How do you catch a killer who leaves no trace?
A victim killed with a single, precise stab to the heart appears at first glance to be a robbery gone wrong. A caring, upstanding social worker lost to a senseless act of violence. But for Detective Kim Stone, something doesn’t add up.
When a local drug addict is found murdered with an identical wound, Kim knows instinctively that she is dealing with the same killer. But with nothing to link the two victims except the cold, calculated nature of their death, this could be her most difficult case yet.
Desperate to catch the twisted individual, Kim’s focus on the case is threatened when she receives a chilling letter from Dr Alex Thorne, the sociopath who Kim put behind bars. And this time, Alex is determined to hit where it hurts most, bringing Kim face-to-face with the woman responsible for the death of Kim’s little brother – her own mother.
As the body count increases, Kim and her team unravel a web of dark secrets, bringing them closer to the killer. But one of their own could be in mortal danger. Only this time, Kim might not be strong enough to save them…
Wow, just put this down and decided to write this while the adrenaline was still flowing – what a read! This is a welcome return for DI Kim Stone and her team and what a return, nothing prepared me for the journey that we all went on through the course of this book.
The blurb pretty much tells you all you need to know about the basic (and I should say absolutely gripping) plot but there is so much more to this series than a good plot. The writing is of the highest quality, the characters are brilliantly drawn and that combined with ingenious plotting makes for a first class police procedural.
If you’re new to this series, you are in for a treat, but I do urge you to start from book 1, not only for your own enjoyment, but because the characters grow and develop with each outing and it’s a delight to see the way the team dynamic works. With each book we also get to understand Kim a little bit better, or as much as she will let us. DI Stone is one feisty, strong-willed, determined and yet also damaged individual and that makes her a force to be reckoned with, and definitely one you would want on your side.
While ordinarily the books can be read as stand alone titles, (if you choose to ignore the recommendation to read from the start) this one is slightly different in that we see the return of Dr Alex Thorne, Kim’s nemesis from book 2. So it would make sense to really understand the evil that she is capable of, to at least read that one.In this outing, we have a dual plot line. One sees Kim and the team investigating a series of random, but clearly connected murders, while the other sees Kim as the focus of the Alex Thorne’s machinations. Despite being behind bars she is still able to manipulate and control. Her goal appears to be that of ‘breaking’ Kim (one of the few people who can match her) via the very personal and guaranteed medium of her mother.
So we have a race to find the killer before any more seemingly innocent people die, and a race to put paid to Thorne’s games before more misery ensues for everyone concerned. The resulting investigations bring things very close to home, for more than just Kim and produces a gripping and thrilling read, with no real sense of how things will play out until the final reveals.
I cannot recommend this series highly enough and am already desperate to read the next installment.
I received an ARC via NetGalley for the purpose of writing this review