Hall of Fame Review: Blood Lines by Angela Marsons

Friday 4 November 2016
Title: Blood Lines
Author: Angela Marsons
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 4th November 2016
Pages: 386
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
A victim killed with a single, precise stab to the heart appears at first glance to be a robbery gone wrong. A caring, upstanding social worker lost to a senseless act of violence. But for Detective Kim Stone, something doesn’t add up.

When a local drug addict is found murdered with an identical wound, Kim knows instinctively that she is dealing with the same killer. But with nothing to link the two victims except the cold, calculated nature of their death, this could be her most difficult case yet.

Desperate to catch the twisted individual, Kim’s focus on the case is threatened when she receives a chilling letter from Dr Alex Thorne, the sociopath who Kim put behind bars. And this time, Alex is determined to hit where it hurts most, bringing Kim face-to-face with the woman responsible for the death of Kim’s little brother – her own mother.

As the body count increases, Kim and her team unravel a web of dark secrets, bringing them closer to the killer. But one of their own could be in mortal danger. Only this time, Kim might not be strong enough to save them…

It is no secret that I am a huge Angela Marsons fan, and her books are one of the reasons I could never quit blogging or stop writing reviews (no matter how much I've thought about it recently) because where else could I scream and shout about them? Angie writes books so quickly that I really am running out of things to say about them and so this might turn out really repetitive, and I am constantly blown away each and every time I pick up a book by Angie because each one surpasses what came before it, Blood Lines especially because of the return of one of my favourite villains in a crime novel, ever. It's neck and neck between Angie and Chris Carter for the title of my favourite crime fiction writer of all time and having recently finished Chris's upcoming 2017 novel, I have to say that these two authors are in a league of their own and no other crime author can even compare.

In 2015 I had the not exactly enviable decision of choosing just one of Angie's three novels from that year to make it into my Top 10 Books of 2015 and I foresee a similar problem occurring in just a few weeks time. In the end I chose Evil Games because it featured a character who is by far and away one of the best villains I have ever read about in this genre, sociopathic doctor, Alex Thorne. This character still haunted me up until I began reading this book, and that book gave me genuine goosebumps as I read. When I found out she was returning in Blood Lines, I was so excited and just couldn't wait to read it. I would recommend reading this series in order, not only because they are some of the best crime fiction I've ever read but also for continuity. At the very least read Evil Games first because it just adds so much understanding to the character of Alex Thorne and her history with Kim Stone, as well as Kim's own history which is brought to the forefront of the storyline here in Blood Lines. So much of what was only touched upon in previous books is finally brought out into the open here and at this point in the series I feel actual emotion for Kim who yes, is a fictional character but who is portrayed by Angie as somebody that I can really believe in, and so there's some real hard-hitting scenes here involving Kim that really had quite an effect on me. I've said it before but I absolutely love Kim Stone.

I hadn't even finished the first chapter of Blood Lines and my heart was beating faster than it normally does, I quickly became oblivious to everything around me, and for the few hours I spent glued to my Kindle, nothing else mattered apart from me reading this book. An author who can achieve reactions like that from a reader is an incredible one indeed, and hopefully that is a sign of what a special and rare kind of author Angie is. It's not only the continuation of the blog that I've questioned recently, but reading itself, and it just shows that it's all about choosing the right book and the right author to read, and Angie is an author I know will never let me down with her books and that's why I constantly recommend them to anyone who will listen. In terms of storyline I really do not want to say too much, certainly not about Kim's reintroduction with Alex Thorne but as if that wasn't enough she yet again has to contend with another seemingly unsolvable case when victims who at first glance have nothing in common turn up murdered in the same, strange way, with a single, precise stab to the heart. Kim is an exceptional detective, at least, in terms of eventually solving a case, it could be said that the routes she takes to get to that point aren't exactly the wisest ones for her sanity or her career, but she eventually gets the job done and she is a detective who time and again puts the victims and the cases she works before herself, but in Blood Lines I was left wondering just how far she could be pushed before she lost it completely and I so wanted her to come out the other side at least partly intact because there's another fifty or so books to come featuring her yet (or at least there better had be).

In school one of the things I loved to create was mind maps, and I would love to create a mind map with just one bubble in the middle to start off and that bubble would be Kim Stone's name. There is so much to discuss about this character, and so many different threads that would pop up if you were to think about why she is the person she is, how she got there, what made her like that, and it all comes down to her history, her family, and the life that she has led up to this point. She's a character that it's so clear how much thought and passion has been put into creating. She's such a complex character that even when I'm not reading about her she's in my thoughts and she's easily one of the best fictional detectives that I've read about. And in mentioning mind maps I would love to see Angie's creation processes for her stories, and how they are ultimately planned from start to finish. Everything just flows expertly from start to finish, and I challenge even the most seasoned of crime fiction readers to work out where the story in Blood Lines (or indeed most of Angie's books) will end up by the time that final denouement rolls around. I certainly failed to work it out what with all the hyperventilating I did throughout and the constant picking up of my jaw off the floor, twists and turns galore as expected from Angie. There is not one thing about this book or any of the others that prevents it from getting a perfect score. It has every single thing I look for in a crime novel and then things I didn't know I was looking for. I've said it all in my previous reviews of Angie's books but honestly, I cannot recommend this series enough, so much so that the best thing I can say is read them, a reason isn't even needed, they speak for themselves (as do those quite phenomenal sales figures). You cannot call yourself a crime fiction fan until you've read Angela Marsons. It's as simple as that. So, while you probably won't see many reviews from me in the near future, you can rest assured that the ones you do see will be for books that I have truly enjoyed and can recommend with no hesitation.

1 comment:

  1. Shaun, as ever I am blown away by your review and always read your words with tears in my eyes as your understanding of everything I try to do is right there. Please don't ever stop what you do. For me, your reviews have been an inspiration to write better books x


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