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How far would you go to protect your darkest secrets?

When teenager Sadie Winter jumps from the roof of her school, her death is ruled as suicide – a final devastating act from a troubled girl. But then the broken body of a young boy is discovered at the same school and it’s clear to Detective Kim Stone that these deaths are not tragic accidents.

As Kim and her team begin to unravel a dark web of secrets, one of the teachers could hold the key to the truth. Yet just as she is about to break her silence, she is found dead.

With more children’s lives at risk, Kim has to consider the unthinkable - whether a fellow pupil could be responsible for the murders. Investigating the psychology of children that kill brings the detective into contact with her former adversary, Dr Alex Thorne – the sociopath who has made it her life’s work to destroy Kim.

Desperate to catch the killer, Kim finds a link between the recent murders and an initiation prank that happened at the school decades earlier. But saving these innocent lives comes at a cost – and one of Kim’s own might pay the ultimate price.

386 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 18, 2018

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About the author

Angela Marsons

37 books4,070 followers
Angela is the author of the Kim Stone Crime series. She discovered a love of writing at Primary School when a short piece on the rocks and the sea gained her the only merit point she ever got.
Angela wrote the stories that burned inside and then stored them safely in a desk drawer.
After much urging from her partner she began to enter short story competitions in Writer's News resulting in a win and three short listed entries.
She used the Amazon KDP program to publish two of her earlier works before concentrating on her true passion - Crime.
Angela is now signed to write a total of 16 Kim Stone books for http://bookouture.com and has secured a print deal with Bonnier Zaffre Publishing.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 879 reviews
Profile Image for Maureen .
1,380 reviews7,088 followers
May 7, 2018
Hands up, I've knelt down and worshipped at the altar of Angela Marsons for some years now, but with 'Dying Truth' she LITERALLY brought me to my knees, brought me down reeling in disbelief, and that's all I'm gonna say without giving anything away!

The setting this time around is an elite private boarding school for the children of the wealthy - the lawyers, the politicians, the successful businessmen. It begins with the death of pupil Sadie Winters, initially thought to be suicide, but nothing is ever that simple for Detective Kim Stone. Here among the claustrophobic corridors of Heathcrest Academy, could it be that one of their own is a killer?

I'll let the synopsis speak mainly for itself, but I just want to say that occasionally a book comes along that reinforces one's joy of reading, and Ms Marsons has reached that accolade with this one! The narrative introduces a group of people, who with hindsight, are not who they present themselves to be, and given that some of the characters are children, it makes for a very chilling read. The vivid characterisations are hugely insightful, particularly regarding Kim's team, it's like they've become people that we know - friends that we enjoy spending leisurely catch up time with, and yes, people we care about. The storyline itself was certainly complex, yet intriguing, as it veered off in various directions, leading us to the heart pounding conclusion - and it was the conclusion that had me in bits! I'm not saying any more than that, but writing this review, I have tears in my eyes!

* Thank you once again to Netgalley, Bookouture, and Angela Marsons for my ARC. I have given an honest review in exchange*
Profile Image for Meredith (Slowly Catching Up).
792 reviews12.3k followers
May 8, 2018
Angela Marsons takes things to the next level in The Dying Truth, book eight in the D.I. Kim Stone series. This is a top-notch police procedural built around compelling characters, a fascinating mystery, dark twists, and a heartbreaking ending.

The mystery revolves an exclusive boarding school, Heathcrest, with underground elite societies (think the Skull and Bones). When 13-year-old girl commits suicide at the school, Kim and team are brought in to investigate. While this case should be cut and dry, Kim notices what others do not, resulting in her looking at the death from a different angle. When another child dies, the school and parents want to bury what’s going on (no pun intended), but Kim will not push her hunch that more is going on aside. Her determination and drive cause long-buried secrets to be exposed.

As the investigation depends Kim feels like there is a new kind of evil at play, resulting in a meeting with the most evil of all, Dr. Alex Morgan.

Kim, Dawson, Stacey, and Bryant are the reason to read this series. I love all of them, maybe a little too much, and feel like I know them. We get little snippets here and there woven in about their personal lives, and I am always left wanting more. There’s not as much as Kim in this book as in the others; she is at the center of the investigation but we are not as enmeshed in her personal life as in previous books. We do, however, get to see the softer side of Dawson, as we learn about his childhood which was a surprisingly sweet storyline.

