Written from the heart.
It’s a note I’ve never written before when I’m reading a book to review; but it’s there in my note book, right in the centre of the page.
It’s been over written several times so it really stands out, and I can remember every page I was reading when I went over it, because that’s how it felt reading this book.
The book starts off with, what most people wouldn’t class as a crime, a young man’s suicide. The thoughts he goes through, the logic he uses, are so well written that although it’s a short chapter, it’s one which will live with me for a long time.
That suicide is investigated by Kev Dawson and Stacey Wood. Kev is the alfa-male Sergeant and Stacey is the slightly introvert Detective Constable, who does most of the on-line investigation work, from the office.
The scene is bad enough but the suicide note brings out emotions in Stacey that she keeps hidden from her colleagues. The death is suicide, but why did this young lad take his own life. Stacey can’t leave it, and starts to look into the victim and his life.
Meanwhile some bodies have been found in a University Archaeological dig in a field of a farm that straddles the borders of the West Midlands, and West Mercia Police Forces boundary.
Until the bones can be identified, and a date of burial put on them, they must be investigated as a murder scene. DI Kim Stone and her old adversary from the neighbouring force DI Tom Travis argue at the scene over who will take ownership of the investigation.
The next day the argument is solved. The bosses have decided on a joint investigation with Stone leaving her team to work with Travis and his team on the bones found in the dig.
The tumultuous relationship between Kim Stone and Tom Travis is one of the main threads through the book and adds a cracking dynamic to the story.
As Kim is away her trusty Sergeant, and sidekick-partner, Bryant is forced to work with Kev Dawson. Two men doing the same job with totally different approaches, and attitudes. Another tumultuous partnership.
Bryant and Dawson start to investigate several crimes that appear to be race driven and in doing so come across the horrible side of society. The violent racist, bigoted minority which causes so much pain to innocent people.
Becoming deeply involved with the investigation they don’t notice that Stacey is beginning to become secretive and withdrawn as she looks into the young suicide victim’s life.
The deeper she looks into why the lad might have committed suicide, the more bells are rung about her own life.
When Bryant and Dawson deliberately try to stop her becoming involved with the race crimes, “to protect her”, she becomes more and more withdrawn and struggles with memories from her past.
The parts of this book which are written from Stacey’s point of view are stunningly written. Again, that note was over written “written from heart”
Meanwhile in West Mercia, Kim and Travis are looking into the Landowner, and his tenant, of the field where the bones have been found. As they are doing so the bones are being examined by Dr A. One of Angela Marsons peripheral characters that deserve their own book. The interchanges between her and Kim Stone provide that bit of humour every dark story needs; and this is a dark story.
Three sets of bones were found during the dig, and they’re recently enough buried to launch an active murder investigation.
There are three story lines in this book. The relationship between the 2 DI’s Stone and Travis, as they investigate the murder of the people found buried in the field. The relationship between Bryant and Dawson as they investigate the violent race crimes. Finally; Stacey Woods journey into the life of a young suicide victim, and the effects it has on her.
Will the relationships work. Will everybody come out of this in one piece, either emotionally or physically.
This book had me hooked from the very first page and had me enthralled all the way through.
The last dozen or so chapters had me holding my breath so often I was exhausted at the end; and what an ending.
The end of this book is full of twists and turns, and I defy anybody to see the results coming.
I read all the time. It’s my escape from reality. There are several authors I look forward to reading when I know they have a new book coming out.
Angela Marsons is at the very top of that list.
This is the best book I’ve read, by the best author on the shelves at the moment.
I really can’t wait for the next one.