TODAY IS THE DAY!
Open the windows, shout out loud, kiss your neighbor (unless she/he is stalkerish or hasn’t taken their shower yet)
Today I am publishing my review of a book close to my heart. Today, I am discussing a novel that I would call hybrid. It gave me all the feels, the way women fiction does. It also makes the adrenaline surge into my system, like only the best police procedurals do.
Today, we meet at the door. Today, we are going back to the start…
AND I COULD NOT BE HAPPIER!!!
Title: First Blood
Author: Angela Marsons
Date of publication: 14 November 2019 (ebook)
Format: Advanced Reader Copy
In the darkness of a cold December morning, Detective Kim Stone steps through the doors of Halesowen Police Station. She’s about to meet her team for the first time. The victim of her next case is about to meet his killer…
When the body of a young man is found beheaded and staked to the ground in a secluded area of the Clent Hills, Kim and her new squad rush to the crime scene.
Searching the victim’s home, Kim discovers a little girl’s bedroom and a hidden laptop. Why is his sister relieved to hear he’s dead – and where is the rest of his family?
As Kim begins to unearth the dark secrets at the heart of the case, D.C. Stacey Wood finds a disturbing resemblance to the recent murder of Lester Jackson. But that’s not all Stacey finds …
She’s convinced there is a link between the victims and a women’s shelter run by Marianne Forbes, Lester’s niece. A child of the care system herself, Kim knows all too well what it means to be vulnerable. Could Marianne be the key to cracking this case?
With the killer about to strike again, Kim is in deep water with a rookie squad. Inexperienced Stacey is showing signs of brilliance but struggling to hold her nerve and, while D.S. Bryant is reliable and calm, D.S. Dawson is a liability. With his home life in pieces, his volatile behaviour is already fracturing her fragile new team.
Can Kim bring Dawson in line and pull her crew together in time to catch the killer before another life is taken? This time, one of her own could be in terrible danger…
Discover where it all began for Kim and her team. An absolutely heart-stopping mystery thriller that will keep you glued to the pages, reading late into the night. Perfect for Kim Stone fans and new readers to the million-copy bestselling series.
A detective hiding dark secrets, Kim Stone will stop at nothing to protect the innocent.
I had a title, a vague synopsis, and an author’s name. There was no hesitation.
A few hundred pages later, I am indeed covered in blood. And sweat. There is a smile on my face and goosebumps on my arms. Rarely have I been so satisfied with a novel.
First Blood is a gift I was not expecting. I received it as a personal message from Angela Marsons. First Blood is the testament of just how essential characterization is in the Kim Stone series. Take any plot, any murder, any middle-of-the-night call, and they are your guys. But how? Why?
Of course, we got to know Kim, Bryant, Stacey, Dawson and Woody along with each ride the author offered through her perfectly paced and balanced police procedural series. The thing with Kim Stone is that I always want more. More of her. I want to get into her head until each dark corner has been thoroughly searched. Yet I want her to surprise me. I want to ride with Bryant and never miss one of his jokes. I want Stacey to work her magic. But how did we get there? The addiction began because Angela Marsons created realistic, diverse, and simply human police officers.
And now, the fire of this addiction is fueled by the fire of the beginnings.
First Blood is the genesis of the Kim Stone series. A bloody outstanding piece on every level. Using an intense and grisly plot, Angela Marsons gives us the key to better understand each of her protagonists. I have said many times that I enjoy the team’s dynamic so much it really impacts on my view of the case itself. There is something reassuring in jumping in the darkness of an investigation with people you know. Here, we get two unknowns; the case, and the team. Feeling like Little Thumb, I began to pick up and gather crumbs, gluing them together to get the very first picture of what would become one of the strongest teams I’ve read about, and one of my favorites.
In a nutshell, here’s where we are; DI Kim Stone is sent to a new place to form a new team under the eyes of Big Boss Woody.