Packed with action, tension, and suspense, I was completely riveted by this book. Marson’s writing just sucks me in--I love how I get lost in her books! I was especially intrigued by the secret societies. The ending broke my heart--It was unexpected, and damn it, it hurts! With that being said, I am quite anxious to read the next book to see how things play out.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and Bookouture in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,438 reviews78k followers
May 19, 2018
I say this with every book that she publishes, but I truly feel this is Angie's best novel to date. Wow. Just wow. I feel at a loss for non-spoilery words, but in short, this is precisely what a crime fiction novel should read like. It's no easy feat to keep a series running so long that you are publishing your 8th installment to greedy readers (because honestly, we can't get enough), but I can't think of a single thing I would change in the writing or narrative. In short-this novel was perfection. We are given a breathtaking plot that was mysterious and sinister, one that kept me guessing until the very end, and a gut wrenching twist that brought me to tears. The entire series is a must read, and one you'll rush through quickly if you're new to Kim Stone, but suffice it to say it's worth reading the first 7 books solely to experience this one. Thank you for breaking my heart in such a beautiful way Angie. <3

*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts:
I can think of one other series in my adulthood that has brought me to tears when a beloved character was killed off. *cough, Karin Slaughter, cough*. I’ve finally added a second to my list. OMG MY HEART ACHES SO BADLY RIGHT NOW. 😭😭😭 If I could give this book 100 stars I would! Definitely my #1 top read of 2018 so far. Full review to come.
Profile Image for BernLuvsBooks .
773 reviews4,639 followers
April 24, 2019
Oh Angela Marsons, how you have slain my heart! 💔

This book had me reading way after my bedtime with a quickened pulse, only to leave me feeling gutted. Dying Truth was without a doubt, a dynamic addition to Angela Marson's, Kim Stone series. As difficult as it is to say this, because I have genuinely loved each and every Kim Stone book, Dying Truth has firmly become my favorite book of the series to date!

The team's latest case brings them to Heathcrest, an elite boarding school where a 13 year old girl has been found dead in an apparent suicide. Of course nothing is cut and dry when Kim is on the case. She immediately notices peculiarities that simply just don't add up to this being a suicide. Sadie Winters was fighting emotional demons and family dysfunction by self harming. Many were quick to simply write her off as "troubled" but when another student turns up dead Kim knows there is evil lurking within the walls of Heathcrest that must be stopped before other lives are claimed.

As Kim and her team work to solve this case they uncover long kept traditions and secret societies both within and outside of the school walls entrenched in bullying, privilege, lies, dark rituals and of course secrets they are willing to do anything to keep hidden. I was engrossed in this case and how it affected each member of the team. Kim, Bryant, Dawson and Stacy reveal parts of themselves as they work through the case, endearing them to my reader heart even more. Marson's truly knows how to write a mystery with heart at its core and it's due to her deftly crafted characters.

The storyline here was complex, packed with action and suspense and an abundance of tension! As I read through the ending my palms were sweaty, my heart racing and tears streamed down my face - I had a very real physical and emotional reaction to this book! Well played Angela Marsons, very well played indeed! You know you are in deep with a series when you effectively forget that what is happening within its pages is not directly affecting you in real life. I don't care what anyone says - 💔 this one broke my heart dear fellow readers and I felt every single crack! 😭
Profile Image for Christine on hiatus, see “About me”.
589 reviews1,136 followers
March 31, 2020
5 Bloody Beautiful Stars!

How can I talk about this book when my heart is in my throat??? Angela Marsons again delivers and delivers hard in this novel, the 8th book in the phenomenal Kim Stone series. Every year since 2015 I have looked forward to my twice yearly gift of a Kim Stone book from Ms. Marsons’ pen. Why do I have such a high opinion of this series? Simple. These characters, these stories, these books make me FEEL. Every time. And that’s why I go into every book totally cold, never reading the blurb, immersing myself, and knowing I won’t be disappointed.

Now if a story teaches me something as well as makes me feel, then we have the perfect recipe. And learn I do from Ms. Marsons. This author has knack for picking serious timely themes and researching the hell out of them before presenting her findings in terrific storylines. In this book we are submersed in the culture of private schools for children of the wealthy. We see the pros and cons of clubs and secret societies that can last for a lifetime. We are exposed to bullying, by students and staff alike. The consequences of privilege, jealousy, revenge, unintentional pregnancy, and obesity are explored. And we even get a lesson in childhood psychopathy with expert commentary by an unforgettable character from an earlier book. So many themes are touched upon—I was captivated.

Now the best part about the Kim Stone series—the characters themselves. We don’t get quite as much inner Kim as we did in some of the previous books, but what we do get is gold. We also continue to discover more and more about Stacey and Kev. Who knew there was such a warm and caring heart buried within Kevin Dawson? These two, along with Bryant, could each star in their own individual series. Most of the crime books I read do not leave me with vivid memories of the protagonist’s team members, but I will never have to think if I am ever asked who works with Kim Stone. I love these guys.

In regards to the side players, I won’t kid you, there are a lot of them. But thanks to the author’s depictions of each, I rarely had to use the search button to clarify who was who. There are also multiple threads to keep up with, but again, I did not find this a problem at all.

Oh, and thank you, Ms. Marsons, for not going the trendy multiple POV route and for keeping the timeline of the narrative almost exclusively in the present. I don’t really mind going back and forth in time, as that format generally benefits “show” rather than “tell”, but this was a nice change.

Did I mention the ending? God, my palms were actually sweating as that played out. I don’t think that’s ever happened before. And again, it landed my heart directly into my throat. The last two chapters and the epilogue are exceptionally well done. Kudos, dear author!

