DI Kim Stone and DS Bryant are called to the apartment of a young girl, Samantha Brown, who appears to have committed suicide. Both Kim and Bryant agree to the initial findings once they’ve examined the scene. But it’s the strange reaction by the parents when they make the notification that has Kim taking pause and further reflecting on every aspect of that scene. A subtle thing out of place has everyone reversing their opinions and delving deeper. Meanwhile, Bryant is intensely distracted and completely out of sorts as the potential upcoming parole of a vicious murderer has him worried for the victim’s family and one of the survivors.
The title is aptly crafted as examination into Samantha’s life leads the team to a place called Unity Farm, led by charismatic Jake Black who appears to have used the organization to create a cult for nefarious purposes. As typical for these type groups, Unity Farm is shrouded in secrecy while still feeling like things are all above board and everyone is happy being there. I’m always highly curious as to how seemingly well adjusted people fall prey to these places and leaders. This story provides a perspective I found chilling as the methods used are rather insidious but highly plausible. Bryant’s case was equally heartbreaking and maddening, giving us a side of the man we’re not used to seeing. It was also interesting to see how Kim handled her trusted colleague and friend when he presented her with some tough challenges and they both faced ethical dilemmas.
I enjoyed this story with its dual plot lines. Investigating Samantha’s murder led to a labyrinth of secrets and murky characters. The undercover assignment made me uneasy from start to finish, with good reason. I’ll leave it at that and not spoil it with revealing details. I loved seeing another side of Bryant, having him be so off balance and, frankly, out of character. All of this in the capable hands of narrator Jan Cramer who made this another compelling listening experience. She had a plethora of characters to manage this time as they were from so many different backgrounds. This series never misses.
- Release Date: May 13, 2020
- Series: DI Kim Stone #12
- Narrator: Jan Cramer
- Audio Length: 8 hours, 55 minutes
- Publisher: Hachette UK – Bookouture