a close tomorrow but you can catch up on all things Play Dead if you follow through all the tour hosts.



Play Dead is published by Bookouture and is available in paperback and digital formats.

You can order a copy of Play Dead here:

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Posted May 25, 2016 by Gordon in category "5* Reviews", "Blog Tours", "From The Bookshelf