Thursday, June 21, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Silent Scream (DI Kim Stone, #1) by Angela Marsons

This is the first book I have read that was written by Angela Marsons featuring Detective Inspector Kim Stone. 

I am a big fan of the police procedurals, and recently seem to be discovering a new niche category: the British police procedural featuring psychologically damaged female protagonists. Could this be a reaction to PBS’ Prime Suspect series (based in the work by Lynda La Plante)? Examples of books that fit into the category I’m talking about include the work of Robert Bryndza (featuring DCI Erika Foster), Angela Marsons (featuring DI Kim Stone) and to a lesser extent Stuart MacBride’s DI Roberta Steel.

That being said, there are a lot of male protagonists of murder-mysteries that have checkered pasts: Agent Will Trent (by Karin Slaughter), DI Tom Thorne (by Mark Billingham), Sean Duffy by Adrian McKinty and (of course) DI John Rebus by Ian Rankin.

This phenomenon can also be explained by the observation that it’s obviously hard to sustain a multi-book series centered around a specific protagonist if they don’t have vast wells of character development and/or psychological angst to plumb and explore through multiple volumes.

Clearly DI Kim Stone has a lot of this drama which we will learn more about as the series continues. What we already know from the first book Silent Scream is that she was in “care” (equivalent of child protective services) from around age 6 and that she had a twin brother who died due to some misbehavior by her biological mother, who is still alive but that Kim clearly despises.

So of course it turns out that the first mystery where we meet Kim Stone involves the murder/disappearance of three girls at a care facility for teenage girls a few decades ago as well as the contemporary murder of 3 staff members who used to work at the facility.

In my opinion, an important component of a successful series is the quality or complexity of the sidekicks or secondary characters. In the case of Kim Stone the side characters are not that interesting but she more than makes up for it by being such a strong-willed and complicated character all by herself

Overall, Silent Scream  is an intricately plotted mystery and quite suspenseful thriller. I look forward to reading others in the DI Kim Stone series.

3.5 Stars.

Title: Silent Scream (DI Kim Stone, #1).
Angela Marsons.
Paperback: 390 pages.
Date Published: February 20, 2015.
Date Read: June 16, 2018.

★★½☆  (3.5/5.0).

OVERALL GRADE: B+ (3.67/4.0).


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