Bookouture | 2019 (22 February) | c.350p | Review copy | Buy the book
On the fourth floor of a tower block, two teenagers are found chained to a radiator. The boy is dead, the girl isn’t far off. It’s a horrible murder but for DI Kim Stone it is even more than that. Because this happened to her. Years before, she was chained to a radiator next to her brother Mikey. Mikey died, she survived and now, all this time later, someone wants to remind Stone of one of the most terrible moments of her life. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only event in Stone’s life to have given her nightmares that never end – the killer knows about them, too. More people will die. This case couldn’t be more personal if it tried. And it’s heading in one direction. Kim Stone must find the killer or she will die.
The DI Kim Stone series is one of the very best crime fiction series being written today and, if you’ve not read already, you must read one as soon as you can! Without fail, they are brilliantly written, with plots that are pretty much unguessable, and with a team of detectives at their heart that we have been through so much with. They will follow grumpy Kim Stone through hell or high water and we’ll be right with them. The good news is that relatively little time separates the books. Excellent!
Dead Memories is the tenth book in the series and it’s a little bit different from the others. It actually stands alone rather well, although there will be more power to it if you know a bit about what the team has gone through, especially over the last couple of books. In this book, Kim Stone is central. Someone is out to get her and they don’t mind how many people they kill to achieve it. Amusingly, Stone is asked how many people might bear her a grudge – her colleagues can barely keep a straight face. And we meet a fair few of those angry men and women here. There have never been so many potential suspects. In fact, Stone is given someone, Alison, to help her sieve through them all. We know well how badly Stone accepts help and matters aren’t helped by the fact that Alison has an agenda of her own. There is a lot going on here and it’s thoroughly entertaining.
This wouldn’t be a Kim Stone novel without some imaginatively brutal crimes and there are a fair few here. One in particular is utterly awful. I must admit that I found that one hard to cope with, although I did rather enjoy Dr A, who is brought in to deal with it in her own inimitable style.
Dead Memories is such a good read. While it’s not my favourite of the series (this is hardly surprising, it has some tough competition, especially after the last couple of books which are outstanding), it nevertheless has all of the things that I love about Angela Marsons’ writing – wit, sharpness, detailed police procedure, twists and shocks, blood and gore, friendship and bravery. Stacey continues to be such a highlight although now I think she has a bit of a rival in the newest team member Penn. But I love how Stacey will always take that extra step. It’s Kim’s personality that dominates Dead Memories, though, and in this book more than in any of the others, we see what she has had to overcome. Kim Stone’s team has her back and so do we. This is without doubt one of the most addictive crime series about, if not the most addictive.