Angela Marsons remains on an upward projectory as she completes book 8 of a planned 16 book series. She continues to stretch the boundaries and has started to take some real risks. I have nothing but admiration for the direction she is going.

Now, Bookouture people, you can’t let her stop at only 16 Kim Stone books. Could you please redo her contract and make it 32? Pretty pretty please? I promise to read them all.

Many thanks to Net Galley, Bookouture, and Ms. Angela Marsons for approving me to read an ARC of this novel. All opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way.
Profile Image for Linda.
1,226 reviews1,275 followers
May 2, 2018
Putting Jack back in the box.......

The world, as we know it, is not how we know it. Angela Marsons has loosened the bolts on this one and there is a death rattle happening beyond every corner. The build-up is in hyper-drive as D.I. Kim Stone reveals a gruesome pattern in this latest crimescape.

Heathcrest is a prestigious co-ed private school in which students with highly advantageous connections get all the perks. Even with all those enticing perks, Sadie Winters doesn't even feel her own heart beats through a dulled existence. She's the broken child. She's the child with self-harming hidden beneath her clothing. But what can't be hidden is her thirteen year old body discovered at the foot of the campus' bell tower. To some eyes it is an obvious suicide. To other eyes with a keen sense of detecting, it appears to be murder.

We will meet a wide cast of characters here on this Angela Marsons set. There is definitely something sinister happening in these academic halls of Heathcrest. All is not what it seems. We will follow the trail of students who weave back and forth in the guise of academia on the surface and then enter into something quite dark and foreboding below deck. This fisherman's net is cast far out into deep, deep waters. And those fish who will be caught in this tangled net swim with the innocent and the not so innocent. Rough, rough waters, dear readers.

Angela Marsons has a gift for packing straightforward, short chapters with plenty of punch. No climbing into confusing time capsules that revert back and forth between months and years. Marsons keeps her story on point and delivers from beginning to end. The dialogue is achingly human as we will wade into waters beyond the reef and into the psychiatry of the demented. What makes true evil pulsate in darkened hearts? Oh, Marsons will shine a light on that one for sure.

I received a copy of Dying Truth through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Bookouture and to the very talented Angela Marsons for the opportunity. (Please, please keep 'em comin'.)
Profile Image for Liz.
2,020 reviews2,522 followers
May 10, 2018

Another 5 Star winner from Angela Marsons. Kim Stone has been one of my favorite detective novels since book 1. And this book keeps the streak going.

The death of a 13 year old girl at a posh boarding school is initially thought a suicide, but the post mortem puts a lie to that. However, the powers that be want the truth brushed under the rug. “Aah, poor Sadie. She was a troubled lady, he said, shaking his head. Kim felt that if she heard that word used one more time to describe the child she might scream. It was as though a memo had been circulated listing key words and phrases.”

I just love how Kim and her team interact. The performance reviews give a special glimpse into their relationships and I especially loved the scene between Stacy and Kim.

This is a very timely book. There have been numerous instances in the news about kids killed in hazing instances. And Marsons uses those stories as the inspiration for this story. The team is frustrated by the silence the kids keep about what is happening. Kim wonders over and over whether a child can be truly evil.

It’s not often (if ever) that I’ve cried over a mystery. But I did here. I wavered as to whether to rate this a four or a five. The emotional pull is strong. In the clear light of day, a few plot aspects seem implausible. But the book is such an engrossing read, I opted for the full five stars.

My thanks to netgalley and Bookouture for an advance copy of this book.

Profile Image for Paromjit.
2,600 reviews24.8k followers
May 10, 2018
Angela Marsons is on the top of her game in this harrowing and emotional heartbreaker of a case in this, the eighth addition to the incomparable DI Kim Stone series. Heathcrest is an exclusive private boarding school for the children of the powerful and privileged where something rotten to the core resides. 13 year old Sadie Winters is troubled and self harming, so when her body is discovered at the bottom of the belltower, it is assumed she has tragically committed suicide, but Kim does not agree with this assessment. She is proven to be right when the body of a young boy is discovered soon after. She is going to need her tenacious police team to help uncover the macabre truth that lies behind the horrors that unfold.

Kim faces obstacles from the police hierarchy and Heathcrest, a school determined to preserve its reputation at all costs, intent on burying anything that threatens to tarnish it. A teacher that was on the cusp of opening up about the school is murdered and the suspicion grows that perhaps the children could be suspect. This leads to the return of Kim's nemesis, the sociopath that is Dr Alex Thorne as we gain psychological insights into the disturbing psychology of young minds. There is an atmosphere of terror amongst students from the past and the present. We learn of secret societies that one can never leave, brutal rites, and a school riddled with bullying, rivalries, pregnancy, and fear. Amidst a tense and suspenseful multi-layered narrative with twists and turns, the truth comes as a shock and totally unexpected.

