Review: Silent Scream by Angela Marsons

Tuesday 17 February 2015
Title: Silent Scream (D.I. Kim Stone, #1)
Author: Angela Marsons
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 20th February 2015
Source: Review Copy
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9781909490925
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
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?

Silent Scream is Bookouture's first crime novel and it's a resounding success even before its release. Everywhere I look on Twitter somebody is talking about this book, the five star ratings from bloggers are flying in and it is topping the charts on Amazon. If Silent Scream is the standard of crime fiction Bookouture is commissioning, I am very excited to see what they bring us next. Normally when I see everybody rating a book five stars I think 'Is it really that good?' Silent Scream is that good, and then some. Since starting the blog in late March 2014 I have read a lot of crime fiction written by women, more than I ever have before and a lot of them were amongst my favourite reads of 2014. To describe a book as addictive is terribly cliched, but I can't think of a more apt word to describe Silent Scream. Picking it up to read a couple of chapters found me still reading over an hour later, with no signs of stopping. Angela barely gives the reader time to breathe, the action comes thick and fast, not a single word is wasted in this book.

One of my favourite things about British crime fiction is those scenes in the station and in the field. I love a proper police procedural and that is definitely what we get with Silent Scream. Having read hundreds of crime novels since I could borrow adult books from the library, I have met countless investigative teams, most of which blur into one but the team in Silent Scream was brilliantly created, with some intriguing and realistic characters, all of whom have their role to play in the book but with two standout characters in D.I. Kim Stone and her partner Bryant. Describing Kim Stone almost makes her seem like your typical female detective; she has issues in her personal life and work life, she had a troubled upbringing and she doesn't just ignore the rule book but chews it up and spits it in the face of her superiors. I have to say, I loved her. She was just such a fantastic character, ballsy, tough and more than a match for any male detective I've ever read about, but underneath all of that you know there's a sensitive side somewhere. I honestly can't wait to meet her again. Reading about her history was a bit like 'How many bad things can happen to one person?!' but overall I really liked her. I would love to see Silent Scream on the small screen, but have no idea who could play these characters.

With some dark scenes, and tackling a quite sensitive subject which at times made for quite difficult reading, Silent Scream could have run the risk of becoming a little bit morbid, but it really wasn't and Angela tackles these subjects in a sensitive way, not sugarcoating anything but writing in a believable way that makes you feel sad for the victims but absolutely furious that the events were allowed to take place. We only have to read the news to know that events such as those depicted in this book are far too common. This makes the book as frightening as it is compelling and the case is all too true to life for Kim as well when secrets of a local children's home start to be uncovered, quite literally as the bones of perhaps more than one body are found on the site of the home. When members of staff who worked at the home start turning up murdered, Kim has her work cut out in attempting to catch a killer, and she doesn't care how much trouble she might get into in her haste to do so. I could talk about this story all day but really, I can't say any more than that about the plot. Just believe me when I say it will have you gripped.

It seems though that Angela also has a comedic side to her, bringing some much needed humour to the book but in a realistic way, I do love a bit of humour in crime fiction and Kim Stone had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion. The mix of comedy and seriousness in Silent Scream was just right. The duo of Kim and Bryant was brilliant, it's always difficult for an author to achieve that chemistry between two characters but what we have here is a very believable relationship. I finished this book with a huge smile on my face at the thought of meeting these characters again as this has surely got to be the first in a long-running series. I know book two isn't far away.

Silent Scream is very much a mystery, clues are dropped throughout the book, some more obvious than others and Angela definitely keeps the reader on their toes with this wonderfully twisty tale, often danger lurks in the most unlikeliest of places but sometimes it lurks in the more obvious. I had an idea very early on of what was going to happen, almost sitting here feeling quite smug before later in the novel the smile was well and truly wiped off my face with a seriously brilliant twist. Not a twist I haven't seen done before, but one that I wasn't expecting. But, with enough suspects to keep things interesting, there will be more than just this reader that doesn't fully solve this case. I don't know what else to say to convince you to pick up this book, I can't recommend it enough and as I have started saying about books that I have loved this year, please do not let this one sit on your TBR for weeks/months/years, pick it up as soon as possible. The only problem Angela now faces is keeping up this standard as the series progresses, but if she does than she's going to be an author to watch and a huge star within the genre.



  1. Wow, what a review, can't wait to get hold of this, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts

  2. Wow, what a review, can't wait to get hold of this, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts

  3. Thank you so much for this fantastic review, Shaun. It truly took my breath away. Massively appreciated xx


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