- File Size: 2149 KB
- Print Length: 352 pages
- Publisher: Bookouture (July 11, 2019)
- Publication Date: July 11, 2019
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07QPKB7N7
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,691 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Child's Play: A totally unputdownable serial killer thriller (Detective Kim Stone Crime Thriller Series Book 11) Kindle Edition
|Length: 352 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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This is a book about guilt and regret-how it shapes us & how it affects the rest of our lives. As one character shows, guilt stops her from granting herself a normal life.
As usual, Ms Marsons gives us two cases. Kim & the team and 3 murders, and Penn, who has been seconded to his old team to complete a court case in which he was involved. Ms. Marsons' technique is to toggle back and forth between the cases, ending each chapter on a cliffhanger, and starting the next with the other case. It's like watching an old time movie serial, but not having to wait a week to come back! It keeps you hanging and not wanting to put the book down for a minute.
There are great new characters, Tiffany, an earnest young addition (temporary, but I hope permanent) to the team while Penn is away. Smart, lovable , whistling show tunes while she works, (she provides an insight that allows Kim to resolve her case), when Kim calls her Tinkerbell, instead of being hurt she is happy she has a nickname! Gotta love her.
We see more of Penn here, and see him really come into his own as a detective- another great twist we don't see coming. And we see more of his relationship with Jasper, his sweet, mentally challenged brother, who is bullied by his classmates, but learns to deal in a way that comes back to help him later.
In all of the series secondary, one-off characters stay with you- and can break your heart-
In Penn's case, Mr Kapoor, has to deal forever with regret (his son was murdered because he couldn't afford a CCTV in his shop& was targeted by killers who look for shops without security), who is so humble &respectful he keeps calling Penn 'sir' and I tear up every time he does.
Kim deals with the victims of her own case, Veronica, sister of a brutally murdered woman who is strangely unmoved at her sibling's death, and who Kim instantly dislikes, only to have a revelation at the end. Beth, the wife of a murdered therapist (she was once his patient-oh boy)- we see how Kim's first impressions of these people can prove false. These characters also live with guilt-with which Kim deals in an astounding way.
Kim also struggles with memories of her own damaged childhood, while dealing with children, damaged in different ways. She has found her way out, as the others haven't.
None of this is fantasy (ok, so 4 people are murdered, but hey, it happens)- how do kids turn out after childhoods of abuse (which can take many forms)- can they overcome to live a positive life, as Kim is doing, or are they damaged beyond repair.
Over the course of these books Kim has come out of her shell, has come into the world and is no longer solitary. Starting with her wonder dog, Barney- at one point she says she would give up her house, her beloved motorbike-but not her dog. This is far from the Kim of the first book. Ok, she backtracks a little-when interviewing someone who says she prefers knowing people only from a distance, & Kim wants to give her a high five! Her perception, her insight and her burgeoning empathy provide a twist we never see coming.
The cases keep you guessing until the last page, characters you grow to love after hating them throughout the book, and Kim's incredible insight into how each character's childhood and how it molded them-you'll shed a tear for sure.
The lessons here are many- first impressions are faulty, small actions may have irrevocable consequences, paying attention is invaluable (the little things- they aren't little) and what one does to a child reverberates for years and has outcomes that are too terrible to imagine.
There are lessons in every one of the Kim Stone books, and these may be the hardest ones of all.
This book make you think, there are so many twists I stopped trying to figure them out and just went along for a great ride. Thanks Angela for a great read, a good cry, and a lot to think about. This is a book that stays with you. I hope there are 100 more Kim Stone books-I've got my ticket for the ride.
Child's Play starts at a great pace and keeps going that way through the end. It was interesting to watch Penn on his own. He seems to struggle with feelings of belonging and where he fits, as he is with his old team again, for a limited time. Stone's team, once resenting Penn's intrusion so soon after Dawson's untimely death, has now felt the pinch as a trio, as Penn is now such a valuable asset to the team.
This book deals with child prodigies and their lives as an adult. Their lives seem very much like a child actor that is a celebrity when they are young and cute, but once puberty hits, and they aren't so adorable, their lives can crumble if they do not have a healthy home life and self esteem. Marsons exploration is intriguing, and it seems well researched. Stone's and Bryant's trip to visit Kim's friend, and young Kim's therapist, is intriguing. He gives insight into their case, and on this particular visit Kim gives some to him as well. I think the short conversation Kim has with him, before she and Bryant leave, is so long overdue.
Child's Play was a great book from beginning to end. I know the series can be read out of order, but I think you miss out if you don't read it order, as a series. I find it hard to put down a Kim Stone book once I have started reading.
I look forward to more from Kim Stone and Angela Marsons.