Marsons reputation continues to grow with this stunning novel which packs a powerful punch with its ingenious plotting. It grabs a vice like grip on the reader right from the start and the action packed story is intense, tense and suspenseful. At the heart of the appeal of this popular series are the characters we have come to know and love, and continue to get an in depth insight through their character development. Kim Stone could not operate on her own, she relies on her close knit team, and in this nightmare of a investigation, Kevin Dawson gets the spotlight as we see how he bonds with an overweight boy. An absolute thrill ride of a complex and entertaining novel that brilliantly makes you think and leaves you emotionally bereft. All hail the Queen of Crime, Angela Marsons. Many thanks to Bookouture for an ARC.
Profile Image for Barbara.
1,344 reviews4,864 followers
November 30, 2021

In this eighth addition to the 'Kim Stone' series, Detective Inspector Kim Stone and her team, who work in the West Midlands region of England, investigate suspicious deaths at a prestigious boarding school. The book can be read as a standalone, but familiarity with the characters is advantageous.


When DI Kim Stone and DS Bryant get a call in their car saying a girl is about to jump from the roof of the elite Heathcrest Academy, the detectives rush to the school.

They're too late, though, and the dead, broken body of 13-year-old Sadie Winter is on the ground. People are calling it suicide, but DI Stone's sharp eye - and an autopsy - reveal that Sadie was murdered.

Kim and her team interview Sadie's family, roommate, fellow students, and teachers. They learn that Sadie was a quiet girl who kept to herself and had no friends.....and no enemies. When DS Kevin Dawson asks several students if Sadie was bullied, he's repeatedly told that NO ONE would bully Sadie. Digging into this further, Dawson squeezes out the fact that Sadie's older sister, Saffron, is the 'Queen of Hearts' in a clandestine Heathcrest club, so no one would dare hassle Sadie.

Dawson, who has vivid memories of being the bullied 'fat kid' at school, is intrigued by these 'secret clubs' and investigates them further. It turns out that the clubs are very selective, have initiation rites that amount to hazing, and expect total loyalty reminiscent of the Mafia's Omertà - "a code of silence about criminal activity and a refusal to give evidence to authorities."

Sadie's death is the beginning of a crime spree at Heathcrest, and students as well as faculty are targets. Kim wants the school closed and the pupils sent home. However, the head of the institution, Principal Thorpe - who's main concern is the school's reputation - refuses to close the doors. Moreover, Thorpe is uncooperative with the police. He assigns the detectives a dim, dusty storeroom for their interviews.....and Kim's 'remedy' for this is priceless. 😊

Given the nature of the crimes, Kim has to consider both children and adults as potential suspects. To probe the possibility of a child killer - which she finds very troubling - Kim asks the opinions of her colleagues; the coroner; her police mentor; and even Dr. Alex Thorne - the imprisoned sociopath who tried to ruin Kim's life.

As Kim and her squad pursue their inquiries, they learn that Heathcrest has a dark history, and past events hold clues to the school's present difficulties.

In a side plot, Kim has to write up the yearly appraisals for the cops on her team. To accomplish this, Kim has a brief meeting with each of her detectives - DS Bryant, DC Stacey Wood, and DS Kevin Dawson - and it's interesting to observe Kim's thumbnail sketches of their professional strengths and weaknesses.

I was caught up in the story's suspense, and intently followed all the detective work in an attempt to guess who the murderer was. I didn't figure it out....so well done Angela Marsons.

That said, I didn't completely love the book. To me, Heathcrest Academy was such a venal, unconscionable institution that I couldn't suspend disbelief. If a school really allowed the behavior that was prevalent there for decades - with no consequences for wrongdoers - social media would explode. There would be an investigation, parents would boycott the school, and Heathcrest would go bankrupt (IMO). Some of the students were SO entitled, they were openly rude and snide when the police questioned them. To me, this behavior just isn't believable.

Since the 'school atmosphere' underlies the book's plot, it reduced my enjoyment of the story.

Still, this is a well-wrought mystery and a laudable addition to the series. Recommended to mystery fans.

Thanks to Netgalley, the author (Angela Marsons), and the publisher (Bookouture) for a copy of the book.

You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....
Profile Image for Emma.
974 reviews975 followers
May 10, 2018
An easy, but devastating, 5 stars. Probably the best book Angela Marsons has written.

So we're at book 8 of this series and it's better than ever. I don't even know what kind of magic Marsons pulled out of her hat for this one but I didn't put to down except to eat. I always enjoy her books but this one I LOVED. Well, most of it. I have some serious emotional issues I need to work through with the author after WHAT SHE DID, but it'll take time and I'm not ready to talk about it yet. You'll see. Trust me. You'll see.

The story jumps right in with Kim Stone writhing in pain from a broken leg, desperately yelling for her team not to enter a building she knows will put them in serious danger. Marsons is not holding back at all in this one, the sense of a real threat is there from the first page to the last. Set in a private school, with D.I. Kim Stone and her team investigating the death of a young girl who may have jumped from the roof... the book seems at first glance like it might be covering old ground. Yet that is very evidently not the case as soon as Stone and Bryant get going. Everyone is at the top of their game, from Keats to Kim, all the characters are so much themselves that they feel like this cohesive whole, a true team. It's hard to explain but there's this feeling of rightness about them that makes them so vividly clear, it's like watching a tv show in your head, turn quick enough and you'll see them out of the corner of your eye. Of course, that's what makes the good bits all the better and the bad bits all the worse.

