Book Review: Play Dead by Angela Marsons

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The dead don’t tell secrets… unless you listen.
The girl’s smashed-in face stared unseeing up to the blue sky, soil spilling out of her mouth. A hundred flies hovered above the bloodied mess.

Westerley research facility is not for the faint-hearted. A ‘body farm’ investigating human decomposition, its inhabitants are corpses in various states of decay. But when Detective Kim Stone and her team discover the fresh body of a young woman, it seems a killer has discovered the perfect cover to bury their crime.

Then a second girl is attacked and left for dead, her body drugged and mouth filled with soil. It’s clear to Stone and the team that a serial killer is at work – but just how many bodies will they uncover? And who is next?

As local reporter, Tracy Frost, disappears, the stakes are raised. The past seems to hold the key to the killer’s secrets – but can Kim uncover the truth before a twisted, damaged mind claims another victim …?

The latest utterly addictive thriller from the No.1 bestseller Angela Marsons.

ARC Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Wow! I can’t even believe this. Angela Marsons showed up on writer’s stage last year and published four books in a row, with each one of them getting better and better. Every time when I think that I know her writing style, she surprises me in the most inconvenient ways. My jaw literally hurts me because of dropping so many times.
This is the fourth book in Detective Kim Stone Series. This time, she and her team go to a body farm, a place where dead bodies are being studied for murder investigation purposes. There suppose to be seven bodies there are studied in different environments. But there is a problem. There is one more body, a body that isn’t there like the rest of them. A body that wasn’t there yesterday.
The body belongs to a young woman. She is beaten to death and her mouth is full of ground. No sexual violence, no robbery, just strange marks along the legs and torso.
A couple of days later, another body appears on the body farm. Beaten to death, mouth full of dirt, strange marks on the legs. Only, this time, the young woman is still alive.
Kim and her team have full hands job to do. A serial killer is lurking young women. What is the connection between them, and why leaving them at that particular place? And that noisy reporter Tracy is always there, always ready for her top story no matter how many bodies she has to walk over. Also, people who work on the body farm have their own secrets, their own reasons why they are there. Everyone is a suspect.
In every book, we see a little bit from Kim’s personal life. Having very difficult childhood, she has built a wall around her and she is not letting anyone in. She doesn’t drop the guard and very few people can climb that wall and meet the real Kim. There are people in her life who love her, but it is hard for her to show her love back. Because that is Kim Stone!
This time, we see more of Tracy as a character. She has one image of herself to show to the outside world, and another one locked inside her home. She has reasons for that, and both her and Kim have something in common here. They are true opposites, but both are good examples of how we judge people without trying to walk in their shoes for a while.
I love the introduction of Dr. A, a kick-ass forensic archaeologist who swears in multiple languages, who comes originally from Macedonia, with a complicated name shortened to just „Dr. A“. She looks pretty familiar to me and would love to see more of her in next books.
What to say more? I am out of words in English, maybe I should use some Macedonian superlatives. My jaw dropped so many times, I stopped counting. There are not enough words or phrases for recommending this book. I read it in one evening, I started and couldn’t stop until finishing at 01.00 AM. Totally recommended!
My opinion: 5 / 5.

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