In this audible version that I listened to, you have bodies piling up. There is a serial killer out there and Kim must try and find out the connection between these people. As a back story you have DS Penn immersed in the murder case of a young man and he has to attend the trial, making Kim's team on the lean side. This showed us Penn and a bit more of his home life and also the decent and honest morals that he sticks to.
This is the first time I've done an audible for this series and I will admit I missed reading as there were parts of it that I didn't understand - a few words here and there - because of the accents. A 4.5 star.
Top international reviews
Sadly, for me, we have been given a taste of what we have not been exposed to in previous books.
While I appreciate a good writer will do their home work, for included elements. But for the first time with this Author, we were subjected to details, that did absolutely nothing to aid the readers enjoyment.
For the first time, with this series, I actually flicked over pages several times. There was just much to much unnecessary information, right down to being told, that the cushion Bryant was sitting on, was “ Blue “.
And the Penn storyline seemed to be neither here or there. Underlined by its, rapid, right out of nowhere culmination.
Even if it means fewer pages, why change a winning formula.
That for me is why I love the Kim Stone series, Angela’s strengths are good stories but more importantly her character writing. I love Kim and her team, their roles within the team, their individual characters, their personal lives and how their work together.
My beloved Ted makes an appearance. Love Bryant’s man-crush and Kim’s “I came back because I knew that while I was here you’d never let anyone hurt me.’
Cannot wait to see what Angela does next with this team.
I did chuckle on the day that the book was announced as it was the exact same day that Mark Hamill introduced the world to Chucky 2.0 from the Child's Play movie franchise. Absolutely fitting in many respects as the story is far more Chucky than it is hopscotch ... although if you read the book that might be an unfortunate comparison. Now I'm not saying this book is about a demon doll. the malevolent being in this story is something, or someone, far more mundane but just as deadly. From the very twisted and macabre opening, you are given a real taste of where this book is heading, and I can quite honestly say that it had me well and truly hooked. Damn that little thing call work for getting in the way again as I didn't want to walk away from the book at all.
One of the key successes in this series is the author's ability to create a variety of complex, sometimes flawed, but always colourful characters and she has excelled at this once again. From the first time we meet Veronica, you get a real sense that there is something very complicated about her relationship with her sister, Belinda, but as to whether any of this was the cause of Belinda's murder remains to be seen. Certainly there is no love lost between them, or seemingly not, and in some ways I could identify with Veronica quite well, although I am the baby in my sibling quartet. I must admit there were quite a few surprises uncovered, and it just goes to show that you should never judge a book by it's cover, or spinster by the state of her piles ... Belinda was a hoarder of the most extreme kind.
Alongside Kim's case, relative newby, DS Penn, has a challenging case of his own to resolve. Called back to his old force under Kim's one time nemesis, DI Travis, he is about to give testimony in what should be the open and shut case of an armed robbery which resulted in the death of a young man. Sadly it appears nothing is to go to plan and doubt is soon cast over the guilt of their prime suspect. When a key witness disappears and another retracts their statement, Penn has to work long and hard to get to the truth and see the killer brought to justice. I've loved getting to know Penn over the past couple of books, details of his life and character being drip fed to readers. But with him taking centre stage in his own investigation, I think it really helped to strengthen the growing bond that you feel when seeing him as part of the team.
This is another stellar story, one which will draw in readers be they brand new to the series or long term fans like me. For anyone who ever spent the long summer holidays hanging around the play park with their friends, loitering on the swings or under the slide, it will take you back to those old memories while simultaneously making you rethink the whole situation and wonder, what if? I'm never going to view a children's roundabout in quite the same way again, that's for sure. Magic? Er ... not this time. The murders are gruesome, if not graphic, but you get enough of a glimpse of the after effects to know exactly what's going on.
With the usual mixture of shocks, thrills, fast pacing and a pitch perfect blend of character, gravity and humour, fans are absolutely going to love it. So was this really all Child's Play? Not this time. Not by a long chalk. Ms Marsons is once again dealing out a whole world of pain on her (fictional) victims but you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way.
I normally pre order for this series but think I will finish now!!!
the whole story line felt weak and lacked any kind of suspense. The fact that there were two separate investigations running that didn't have anything to do with each other was just off putting. The investigation involving Penn just kind of fizzled to a conclusion that just felt pointless.
The new character nicknamed "Tink" was portrayed as childish to the point of ridiculous which I found irritating.
The whole book just seemed "off" the team including Kim lacked the usual humour and depth.
Angel Marsons has been a firm favourite of mine and I hope that this book was a blip.
