Silent Scream - Angela Marsons
Published February 2015
"Even the darkest secrets can’t stay buried forever…Five figures gather round a shallow grave. They had all taken turns to dig. An adult sized hole would have taken longer. An innocent life had been taken but the pact had been made. Their secrets would be buried, bound in blood … Years later, a headmistress is found brutally strangled, the first in a spate of gruesome murders which shock the Black Country. But when human remains are discovered at a former children’s home, disturbing secrets are also unearthed. D.I. Kim Stone fast realises she’s on the hunt for a twisted individual whose killing spree spans decades. As the body count rises, Kim needs to stop the murderer before they strike again. But to catch the killer, can Kim confront the demons of her own past before it’s too late?"
Really, if it wasn't a cop-out, this could quite easily be a 1 word review.
That's all I need to say about this book, perhaps also with the line 'buy it. Buy it now'. But, as a book blogger I know I need to tell you more, so here goes!
This has been one of the best books I've read so far this year. Usually,I'm not a reader of crime novels. I love murder mystery programmes - Broadchurch, Lewis, CSI, Criminal Minds, DCI Banks, even Midsomer Murders - I watch and enjoy them all but for some reason I rarely think to pick up a crime novel. However, it's been hard to miss the good things being said about Silent Scream. My twitter account has been full of fellow book bloggers, authors and fans commenting on how fantastic this book is, so I had to give it a go.
I'm so glad I did.
The novel follows DCI Kim Stone as she investigates a series of murders in the Black Country that all seem to link back to a closed, derelict former children's home. It is a gripping book that hooks you in from Chapter One. Take some time out to read this one, as you won't want to put it down once you start.
The only thing I found hard to believe is that this is Angela's debut novel. It reads like a product of a well-established, long published author. It is fantastically written- the location, characters and level of detail around crime scenes are well thought through and jump off the page. It's clear a lot of research has gone into making police procedures and crime scenes as realistic as possible - and it pays off.
DCI Kim Stone is a 'stony' character (see what I did there?!) - she is hard to please and a workaholic, pushing her team to their limits. Despite this, you really root for her to solve the crime and find the murderer. You get a glimpse of her difficult past which explains her brash nature and difficulty to form relationships. She may be prickly and stern, but I still really liked her. From the very start I was thinking GO! GO KIM! You also warm to the other members of the team, they all work extremely hard and are good at their jobs.
Another point I really liked was the split chapters. The bulk of the novel follows Kim as she investigates the case, but on occasion some paragraphs are written from the point of view from the killer. This was an effective way to easily explain the murders and how the victims had been killed, as well as give you an insight into the murderers mind and why he was doing this. I was worried the book would be really gory and filled with finite details about each death. Now, some of the murders are pretty gruesome, but thankfully there isn't play-by-play details of the murders, more of a brief overview that even for someone squeamish like me, it's fine to read.
Overall, this is a fantastic book that if you haven't read already I'd urge you to buy now. I'm also really pleased that Angela's second novel in the series Evil Games has been confirmed and will be published soon - I know for sure that one will be on my Kindle as soon as it's out!