It’s been two months since DI Kim Stone was brutally beaten by her nemesis, escaped prisoner Symes, and she’s physically ready to return to work. Mentally, however, she’s still got a long way to go despite her duping the therapist to think otherwise. Her replacement was Ian Burns, the same DI who botched the search for Symes and almost caused her death. As she listens to his engagement with her team, it’s pretty clear that Burns is managing cases far differently than she would or what her team has come to expect. She decides to do a little digging on her own and realizes one of the cases he closed as a suicide was anything but. When she returns to the office, Kim witnesses Burns demeaning DC Stacey Wood, and decides to take back her team, ready or not. They set out to further explore that “suicide” case that becomes much more than they’d anticipated.
the heart of the story…
First, I’m so grateful to Marsons for releasing this book so quickly after the last. I couldn’t wait to see how Kim fared after that devastating assault from Symes. Her behavior during her recuperation and initially upon her return was classic Kim, which felt authentic to the character, even when I wanted her to be otherwise. The case was also an interesting one that had so many ugly tangents. Kim actually opened the proverbial can of worms when she pressed further into that suicide, leading down some really distasteful paths but bringing some enlightenment about attitudes towards the LGBTQ community. But it was seeing the contrast between Burns’ lackluster leadership and Kim’s, particularly the end results and the team dynamics that reminded me just how great she is at doing this, even with her prickly behavior. They respect her because she’s earned that and I loved seeing her mind in action. And, I was brought to tears by the help she received from unexpected corners.
Look, I will only listen to this series, which means I give up the opportunity to read it for review. It’s worth more than the Audible credit I give up to let Jan Cramer tell me the story in her most talented way. She’s so consistent and her voice for Kim lives happily in my head. Trust me, she’s that good.
the bottom line…
I finished this in a day because I couldn’t find a good stopping point, needing just one more chapter until I reached the end. There’s a lot going on with the characters (individually and as a team), the cases and the situation with Burns. I thought I had things figured out but it all fell apart at the end because of subtle clues I’d ignored. It’s an outstanding story that far surpassed my lofty expectations. Thanks to the narrator, she delivered it in a way that I missed none of the nuances, those pesky clues notwithstanding. And…we finally get Bryant’s first name!!! I had to rewind for that and I’m taking that moment as a meaningful signal whether intended or not.
- Release Date: November 9, 2022
- Series: DI Kim Stone #17
- Narrator: Jan Cramer
- Audio Length: 8 hours, 39 minutes
- Publisher: Hachette UK – Bookouture