Release date: May 18, 2018
How far would you go to protect your darkest secrets?
When teenager Sadie Winter jumps from the roof of her school, her death is ruled as suicide – a final devastating act from a troubled girl. But then the broken body of a young boy is discovered at the same school and it’s clear to Detective Kim Stone that these deaths are not tragic accidents.
As Kim and her team begin to unravel a dark web of secrets, one of the teachers could hold the key to the truth. Yet just as she is about to break her silence, she is found dead.
With more children’s lives at risk, Kim has to consider the unthinkable – whether a fellow pupil could be responsible for the murders. Investigating the psychology of children that kill brings the detective into contact with her former adversary, Dr Alex Thorne – the sociopath who has made it her life’s work to destroy Kim.
Desperate to catch the killer, Kim finds a link between the recent murders and an initiation prank that happened at the school decades earlier. But saving these innocent lives comes at a cost – and one of Kim’s own might pay the ultimate price.
Oh boy, I don’t even know if I can discuss the details of this one because I’m still an emotional wreck (yes, a crime novel has me shattered, I’ll get to that later) so I’m going to try something I’ve only ever done once before, and that is with my review of The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter. I’m going to tell you why Angie Marsons is at the very top of her game and all the reasons why this series should be on your immediate TBR.
She always comes up with fresh, unique premises that pull you in instantly and don’t let you go.
This time around Kim and team are working a case in an elite private school and they’re dealing with the type of people that are not used to having their perfect little lives disrupted, even for a murder. The possibility of a child killer simultaneously sends chills up my spine and makes me want to learn more, the psychology behind this type of thing is endlessly fascinating. She also always rips stories straight from the headlines, here she dives into hazing and brutal initiations, a dark and dangerous side to an otherwise glitzy, privileged world.
Her characterization is phenomenal.
Is there a more badass fictional detective around than Kim Stone?! I can’t think of one, and I also can’t think of another character that I feel like I know quite as well as I do her. Marsons has more than peeled back the layers of Kim by this point, this is book eight after all, but as much as I feel like I know her, there are always new revelations that only serve to make me like her even more than I already did. The epilogue of this had some disclosures that gave even more insight into the woman she is and she is incredible. It’s not just Kim who is so well drawn, the rest of her team is just as fully formed, if I take a break from reading one of these books I always think that I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bryant come walking past me in my hallway. These people are larger than life and wonderfully authentic.
Her plotting is fastidious and seriously impressive.
I think any avid reader of crime fiction is tired of gimmicky twists that feel like they’re thrown in just for the sake of saying there’s a heart stopping twist. While Marsons is no stranger to said heart stopping twist, they are purposeful and extremely well thought out, nothing is added for shock value, they add real value to an already fantastic plot. Don’t get me wrong, she has the ability to make me gasp in surprise (and I was definitely biting my nails in the end) but her books are not dependent on a crazy turn, they stand strongly on their own merit.
Her writing and pacing is top notch.
Crime thrillers for the most part should be fast paced, right? Yeah slow burns can be fun, but excitement is key and no one does short, snappy chapters better than Marsons. She’s the queen of the one more chapter read because most are just a few pages and it is SO easy to get sucked in and talk yourself into just a few more pages. She also cleverly ends many chapters on mini cliffhangers so HOW can you just stop reading?! You just can’t.
She evokes emotions in the reader that are not commonly associated with crime fiction.
Karin Slaughter is one of the only other authors who has made me cry while reading a thriller, until now. I am not a weepy sort of person, books don’t effect me that way in general but this one? This one absolutely broke me. I honestly am fearful of saying anymore, but this prompted a strong emotional reaction that I won’t forget.
I’ll stop here because I’m verging on spoiler territory, but I hope I’ve encouraged you to give this series a try. If you’re one of the millions of people who are already a fan of it, then just let me assure you that you are SO in for a treat, this is Marsons best book yet and when you finish I would love to discuss THAT ENDING!!!
Dying Truth in three words: Exciting, Brilliant and Riveting.
Overall rating: 5/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.