The whole premise of the story is a few gruesome murders linked to childhood games. Kim and her team soon discover all of the victims were involved in a child prodigy event but trying to find the killer is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Meanwhile another team member Penn is back with his old team as a previous case is before the courts for sentencing but all is not as it seems and a miscarriage of justice needs to be averted. It all gets a little too close to home however when his brother is kidnapped.
It is not necessary to have read the previous books but I do think it helps with the characters and to see how they have evolved. This book may be the most stand alone of the 11 Kim Stone books so far though so don't worry if you have not read the others yet but I recommend you do for the backstory of Kim's team.
What Angela Marsons does so well at in her books, is that she manages to bring each character to life, even the characters who aren’t regulars in the series. There’s a chilling opening sequence to this book. As the book begins, the story is told from the point of view of the killer, and it makes for a chilling first scene. I got the feeling straight away that this was someone who was after revenge, and I wanted to know what had happened to drive them towards this devastating decision. And this is what makes Angela’s books so gripping; she makes you want to find out more, and she hooks you right from the start.
When Angela introduces us to Victoria, the sister of the woman who has been found murdered, I knew that there were going to be a lot of obstacles placed in Kim’s way. Victoria doesn’t seem to want to help Kim and her team at all to find the person responsible. As Kim delves further into their relationship and their past, it’s clear that there’s something that Victoria does not want to discuss with them, and it’s going to be very hard for Kim to get the answers from her. From the moment Kim first speaks to Victoria, I wanted to know what was going on in Victoria and her sister’s relationship, and why she was acting the way she was.
I was not expecting this book to go down the path that Angela took the story, and this made me even more intrigued. But this part of the story only becomes clearer as Kim finds out more about what happened in Victoria and her sister’s past, so I don’t want to talk too much more about the plot.
Another character who comes to the forefront in Child’s Play is DS Penn, who is a latecomer to the series. Penn is in the middle of another investigation which is threatening to fall apart at the seams. I liked seeing his character grow in this book, and it’ll be interesting to see how his character develops in future books in the series.
Kim’s friendship with her colleague Bryant is really one of the strong points in this series. I think I may have said this in one of my previous reviews, but my favourite scenes are often when it is Kim and Bryant alone together. But also Stacey is a character who has grown stronger over the last several books, and I’ve enjoyed seeing her go from strength to strength as well. This time around a new character joins Kim’s team, and it’s going to be intriguing to see how she fits in, especially as Kim refers to her as Tinkerbell. It made me laugh a few times as Kim seems to find her cheeriness, especially irritating. But I think she’ll be a good addition to the team.
As always, what you can expect from an Angela Marsons book is a gripping story that will keep you turning those pages. The short snappy chapters keep the pace flying forward, and as ever the plot and the personality of the characters draws you in straight away. Another top read from this series.
Being an avid reader of British crime fiction, I can confidently say that, in my opinion, Angela’s novels easily up there with books by luminaries such as Ian Rankin, Peter James and Colin Dexter, whose books portray a strong sense of place and the people who live there that is unique to that location. This is, indeed, a huge talent.
This latest book is a worthy addition to the Kim Stone series and is one that should be read. If you haven’t read any of her prior books, you don’t know what you’ve been missing. You most certainly have a treat in store.
Thank you Angela for another great read. I can’t wait for the next one x
Belinda Lucas is found dead - tied to a children’s swing with barbed wire and stabbed. DI Kim Stone and her team can’t find a motive for her death and her sister is not very forthcoming about their past. Then another body is found - a former child counsellor and he’s connected to Belinda through a competition for child geniuses. The team are a member down as Penn has had to return to his former force for a court case. Unfortunately for Penn things aren’t going well in court and he soon realises that the evidence they had is not as robust as they thought and they might have the wrong Manag in the dock.
Absolutely brilliant read from start to finish. This series just gets better and better.
Thanks to Netgalley, Bookouture and Angela Marsons for the ARC of this book in return for an honest review.
“Child’s Play” is equally as gripping as its predecessors and embraces the damaged cogs that turn in the mind of a brutal killer.
As the story accelerates, there are some fascinating (if somewhat unnerving) psychological viewpoints concerning the minds of children and adults alike and how an ‘unconventional’ upbringing can harbour success, failure, or even psychopathic tendencies for some.
Once again, the team's interaction is priceless. But I loved ‘Tinkerbell’s’ contribution, a.k.a. the very bubbly temporary Tiffany, who I do hope is offered a permanent role on the team - she has a brilliant personality and settled into the well-established dynamic like she belonged.
A superb read yet again. Roll on the next one!
All in all an enjoyable read - the short chapters are good as it means you can get through them quickly, but they are also bad as you think "just one more" and then before you know it another hour has gone by. Looking forward to the next book in the series already. A must read.