Hall of Fame Review: Killing Mind by Angela Marsons

Friday, 10 April 2020
Title: Killing Mind
Author: Angela Marsons
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 13th May 2020
Pages: 367
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
It had seemed so simple. Get in, get the information, get out. But now they were getting inside her mind and she didn’t know how to stop them...

When Detective Kim Stone is called to the home of Samantha Brown, she finds the young woman lying in bed with her throat cut and a knife in her hand. With no sign of forced entry or struggle, Kim rules her death a tragic suicide.

But a visit to Samantha’s parents rings alarm bells for Kim – there’s something they’re not telling her. And, when she spots a clue in a photograph, Kim realises she’s made a huge mistake. Samantha didn’t take her own life, she was murdered.

Then a young man’s body is found in a local lake with his throat cut and Kim makes a link between the victim and Samantha. They both spent time at Unity Farm, a retreat for people seeking an alternative way of life.

Beneath the retreat’s cosy fa├žade, Kim and her team uncover a sinister community preying on the emotionally vulnerable.

Sending one of her own undercover into Unity Farm is high risk but it’s Kim’s only hope if she is to catch a killer – someone Kim is convinced the victims knew and trusted.

With Bryant distracted by the emergence of a harrowing case close to his heart, and an undercover officer in way over her head, Kim’s neck is on the line like never before. Can she protect those closest to her before another life is taken?

I never want the day to come where I finish an Angela Marsons novel and don’t say ‘Wow’ out loud. How this amazing and fabulously incredible woman manages to write the most gripping and thrilling crime dramas time after time is something I will forever be in awe of. I’ve said it before, twelve times in fact, but this series is just incredible and is in a league of its own. Quite simply, one of the best crime series in existence and Killing Mind continues the extremely high standard that Angie sets for herself with every book that she releases. I don’t know how many ways or times I can say it, but I just love this series and simply adore its author. I hope to one day be writing a review for the 30th book in this series, going on like a broken record about just how much I love it and how much it means to me.

One thing I enjoy is how Angie never fails to come up with a truly gripping storyline for each and every one of her books. Killing Mind deals with cults, something that has fascinated me for many years (when my early knowledge of them came from a storyline on Home and Away). The storyline within Killing Mind might be one of my favourites so far simply because of how scarily real the whole thing felt and how the manipulation of one character showed me just how quickly these cults can begin to brainwash someone and completely change their way of thinking and behaving. The cult provides lots of insights into how poor family relationships can have a damaging effect on a person, and how another person can use that to manipulate another person and completely take advantage of them. It also shows the effect that the cult can have on the friends and family members of those who have been taken in by them. This really is a gut-wrenching read in places. Angie always makes her characters feel like real people, with emotions and thoughts that are palpable and so there’s always a heightened sense of emotion in me when I read these stories as I quickly become invested in the lives of those I am reading about.

Coming into Killing Mind not long after reading the prequel to this series, First Blood, I have to say a part of me missed DS Dawson. However I am now firmly a fan of DS Penn and I enjoyed his role in this story and the part he plays within this fantastic team. Where the cult shows the damaging effects of poor family relationships, we see the flip side of the coin with the heartwarming relationship that Penn has with his brother. One scene in the book stood out to me especially and as I know Angie will be reading this, the scene that melted my heart was the text Penn received from his brother after a phone call. Being back with Kim, Bryant and Stacey was nothing short of sheer joy. I have to say that Kim and her team have started to feel like a family, not only to me but to each other, and that was something that shone through as I read. The camaraderie is wonderful to read, and these are some of the best characters I’ve ever read about within this genre. The secondary storyline we see Bryant going on added a further dynamic to the working relationship but also the personal friendship of him and Kim. I really enjoyed that part of the story and was as gripped to it as the main storyline. I think with each book we are seeing a softer side to Kim as she really starts to develop genuine care and affection for her team. After reading the prequel this is especially clear to me now more than ever. Kim is a character who develops so much with each book and it’s so intriguing to witness those changes in her with each story that I read. I think here especially there may be lasting emotional repercussions for Kim.

There was a standout character in the story here however and that was Tiff. There’s so much I want to say about this character but I am fearful of giving too much away. Tiff is a young and overly enthusiastic police officer, certainly too enthusiastic for Kim’s liking at times, but Tiff finds herself front and centre of this investigation with the huge role she plays in the uncovering of the cult. Her part in the story was one of my favourites because it was her character that allows the reader to really understand these cults more and to see how masterfully they take over the mind of a young and vulnerable person. Tiff is a character I really hope to see again in future books. As said I don’t want to say too much about her character but I was intrigued by my own thought processes in how the story ended up in terms of her relationship with one of the other characters. Recently I read a book where the bad guy had me seeing the good in them at times, and that was the same here. I know this is totally ambiguous and makes no sense but the denouement and reveal here in Killing Mind has sent my brain into overdrive as Angela shows that everything isn’t always black and white and there’s a couple of characters in this story I’ll be thinking about for a while longer yet. There’s lots of talking points raised within this story and some of the themes really would make for good discussion.

Killing Mind was once again another masterclass in how to deliver everything a crime novel needs to make it a gripping, thrilling and unforgettable read. Angela Marsons is one of my favourite authors and personally one of my favourite people I have ‘met’ since starting my blog. I’d love to one day meet her in real life but fear my anxiety would turn me into a total wreck. This series means so much to me and I have always been thrilled at the time Angela takes to read and share my reviews. I can’t come up with many more ways to describe my love for this series, just search Angela Marsons into the search box on this blog to see what I mean, and so I will finish by thanking Angela for another incredible story that was over far quicker than I wanted it to be. I sometimes wish this was one of those series I discovered when there were twenty other books to read right after it, but I have been here since the very start with the fantastic, Silent Scream. If however you are one of the people who has been living under a rock since 2015, you are one of the lucky ones who does have an entire series of books to devour and fall in love with. Killing Mind is one of the best crime fiction books I will read this year and as always it will without a doubt be in my Top Books of the Year list. Absolutely brilliant and unmissable crime fiction.

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