Detective Inspector (DI) Kim Stone is transferred yet again to another West Midlands police station. This time is Halesowen under the leadership of Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Woodward. Her style and lack of social norms are responsible for her being dispatched from one station to another. She’s also got a new team who, on the surface, don’t look promising, especially since their first case is not only gruesome but has all the makings of being the work of a serial murderer.
I started this series a couple of years ago and meant to continue but, as usual, got waylaid by others. This prequel was written after more than ten books into the series and now I’m pretty happy I waited as it’s not only an interesting investigation but a remarkable story of the team and its origins. Instead of proceeding into stories involving a well-functioning detective squad, I got the opportunity to meet them at their most vulnerable and infancy as a group. It was equally as, if not more, interesting as the troublesome case they were handed. Each member’s strengths and weaknesses were on display, including DI Stone who is the enigmatic team leader you’re either going to embrace or be annoyed by.
I’m so glad the author decided to tell their early story as I’m now even more excited to continue. The backstories provide an intimate look into each and how they eventually came to trust and work well with each other, among other revelations. The mystery was a puzzler even though it didn’t seem so at first. It kept me engaged and I had a handful of suspects without correctly solving the identity of the killer. Sometimes a prequel written late in the series is best read in published order. In my opinion, this works well as the intro and should be read first before starting as I have a fresh new perspective about the continuing characters and their working dynamics. I chose to listen to it and the narrator was great. She gave each of the characters a voice that felt well suited to the author’s design and was a good storyteller. Highly recommend the book and the audio version.
Release Date: November 14, 2019
Series: DI Kim Stone #.5
Narrator: Jan Cramer
Audio Length: 8 hours, 57 minutes
Publisher: Hachette UK – Bookouture