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The 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 …?
Play Dead is the 4th book in a series featuring D.I Kim by Angela Marson. I didn’t know that the book was part of a series when I borrowed it. However, I decided to read it even after I found out about the series.
Play Dead is a more of a crime novel than a psychological thriller. It starts with a police raid under the command of D.I Kim. After this case, the main case starts at the body farm and the investigation begins immediately. The lead detective is also involved in a second investigation at the same time. The pacing is well balanced although things move a bit slow as the narrative revolves around the investigation.
Detective Kim Stone is an interesting character. She is very invested in her cases although she comes off as too serious especially when dealing with her colleagues. However, it was still endearing to see just how concerned she was about the victims. I also liked the fact that she was a flawed character. It was clear that events in her past had shaped her life.
There are multiple narrators in the story. Kim is the main narrator and as readers we get to follow the investigation from her perspective. Interestingly, we also get a few chapters narrated by the serial killer. This narrative added critical details to the story. The narrator tells a story starting from childhood illustrating a weird relationship with the mother. Through this narrative, we get to understand the motive behind the killings. I really liked this perspective, it not only provided details to the narrative but it takes readers to the mind of the killer. It almost makes the killer appear sympathetic.
Play Dead by Angela Marson has interesting twists from the start to the end. It was hard to guess the identity of the killer. Towards the end of the book, I thought I had guessed who the killer was but I was wrong again. It was also interesting to see how different things connected at the end. I also like the angle of how the past impacts on the present. All the main characters in the narrative have been shaped differently by their pasts.
As I mentioned before, the book has a good-balanced pace. The paragraphs are pretty short and they all end with a revelation, a cliff-hanger that will make you rush to the next chapter to see what will happen next.
This book reminded me a lot of Criminal Minds, one of my favorite TV shows. The brilliant detectives working well together and the twisted serial killers made it a captivating read. This is why I recommend this book to all fans of thrills and cops procedure novels. Play Dead by Angela Marson can be read as a standalone so don’t worry in case you haven’t yet read the other books in the series. I enjoyed reading this one and I definitely plan of getting the other books in the series.
About the book
The other books in the series….