Detective Inspector Kim Stone and her team are sent to Westerley Farms, a forensic research facility, better defined as a body farm, to explore how they can use their findings to better investigate cold cases. Wouldn’t you know that while there, one of the bodies they encounter doesn’t belong. What was supposed to be a teaching moment turns into a new investigation. The victim is unidentified, her face brutally crushed and her mouth full of soil. With little to go on, the team begins their work to find out the name of the victim and how she ended up dead at a body farm. After a second victim turns up at Westerley, it’s clear they’re dealing with a serial killer on a mission.
The police procedurals and underlying themes were wonderfully intertwined in this story. I was just as invested in the investigation as I was in getting to know the victims and others involved with the case. The interplay between Kim and her team continues to bring them closer and operate more skillfully. They still have some upset moments but for the most part, they work rather seamlessly. One of the surprising elements for discovery was the gender of the killer. It wasn’t clear which and that was as important a clue as all others. The motivation was slowly revealed and it was unsettling. Also, the annoying reporter Tracy Frost makes another appearance and factors significantly in the investigation, of course to Kim’s dismay.
The effect of childhood trauma is also a major aspect of this story and not limited to the victims. It was thought provoking and provocative, as well as troubling. That also means we crawl a little bit closer to better understanding Kim Stone. I listened to the story and Jan Cramer continues to master the storytelling and character distinctions. As long as she remains as narrator, I’ll continue to listen to the series. This was an extremely difficult mystery, both in its complexity and topic. I was riveted to the end, even though I was so wrong in figuring out the mystery.
- Release Date: May 20, 2016
- Series: DI Kim Stone #4
- Narrator: Jan Cramer
- Audio Length: 9 hours, 35 minutes
- Publisher: Bookouture