I'm leaving it there because all the rest would just be ticking the boxes. Clever plot- yes. Genuine mystery-yes. Surprises- oh yes. All these are given. It's the people that take this book higher than the rest, from the main team to the cameos and the characters who support the plot- Angela Marsons has put it all together to form her best work.

If you've never read the series before, start at the beginning and enjoy the journey here. If you've picked up one or two before or maybe didn't like the last few as much, don't allow yourself miss this one...there's no way this isn't going on the best of crime fiction lists for this year.

ARC via Netgalley
Profile Image for Sandysbookaday is (reluctantly) on hiatus.
1,969 reviews2,039 followers
June 2, 2018
EXCERPT: I lied.

I said yes.

How could I tell them how I really felt? How could I tell them that a piece of me dies every time I come home? How could I try and penetrate the perfect bubble around them? How could I reveal what I do to stay calm? How can I share the darkness that shadows every thought I have; the rage that heats my blood?

How could I tell them that I'm the broken child?

ABOUT THIS BOOK: How far would you go to protect your darkest secrets?

When teenager Sadie Winter jumps from the roof of her school, her death is ruled as suicide – a final devastating act from a troubled girl. But then the broken body of a young boy is discovered at the same school and it’s clear to Detective Kim Stone that these deaths are not tragic accidents.

As Kim and her team begin to unravel a dark web of secrets, one of the teachers could hold the key to the truth. Yet just as she is about to break her silence, she is found dead.

With more children’s lives at risk, Kim has to consider the unthinkable - whether a fellow pupil could be responsible for the murders. Investigating the psychology of children that kill brings the detective into contact with her former adversary, Dr Alex Thorne – the sociopath who has made it her life’s work to destroy Kim.

Desperate to catch the killer, Kim finds a link between the recent murders and an initiation prank that happened at the school decades earlier. But saving these innocent lives comes at a cost – and one of Kim’s own might pay the ultimate price.

MY THOUGHTS: Clear your diary! Angela Marsons has a new book in the D. I. Kim Stone series, and Dying Truth is a book that, once you start, you can't put down. I took it to work. I read through morning tea, I read through lunch instead of taking advantage of the sunshine and going for a walk, I read through afternoon tea, and we had takeaways for dinner because I didn't want to lose reading time by cooking! I finished Dying Truth before I went to sleep. This is the best of the series yet!

Marsons is an incredible writer. In Dying Truth she tackles the subjects of bullying and self-harm, all neatly tucked into the investigation of the apparent suicide of a young girl at an elite school. Heathcrest is a school that is a bastion of secrecy, lies, private elite clubs, privilege, wealth, and illegal abortions, and has been for generations. Here alliances are formed and relationships brokered that will last for lifetimes.

But secrets and lies have consequences, and someone has to pay the price. ..

D. I. Kim Stone has grown a lot in character in the previous seven books. She continues to do so in Dying Truth. But she still shuts herself off, to a certain degree, assuming guilt for every victim she can't save, burying herself in responsibility, and the determination to right every wrong. 'For as long as she could remember, her mind had been a series of boxes. Every one contained something that had the power to hurt her, to reach the depths of her soul and break her apart.' She relaxes by rebuilding old motorbikes and walking her dog Barney.

And it is great to also see the growth of the supporting cast, Dawson and Stacey in particular. They have become characters in their own right.

I love Marsons turns of phrase. ..'He reminded her of an overfilled laundry basket at home, so full of items that it was misshapen, bulging. It was like he'd been stuffed to overflowing with good looks, a lean athletic body, excessive charm and charisma bursting out of his sixteen year old body. Once he emptied the basket and learned moderation, he'd be a dangerous individual.'

Where to next Angela Marsons? I long ago ran out of rating stars for your books - five stars just aren't enough.

Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of Dying Breath by Angela Marsons for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the 'about' page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my blog sandysbookaday.wordpress.com https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...
Profile Image for Book Addict Shaun.
937 reviews279 followers
April 21, 2018
‪So I write my Goodreads reviews immediately after finishing a book, which is a problem here with Dying Truth because it has left me a broken man. I have just finished it with tears streaming down my face. This is by far the best book Angela Marsons has ever written, which when you consider the past seven amazing books, is one hell of an achievement. I’m not even sure I can put into words how or why I enjoyed this one so much but I’ll try. I have also been known to get carried away when talking about this series so if you get to the end of this review, thank you!‬

‪Having written seven reviews for the Kim Stone series I always feel like I am repeating myself and try my best to find something new to say. I always reread those reviews because they remind me just how much I love this series. They are some of the most memorable crime novels I have ever read and the love and pride I feel for Angela Marsons only increases with each book that she releases. Receiving a signed copy of each of her books with a handwritten letter has meant the absolute world to me and this is a series of books I will treasure and let nobody touch. ‬

