Friday 11 August 2023

Hidden Scars by Angela Marsons

Hidden Scars (DI Kim Stone, #17)Hidden Scars by Angela Marsons
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days as able

Pages - 356

Publisher - Bookouture

Source - Netgalley

Blurb from Netgalley

While Jamie’s cold, lifeless body lay in the morgue, Detective Kim Stone stared at the empty board in the incident room and felt her anger boil. Why were there no photos, details, or lines of enquiry?

When a nineteen-year-old boy, Jamie Mills, is found hanging from a tree in a local park, his death is ruled a suicide. Detective Kim Stone’s instincts tell her something isn’t right – but it’s not her investigation and her temporary replacement is too busy waiting for the next big case to be asking the right questions.

Why would a seemingly healthy boy choose to end his life?

Why does his mother show no sign of emotional distress at the loss of her son?

Still mending her broken mind and body from her last harrowing case, Kim is supposed to be easing back into work gently. But then she finds a crucial, overlooked detail: Jamie had a recent injury that would have made it impossible for him to climb the tree. He must have been murdered.

Quickly taking back charge of her team and the case, Kim visits Jamie’s parents and is shocked to hear that they had sent him to a clinic to ‘cure’ him of his sexuality. According to his mother, Jamie was introverted and prone to mood swings. Yet his friend speaks of a vibrant, outgoing boy.

The clues to smashing open this disturbing case lie behind the old Victorian walls of the clinic, run by the Gardner family. They claim that patients come of their own accord and are free to leave at any time. But why are those that attended the clinic so afraid to speak of what happens there? And where did the faded restraint marks identified on Jamie’s wrists come from?

Then the body of a young woman is found dead by suffocation and Kim makes two chilling discoveries. The victim spent time at the clinic too, and her death was also staged to look like a suicide.

Scarred from an ordeal that nearly took her life, is Kim strong enough to stop a terrifying killer from silencing the clinic’s previous patients one by one?

A compulsive page-turner that will have your heart hammering in your chest and leave you absolutely reeling when you discover the explosive final twist. If you’re a fan of Karin Slaughter, Val McDermid, and Robert Dugoni, you’ll love Hidden Scars.

Can be read as a standalone.

My Review

If you haven't read the previous books you should because they are awesome but the precious book is really required as it helps understand DI Kim Stone's transition from what happened previously to where she finds herself now. Everything that transpired before has long lasting ripples and helps the reader grasp everything Stone has dealt with to get to this point. Her team is epic but Stone's replacement is an absolute tool, everything that is wrong with a leader/supervisior. With Stone just coming back and not quite there to take over the lead she can't ignore what makes her her and this suicide doesn't sit well and before we know it there is another "suicide" that calls for a closer look.

Kim Stone is such a great character, she has flaws, she is human but her inner compass pushes her past just about everything to do the right thing for the victims they come across as officers. This book has a trio of main themes, Stone and her recovery, the case(s) of course and the team dynamics and sexuality/LGB.

Some parts of the book are absolutely heart wrenching to read, what people will do to their supposed loved ones if they are gay, the lengths some gay people will go to in order to fit into what societal norms are expected in some areas of the world and the absolute extremes of this. I really struggled with that and whilst it is a fictional book/characters there are absolutely clinics/camps/conversions still active and it is 2023!

Murder most horrid, some really horrific individuals that will make you absolutely enraged and an abundance of things going on with our favourite team! You would think by book 17 things would be beginning to get overdone or boring or even just dropping in quality/ideas, nope. Marsons manages to keep it freh, the readers engaged and create more shady horrors that have us cheering on for our team to catch the baddy, 5/5 for me this time!

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