Review: Play Dead by Angela Marsons

play-deadThe 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 forth book from the D.I. Stone series by Angela Marsons is even better than the previous three, something I never thought would be possible.  She introduces the reader to a body farm where various experiments are being performed on corpses, to see how the body handles certain elements of the environment after death.  It is one of the creepiest  places I can ever imagine.  The thought of having to be extra extra careful while outside, watching every step you take, or you can end up on top of a dead body is just downright frightening.

I’ll be honest, I thought I had this story all figured out about midway through.  Then, just like the Marsons always does, she threw me for a loop and I was at the beginning again trying to unlock the mystery.  That’s one of the reasons I love this series so much!  Her books are mysteries that will keep you guessing until the very end!

This book brings back Tracy, the annoying reporter who I just love to hate.  However, another side of her is revealed and I came “this close” to actually really liking her.  That says a lot for Marsons’ writing.  She has a way of bringing so much depth to every character, no matter how minor.  And Kim is at her awesome ways again in this book too.  Daniel also appears again…another minor character I just love who has such amazing chemistry with Kim!

I think the best part of this book is the background story of the victims and perpetrator.  We learn early on of the horrific experience they had in school and how they are now out for revenge.  In their minds, violence and punishment is the way to solve the tragic experience.  That’s the only way, right?  However, as we all know, Kim also comes from a horrible childhood, but she doesn’t let that define her.  I love that Marsons addresses this.  Too many people today blame their childhood (and other people) on how they are today.  Responsibility for their actions is a thing of the past.  However, Kim is quick to point out that life is about choices that we make.  It is up to us to overcome our past and learn from it, not let it define us.  Great point!

Angela Marsons continues to produce one of the best mystery/suspense series I have ever read.  I CANNOT wait for her next book: Blood Lines!


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