I couldn’t help but laugh at Kim being Kim, sent from one place to another. Her work is not to be blamed. She has always been a wonderful officer. If I thought the Kim we knew was a hard case, meet younger Kim!!! I smiled at Woody, feeling the need to hug him tight. Then I began to feel warm and fuzzy when the seeds of the awful murders and the mutilated victims showed signs of what the team would become. I know, I should not have felt so happy around cold bodies, but hey, they helped newly promoted Stacey to find her place, they gave Dawson the opportunity to open his eyes and stop being a pain, they offered Kim a chance to let her guard down (not that she would ever admit it) and actually create connections with the people she’s forced to see every day.
My heart was full of shameless love for her interactions with Bryant. Reading about those two finding their pace and a way to be honest with each other to create a safe ground was absolutely overwhelming. Oh don’t get me wrong, you won’t get maudlin scenes and teary-eyed cops around here. No, you will get kick-ass people, each in their own way, chasing a crazy murderer who attacks people and leaves them with missing body parts. You will get the doubts of the early days. How do you deal with strangers? How do you dress for your first day? How do you go through 24hours without enough caffeine? Because if First Blood is first and foremost the foundation of a team, it also turns out to be a breathtaking, “ewww,” intricate and realistic police investigation that doesn’t shy away from shining light on the best and lowest moments of a cop’s life. I will never get tired of Angela Marsons’ talent to weave crimson blankets made of crime and relations. The depth of every detail, every element, is explored until each cavity has revealed its secrets, bringing to life pieces of the book that make it so powerful and unforgettable.
First Blood is a masterpiece, the star at the top of your Christmas tree, the drop of Rum in your waffle mix, the G&T on a Friday night that makes crime fiction shine so bright.
Read it now. Thank Angela after. Then get going with the series if you haven’t already!
Get your copy of the novel NOW!
Read what everyone is saying about First Blood and the Detective Kim Stone series:
‘I cannot begin to tell you how god damn good it is. First Blood is so bloody brilliant and so gripping… totally blown my mind…Without a doubt one of my best reads this year leaving me with a book hangover.’ Baker’s Not So Secret Blog ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘A great introduction to the best crime series on the shelves right now… I loved this book from cover to cover…a brilliant read which will have people turning the pages at a feverish rate. This is a second chance for those of us who follow the series to have that first meeting with Stone and the gang, and it’s absolutely brilliant.’ Nigel Adams Bookworm ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Angela Marsons is a keen observer of human nature, and her wide cast of characters are both fascinating and distinct from each other…it is immediately clear why her books stand out from the crowd. Chilling and compelling plots, brilliant characterisation…addictive from start to finish.’ Rachel Abbott
‘Superb!!! I love Kim – always have, always will!! … breath-taking, heart-pounding, exciting and thrilling!!! I completely and utterly recommend reading not just this book, but the whole series!! Fab, fab, fab, fab, fab.’ Stardust Book Reviews ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘There is a smile on my face and goosebumps on my arms. Rarely have I been so satisfied with a novel… breath-taking… a masterpiece, the star at the top of your Christmas tree…get going with the series if you haven’t already.’
Chocolate ‘n’ Waffles ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Oh my life. This is the book that all Kim Stone fans have been waiting for and they didn’t even know it…another class Kim Stone story…a dark and deadly case, high on thrills, intrigue, mystery and tension, perfectly pitched on pace and featuring the dry humour and banter we know and love…Top stuff – Loved it.’ Jen Med’s Book Reviews ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I would like to send a million hugs and thanks to Kim Nash, Angela Marsons, and Bookouture for giving me the chance to devour this beautiful book in exchange for an honest review.
Angela Marsons is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of the DI Kim Stone series and her books have sold more than 3 million in 3 years.
She lives in the Black Country with her partner, their cheeky Golden Retriever and a swearing parrot.
She first discovered her love of writing at Junior School when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read “Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people’s”.
After years of writing relationship based stories (The Forgotten Woman and Dear Mother) Angela turned to Crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away.
She is signed to Bookouture.com for a total of 16 books in the Kim Stone series and her books have been translated into more than 27 languages.
Many of her books, including Blood Lines, Dead Souls, Broken Bones, Fatal Promise and Dead Memories reached the #1 spot on Amazon on pre-orders alone.