You will NEED to read this first NINE (Silent Scream, Evil Games, Lost Girls, Play Dead, Blood Lines, Dead Souls, Broken Bones, Dying Truth & Fatal Promise) books in this series before reading this book or even review as it will spoil some things. Honestly this is one of the best Detective series out there and if you have not picked it up yet you should.
In this installment of the D. I. Kim Stone series, we get to see some of the most traumatic events in Kim's Life recreated:
D.I. Kim Stone has arrested quite a few people in career and many of them believe that she ruined their lives, prevented them from living the life they want, doing the things they wanted to and for that she needs to pay, not pay but suffer too. Kim's traumatic past is about to be laid out for her but she wants to keep her team at arms length as this is personal, her thinking is the less they know the better. Woody knows the most about Kim's past and he wants to make sure that she is okay, so he has assigned Alison Lowe back to the team for some insight not only into the perpetrator but Kim as well. With each new event and victim, Kim cannot help but blame herself for what is happening, and the pool of suspects seems to be getting larger not smaller. The Killer has an endgame and it is all about Kim and how the killer chooses to end it.
Honestly, I cannot believe that we are already on Book 10 in this series and Marsons is still publishing books that are interesting, different and engrossing. As this is book 10 you can think of the number of people that Kim has put away in this series so far and it was trip down memory lane from all the previous books and some of your "favourite", most cunning and violent criminals are back (no not Alex again, Marsons is too clever to recycle that premise). I guess what I really liked about this book is Marsons' acknowledging that even though these people are charged and have a trial gone to prison they could and most of them will eventually get out of prison and still have hatred to the person who put them away.
We do not get to know more about Kim's past as we as the readers have heard of the Kim's past before and the majority of these event that are presented we have read before, maybe there is a bit more detail but we have been aware of them. Where we see growth in this book is her team fully understanding what Kim has gone through to get where she is now, and I think a growing respect and trust between Kim and her team develops.
I enjoyed that Alison Lowe was back and I hope that she stays part of the team as I think she adds a dynamic that was missing before. Manly, Alison questioning Kim a lot and just bringing a whole new perspective to how they treat their case and narrow down who the suspect is. And yes questioning Kim is a good things, I know Bryant does at times but Kim just pushes him off when he say something that she does not agree with. Additionally, Alison is the individual who has a side case running in this book and it showed more of her personality and what she was willing to go through to make sure the right person is arrested. I know I said it before but I hope that Marsons keeps her around.
In a way I feel like this book closed a chapter in Kim's life and story here, the cat is out of the bag so to speak. Everything that Kim has been hiding protecting is out there and in a way she has lost one of her walls. If this were the last book in this series I would be okay with it as I feel like Kim has grown as much as she can and has shared as much as she can. This book also summarized the successes and failures that Kim and her team have had over the 9 previous books and it was a tribute to the good work that everyone on the team had done. I know there is another book after this one and I will be reading it but I do wonder where Marsons will go from here.