Monday, October 30, 2017

Review: Dead Souls by Angela Marsons (audio)

Title: Dead Souls
Author: Angela Marsons
Series: DI Kim Stone, #6
Narrator: Jan Cramer
Published: May 2017, Bookouture
Length: 10 hours 14 minutes
Source: Personal copy via Audible
The truth was dead and buried…until now.
When a collection of human bones is unearthed during a routine archaeological dig, a Black Country field suddenly becomes a complex crime scene for Detective Kim Stone.

As the bones are sorted, it becomes clear that the grave contains more than one victim. The bodies hint at unimaginable horror, bearing the markings of bullet holes and animal traps.

Forced to work alongside Detective Travis, with whom she shares a troubled past, Kim begins to uncover a dark secretive relationship between the families who own the land in which the bodies were found.

But while Kim is immersed in one of the most complicated investigations she’s ever led, her team are caught up in a spate of sickening hate crimes. Kim is close to revealing the truth behind the murders, yet soon finds one of her own is in jeopardy - and the clock is ticking. Can she solve the case and save them from grave danger – before it’s too late?

My thoughts: This is the 6th book in Angela Marsons' DI Kim Stone series and OMG, this series just keeps getting better and better with each book! As much as I have really enjoyed each book so far, I think this might have been my favorite one so far just because of the intense character development that occurred in this book. So much happens here and it was all good - crazy and twisted and dark - but oh so good!

In what seems like an unbelievable move, Kim is almost forced to work on a case separate from her team. And she is forced to work with her archenemy DCI Tom Travis. So things aren't necessarily off to a good start. Back at the home front, Kim's team is working on what seems like a string of random attacks but soon turns into hate crimes. Oh how they need their boss to reign them in and help them keep their focus. Each one seems to have their own idea on how to run an investigation and they aren't really working as a cohesive team, which will lead to disastrous results.

This book is so intense and deals with some pretty tough, yet highly sensitive and current hot-topic issues - racism and hate crimes being at the fore-front. It's fraught with tension as the book races to a conclusion and you find yourself holding your breath quite a few times. But rest-assured as much as this is a heavy book, it is well-balanced with doses of humor throughout, particularly the scenes with Dr. A, the forensic pathologist, who I've come to love - and particularly love Jan Cramer's portrayal of!!! (More on that below!) 

I also loved that despite everything that happens in this book, there is such a sense of family amongst Kim's team. There is a disruption to this feeling but things seem to have a way of working out and as they do, I feel it is through the characters' growth. We learn quite a bit about some of the major characters in this book this time around. And, as I typically state - this is why reading a series in order is always a good idea - you see that growth happen organically, the way the author intends it to happen. 

These books are suspenseful from beginning to end and never seem to tackle the same type of story twice. It's a good balance of mystery along with excellent character development and as soon as I finish the latest one, I'm already longing for the next one to come out. I hope that this series continues for a long time...I'm not ready to see the end of Kim Stone and her team just yet!

Audio thoughts: Jan Cramer is just such a good fit for narrating this series...and I love the way she has taken to these characters. She brings this series to life and has really embodied the characters. I particularly love the way she portrays Dr. A, the forensic pathologist that Kim Stone works with on occasion - it's just the perfect accent and quirkiness to an already quirky character. Jan does a great job of consistently using the same voices for each character in each book - which I definitely appreciate. This is why I love when I see that same narrator being used for a series - you get used to a character's voice and want to hear the same voice used repeatedly throughout the series! And Jan does that!!!

Books in this series:   
  1. Silent Scream
  2. Evil Games
  3. Lost Girls
  4. Play Dead
  5. Blood Lines
  6. Deal Souls 
  7. Broken Bones - due out Nov 3, 2017 

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