I received a free copy of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
First off, Happy Publication Day to the lovely Angela Marsons (@writeangie). Today is the day that Evil Games is actually available, and while I’d like to say it was no coincidence that today is Evil Games Review Day – I’d be lying. It’s just a happy accident.
However, you going out and buying Evil Games, and Silent Scream (#1 in the Kim Stone series) will not be an accident if I have anything to do with it.
This novel is fantastic. Actually cracking. It’s one of those books I almost shouldn’t review because I only have positive things to say about it. But, you know what? I love Kim Stone so much I’m going to write this review anyway. And then you lot are going to go away, buy these books, read them, and we’re going to fangirl over them for the rest of the year. Deal?
Author: Angela Marsons
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 3425 KB
Print Length: 349 pages
Publisher: Bookouture (29 May 2015)
Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
When a rapist is found mutilated in a brutal attack, Detective Kim Stone and her team are called in to bring a swift resolution. But, as more vengeful killings come to light, it soon becomes clear that there is someone far more sinister at work.
With the investigation quickly gathering momentum, Kim finds herself exposed to great danger and in the sights of a lethal individual undertaking their own twisted experiment.
Up against a sociopath who seems to know her every weakness, for Detective Stone, each move she makes could be deadly. As the body count starts to mount, Kim will have to dig deeper than ever before to stop the killing. And this time – it’s personal.
So why do I love this novel? Evil Games is everything Silent Scream promised – and more. We’ve got a fantastic cast of characters, all uniquely built and crafted; we’ve got a stunning plot; we’ve got emotion; we’ve got LACK of emotion; we’ve got sociopaths – I mean COME ON GUYS, what more can you want? Seriously.
I’m actually glad I gave the first novel a 4.5 star rating because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to explain why this novel is so great. It’s the fact that, well, it’s actually better! The plot is ace, the characters are becoming some of my favourite in crime fiction, and what I thought might be a limiting factor in later books (Kim’s tragic past) has proved me wrong by being something that can be used and enjoyed (I don’t think that’s the right word…) again and again.
Onto the specifics:
What I loved:
Okay, this is a lame starter but it’s true. One of Kim’s flaws (strengths?) is her emotional distance from other characters in the book. It’s what makes her vulnerable, but also what gives her a unique insight into the job she does. Thing is, it can be sad watching a character turn away everybody in their life and guard their deepest secrets – but Angela Marsons has found a way around that. And his name is BARNEY. Kim’s budding relationship with Barney is perhaps what I was craving in the first book. And although this might just be the crazy dog-lover in me, I think it really completed her character, rounded her out and made her even more awesome. I love that Kim now has somebody/something to care for, and it gives her more responsibility as a character.
I said last time how much I loved Bryant, and that absolutely has not changed. He is the light to Kim’s dark, the warm to her cold. He is friendly, soft, kind and perhaps a little bit naïve – all the more reason than he and Kim complete each other (especially considering Kim’s endless pessimism). I love Bryant. I hope in the future he can have a big ‘personal’ part in one of Kim’s cases.
3. The bad guy.
Angela, A++++ on this one. Our baddie Alex is fabulous, somehow managing to be terrifying and yet super-duper interesting. Alex is the kind of nemesis I love to write and love to read even more. And I get the feeling that Marsons liked writing her (who wouldn’t?) and that totally bled through onto the pages. At once creepy and moreish, Dr Alexandra Thorne is a force to be reckoned with.
4. Plot/sub plot balance.
I wish I was this good at sub plot. Honestly. This novel is so tightly plotted it had me in awe the whole way through. Although not entirely unpredictable (this isn’t really what this novel is going for, I don’t think), I felt like Marsons was in complete control throughout. I love that feeling. And I think this will only get better with each Kim Stone book we see!
So, all in all, I think you’ve got the message. GO OUT. BUY IT. READ IT. TALK TO ME ABOUT IT.
Please. I’m begging you. We need to fangirl, you and I.