‪What has always impressed me with Angie is how she comes up with the stories for her books, how she makes each of them different and how she somehow manages to make each book even better than the last. There are very few authors who have this level of consistency across their first eight books, Michael Connelly and Chris Carter spring to mind but few others that I know of. There’s just nothing to fault with this series and I look forward to each new release. To the point where I immediately abandon whatever I am currently reading the minute I get my hands on the latest story. ‬

‪Dying Truth is a hugely emotive book. Be prepared to go on one hell of an emotional rollercoaster here. I read this book in just two sittings, unable to tear my eyes away from my Kindle and oblivious to what was going on around me. Kim is called to what is believed to be the suicide of a teenage girl at a prestigious boarding school. Kim has suspicions that it is in fact a murder, however her colleagues are reluctant to agree and her superiors even more so because of the connections this school has with some very powerful people. Those who have met Kim before will know that she lets nothing stand in the way of her finding answers and so she heads right on in to this case that soon becomes increasingly more complicated as more students are murdered. ‬

‪I’ve said it seven times before but I’ll say it again. I just adore Kim Stone. From the small things like her refusal to accept the small box room allocated to her by the school’s headmaster (she just moves the table outside into the corridor in full view of visitors to the school) to the way she works with her team to that desire and need she has to personally solve every case. Her feelings become palpable. She is so well-formed in my mind that I have no trouble picturing her as a real character. ‬

‪The story here was nothing short of fantastic. Once again it is another multi-layered mystery and another difficult case for Kim and her team to work through. I just love these characters. How they work together. The camaraderie and banter between them, just everything about them. The last few novels we have seen their individual personalities really come through with each character being given their time to shine. In fact in this story it is Kim’s team that sometimes make those discoveries and connections ahead of her, which I felt added a more realistic dynamic to the story rather than having Kim herself solve the case like other crime series that feature a main detective who is some kind of Supercop. Whilst Kim is a fantastic detective, she needs this team with her. There were so many scenes here that I loved away from the investigation, not least the appraisals that Kim was forced to carry out on her team. There’s just so many bittersweet moments between these characters and it really is just a joy to read a series so well-written and with such strong characterisation. I was especially overjoyed to see the return of journalist Tracy Frost. Not only that but, and as the blurb mentions it it isn’t a spoiler, we also see the return of none other than Dr Alex Thorne. It is always chilling when we see Alex because she is the most believable sociopath that I have ever read about in fiction. ‬

‪I felt every emotion whilst reading Dying Truth. The plotting is incredible, and twists and turns are present throughout the whole book. The setting is brilliantly done and so well-imagined because this boarding school has secrets that remain hidden right up until the dramatic and unforgettable finale. It was around about the 80% mark that I knew it would be another late night of reading for me, but it was totally worth it. A lump formed in my throat, and as the closing pages drew in genuine tears started streaming down my face. I haven’t cried this much at a fictional story in a long time and even now writing this review I am still not over what I have just read. It has left me reeling and this story and these characters will be in my thoughts from now until the next book I should imagine. In fact I’m going to have to reread those closing chapters again when the tears have gone. I’ve said in the past how you aren’t a crime fan unless you are reading this series of books, and I’m saying exactly that again. Is there anyone who hasn’t discovered this series yet? Surely not. All I can say is thank you to Angela Marsons for yet another unforgettable and outstanding novel and long may they continue (and they WILL continue or we may have a Misery situation on our hands). Roll on the next one is all I can say, and now I am off to try and get over what I have just read. I am reeling. I am in shock. I am in awe. Dying Truth is the best book I will read this year and I do not envy Angela Marsons the task of writing her next book. However, she is a true talent and I have no hesitation in expecting the next book to surpass even this one. ‬
Profile Image for Jan.
424 reviews252 followers
May 22, 2018
OMG that ending!!

I am so behind on my reviews that as much as I want to go on and on about this book and the amazing series it's a part of, I'm going to keep it to short and sweet:

-This is one talented author who listens to her fans and keeps the plot lines interesting and relevant, and keeps the characters rich and full of life. Every book in this series I have rated 5 stars! I keep waiting for that one-you know, that one that just doesn't measure up, or falls short of what you have come to expect. Marsons has upped the bar so high that should that time come, the fall will be painful. But nothing to worry about now, as I think this book ranks close to being her best one ever, and definitely the one that has generated the most tears!!

Looking forward to the next adventure with Kim Stone and her amazing team, and let's hope they all continue to be 5 star journeys!

ARC provided by NetGalley
Profile Image for Louise Wilson.
2,745 reviews1,616 followers
May 12, 2018
Detective Kim Stone Series:- Book 8

When teenager Sadie Winter jumps from the roof of her school, her death is ruled as a suicide. But when the broken body of a young boy is discovered at the same school, it's clear to Detective Kim Stone that the deaths are not tragic accidents. Could one of the teachers hold the key to the truth.? But then the teacher is found dead.

