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  • Barbara Copperthwaite

Review: PLAY DEAD, Angela Marsons

Play Dead, by Angela Marson. Review by Barbara Copperthwaite

“Twists, turns and red herrings galore, along with a nail-biting showdown”


The dead don’t tell secrets… unless you listen.

The girl’s smashed-in face stared unseeing up to the blue sky, soil spilling out of her mouth. A hundred flies hovered above the bloodied mess.

Westerley research facility is not for the faint-hearted. A ‘body farm’ investigating human decomposition, its inhabitants are corpses in various states of decay. But when Detective Kim Stone and her team discover the fresh body of a young woman, it seems a killer has discovered the perfect cover to bury their crime.

Then a second girl is attacked and left for dead, her body drugged and mouth filled with soil. It’s clear to Stone and the team that a serial killer is at work – but just how many bodies will they uncover? And who is next?

As local reporter, Tracy Frost, disappears, the stakes are raised. The past seems to hold the key to the killer’s secrets – but can Kim uncover the truth before a twisted, damaged mind claims another victim …?


The brilliant Angela Marsons has done it again with this latest DI Kim Stone offering (the fourth in the series). A body farm (a place where the decomposition of human remains can be scientifically studied) is an inspired setting for a crime to take place, and as for the killer – wow. The background of this disturbed individual comes out slowly and is utterly ingenious, the voice of the individual is so strong.

There are twists, turns and red herrings galore, along with a nail-biting showdown that literally had me on the edge of my seat. But there is far more to Angela Marsdon’s writing than just clever plotting; she gets under the skin of her characters. There was even a section about Kim that brought a tear to my eyes. It was heart-breaking, and so brilliantly handled.

I listened to this on audio, rather than read it, and the narrator was brilliant. She added further depth to the story. My incredibly dull three-hour drive whizzed by in entertaining fashion. This gets a big fat five stars from me!

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