You need to read the first two books in this series, Silent Scream and Evil Games, in order to really appreciate the main character DI Kim Stone. Additionally the books are amazing reads, some of my favourites from last year, and I highly recommend them:
This kidnapper has a to play, two girls will go missing and only one will return alive. Family versus Family will ensue and close friends will no longer be able to trust each other as only the family that can come up with the most money will see their daughter again. As Kim and her team dig into the families' past to try and find the perpetrator hidden secrets will come out. The kidnapper is playing a deadly game where not only the girls are in danger of not coming back alive.
There are many thriller/mystery authors out there that follow a formula book after book where you can basically predict what is going to happen after you have read a few of their novels. I can say that this is NOT the case with Marsons' DI Kim Stone series. Each book (this is the third one so far) has had different cases, focus and dynamics applied to each novel. This allows us, as readers, to not know what is going to happen next and with Kim's unpredictable personality things occur that no one expects. I personally love that Marsons has had three different cases across her three books, and that she always has a secondary case that also needs to be followed up and in this book it is the murder of a gang member who was trying to get out.
Marsons has a great imagination from book to book, and I like that Marsons did not a have a typical kidnapping with a ransom or else. I liked the almost "game" aspect that Marsons had the kidnapper have with the parents of the children. I think this added to the overall suspense of the book as you start to think what would you do in this situation if it was your child that went missing (I say this as a new mom) and that you would do anything to get them back. I think the reactions that the parents had and couples had internally were spot on. I did not want to put this book down, there never seemed to be a "good" place to stop reading, I kept wanting to know what was going to happen next.
When you compare this novel to the previous two you will notice that there is less character development in regards to Kim. I think that Marsons did this on purpose as in Evil Games Kim is really rocked to the core by a sociopath. Kim is still anti-social (really has no social skills at all), is really far from a perfect and has such a dark past that has shaped her that she almost feels too much in this book because it involves children. I think that is the one thing that we really get a glimpse of in this book it Kim's weakness for children victims that she cannot see straight, and even does things that hinders her standing with her team. We do get a bit of insight into Kim actually through one of the parents of the missing girl who grew up in one of the foster homes that Kim attended but I do not think there was anything new learned about Kim through this interaction.
I liked that Marsons decided to focus more on the secondary character Darwin in this book. The team is a very important aspect in this book and each team member does have their own strength and weaknesses so I appreciate that Marsons is also starting to develop them into more prominent and well defined characters. It was also interesting to add new members to Kim's team with the inclusion of a profiler (which Kim lets know she does not believe in that "science"), a negotiator (who has a similar personality to Kim) and a family service worker (who Kim feels obligated to have but learns to appreciate her, as I said above Kim does not have the greatest people skills). This expanded team adds some additional dynamics that not only define the case and how it is handled but also test Kim as well.
I love that there have been three books in this series so far and none of them have been the same. This to me is the key to having a great series. Keep these books coming Marsons and I will be reading your books for life :) I cannot wait for the third book in this series to see what Marsons comes up with next.
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