Kim Stone, writhing from pain from a broken leg, is shouting for her team to enter a building she knows could put them in danger. This book is set in a private school, and Kim senses all is not right. They unravel long kept secrets and hints of damage to students. This is a fast paced, action packed, chilling read with an ending that will make you gasp. Written with style and flare that we have become used to from the author. I can never, in advance, guess where the story is going but I'm never disappointed in the ending.

I would like to thank NetGalley, Bookouture and the author Angela Marsons for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Carolyn.
2,172 reviews616 followers
May 19, 2018
Angela Marsons has delivered a cracker of a thriller with her eighth book in the Kim Stone series! Delving into the world of an exclusive private school and that of the privileged children who attend it, she explores the dark side of secret clubs, initiation rites and ritual bullying.

Kim is called out to the death of a young school girl. An unhappy, misfit of a child, thought to have taken her own life by jumping off the bell tower. But Kim feels that something is not right with the scene and after a little investigation believes they have a murder on their hands. Her senses also tell her all is not right at the school and she and her team start to unearth long kept secrets and hints of past and present damage to students. What unfurls is chilling and results in a shattering climax that will make you gasp.

I think this may be best instalment in the series to date. One of the things I enjoy most about this series is the ongoing development of the secondary characters as more of their individual personalities are allowed to shine though as Kim and her team get to share almost equal time in this novel. The events unfold in a neat linear fashion as the team carry out a thorough investigation of current and past events. Kim even has to delve into the world of child psychology to help her understand the actions and motives of children who are cruel to other children. There was never a slow moment in the narrative which moved at a perfect pace making it too hard to put aside for long.

With thanks to Netgalley and Bookature for a digital copy to read
Profile Image for Sarah Joint.
445 reviews984 followers
May 23, 2018
Angela Marsons continues to impress with her novels featuring Kim Stone. With each book, more layers are peeled back and we get to know Kim better. Her real vulnerability (though she would deny it, no doubt) shines though. Her determination to do what she feels is right, no matter who tries to dissuade her, makes her who she is. At the same time, she's never too perfect to relate to. She snaps sometimes, she's sarcastic, and she makes mistakes. All of these things make her a lovable character, and one that I don't think will get old to readers anytime soon. Her team is still strong, working well together even as they bicker and rib on each other. I maintain that this series would make an incredibly entertaining and addictive television show!

A thirteen year old killing herself is hard to stomach, but it is possible... Kim is just convinced that isn't what happened this time. Young Sadie is found on the ground, apparently having jumped from the roof of her prestigious boarding school. Living in the shadow of her talented and popular big sister, she's described as "troubled" by her teachers. Kim just doesn't think the way she landed and manner in which she jumped fit. Then another student meets an early demise. The principal just wants business as usual at the school, wary of upsetting powerful parents and losing money. Those things don't concern Kim. She simply wants answers... and it's going to take her and her team a lot of digging to find them, because this school is full of secrets. Could this be the work of a student, essentially a child killing other children? This school is no stranger to bullying, power struggles, and even a mysterious secret society.


I received a copy of this book from Net Galley and Bookouture, thank you! My opinion is honest and unbiased.
Profile Image for Zoeytron.
1,036 reviews670 followers
May 1, 2018
Copy furnished by Net Galley for the price of a review.

The prestigious Heathcrest Academy, where the very air is redolent of exclusivity and superiority.  Even so, there is a pecking order maintained in the elite ranks of the privileged.  Within the hallowed halls of Heathcrest, some are following a different set of rules.  A reported suicide with ties to a secret club may shatter the glossy veneer of this esteemed establishment.  

DI Kim Stone and her crew are back on task here doing what they do best.  There is not one weak link in this series' chain of eight thrillers.  This one aims high and hits the target dead center.  

Profile Image for Gary.
2,614 reviews369 followers
May 2, 2018
I can't believe I have already read 8 books in this series. 'Dying Truth' is the latest episode in the DI Kim Stone series by the outstanding author Angela Marsons.
This series is full of excellent characters and well crafted plots with the added bonus for me of being familiar with many of the locations.
Teenager Sadie Winter jumps from the roof of her school and everything points to her death been suicide. But when the body of a young boy is discovered at the same school it sparks concerns for DI Kim Stone that these deaths are not accidents after-all. Kim and her team investigate and discover a web of secrets.
I really would recommend reading not only this book but everything this author has ever written. Outstanding author who set a high standard with her first novel and somehow kept it going.

I would like to thank Net Galley and Bookouture for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Helga.
887 reviews124 followers
August 2, 2018
Angela Marsons did it again! I don’t know what adjectives to use to describe this book. Gripping, thrilling, chilling, heartrending, fast paced, unsettling…

13 year old Sadie Winters jumps to her death from the roof of a prestigious school.
She is known as a troubled and withdrawn student and naturally her death is assumed a suicide.
Then another teenage boy dies horrifically from peanut allergy. He is known to be careful of what he ingests. So why did the autopsy show peanuts stuck in his throat?

