Play Dead by Angela Marsons

I have read other enthusiastic and glowing reviews of ‘Play Dead’ by Angela Marsons, the fourth in the DC Kim Stone series, and it was very good with all loose ends tied up neatly at its conclusion; however I have a certain amount of scepticism towards the genre of detective thrillers in general, which I think colours my final rating, as I rate ‘Play Dead,’ somewhere between 3 and 4 stars. The genre depends heavily on coincidence, and unfortunately, as each ‘clue’ arises for the typically *amazing* detective team to find I find myself dwelling more on the probability of the events and sequences, than the actual story itself. That said, the setting of Westerley, a secret research facility studying the effects of decomposition on dead bodies is a weirdly fascinating setting for the discovery of three female victims – two brutally murdered and the third left fighting for her life. As intelligent links are made and conclusions drawn, a surprising fourth victim seems inevitable as DC Stone races against the clock to solve the case and trap the killer before he makes his final move.
I have to say that the ending was a complete surprise to me as I had no clue what the final revelation would be, staged as it was in the dark between the open graves of two of the rotting corpses used for research.
To sum, suitably gruesome and well written from the perspectives of the Detective Constable, the murderer and the victims themselves with (unless you’re good at solving crime fiction – which I’m not) a surprise revelation at the end.

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