Are these deaths connected or just a coincidence?

Something is going on in that school. Beneath its beautiful and impressive exterior, there are some horrible secrets, hidden and festering and D.I. Kim Stone and her team are digging deep to find the ugly truth and save more lives from perishing.
Profile Image for Jonetta.
2,203 reviews918 followers
May 17, 2021
DI Kim Stone and her team race to Heathcrest Academy, an elite boarding school, thinking they will be intervening in a student’s suicide attempt. When they arrive, they discover she’s already jumped from the building rooftop. As Kim examines the scene more closely, she suspects that 13-year old Sadie Winter’s death may not be what it first appears, even more so when a second student is killed.

This was one of the more perplexing cases to date because we are given the “what”and some parts of the “why,” but the underlying reasons for Sadie’s murder were elusive and the identity of the killer was equally challenging. They quickly discover that the school has a secret society comprised of four groups, two for each gender, and their power runs deep and strong. The idea that there might be children killing other children was difficult to imagine but it was always in the background as so many presented themselves as potential suspects, which was distressing in itself.

The case was compelling enough but the dramatic conclusion shocked me to my core. I never saw it coming and I’m still reeling from the aftermath. I’ve said it before but I’ll keep repeating that this series continues to best itself with each new book. Yes, the cases are complex and interesting but the true brilliance is in the character development, both with the recurring ones and those secondary who resurrect themselves from time to time. I’ve come to care strongly for these men and women and feel like I have a stake in their continued progress. What happens to them matter to me and it can sometimes be an emotionally wrecking experience as it is here. Thank goodness I’m listening to the stories because the narrator does a fantastic job in controlling these emotions as her storytelling skills are outstanding.

Posted on Blue Mood Café
Profile Image for Alan Cotterell.
513 reviews170 followers
May 24, 2018
Not sure if I can do this book justice.

All the books in this series are incredibly well thought out, developed, funny, emotional, fast paced and powerfully emotive, but this book tops the lot. I write this with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes.
Even the prologue and epilogue could be published as individual short stories and get 5 stars.
Set in an elite private boarding school for the children of the wealthy. It begins with the death of 13 year old Sadie Winters that looks like sucide initially, but nothing is ever that simple for DI Kim Stone and her incredible team.
The story as usual is set in the Black Country near where I live. So I enjoy trying to differentiate the actual real roads from the fictional. Over the last 8 books, Kim Stone and her team have been developed so well, that I feel I could meet them in the local pub. The banter between Kim and her team feels so natural, especially with Bryant.
This book reinforced my love of reading and if any of you are in a reading slump at the moment, read this and you will be out of it by the end of the prologue. The downside of this is what to read afterwards
Profile Image for Sue.
1,330 reviews5 followers
June 5, 2018
DYING TRUTH is the eighth book in the D. I. Kim Stone series by Angela Marsons. And I didn’t miss reading one of her books in the series. This book is outstanding and probably the best book she has written yet! I devoured it! I don’t know how she continues to produce such high-quality writing.

“The past never stays in the past.”

When teenager Sadie Winter jumps from the roof of her school, her death is ruled as suicide. Sadie was a troubled girl who had been forced to see a school counsellor, and talk about her “problems”, because her parents thought this would remedy the problem. Her sister Saffie was the favorite and could do no wrong. Sadie had begged her parents to remove her from the private school, Heathcrest and allow her to go to a school closer to home, but they refused her request. This place was stuffy and all she ever wanted was to make friends with “normal people”. But this would never happen…

Then the broken body of a young boy is discovered at the same school and it’s clear to Detective Kim Stone that these deaths are not accidents after all.

Kim and her team begin to investigate and discovers a dark web of secrets. one of the teachers would prove invaluable and hold the key to the truth. Just as she is about to break her silence, she is found dead.

Kim must now consider…could a fellow student be responsible for the murders? Investigating the psychology of children that kill brings the detective into contact with her former adversary, Dr Alex Thorne – the sociopath who has made it her life’s work to destroy Kim.

Time is running out to catch the killer, and Kim must find the link between the recent murders and an initiation prank that happened at the school years earlier.

This novel touches on a wide range of themes from secret societies, cover-ups, jealousy, rage, bullying, pregnancy and obesity. The characters in the book are unforgettable…Kim and her partner, Bryant as well as Stacey and Kev. The dynamics of the interaction of the characters is heart feeling. I won’t forget any of them.

I highly recommend this whole series, and all I can say is “Angie keep on writing! We are waiting for book #9!”

Many thanks to Bookouture via Net Galley for my copy.
Profile Image for Brenda.
725 reviews148 followers
June 28, 2018
Some random thoughts to help me figure out this book:

There were three or four chapters with Kim as the main focus until a few paragraphs in when Bryant's presence is suddenly made known. That surprised me. Perhaps some chapters could have started out with Bryant? I now feel that Bryant was too often in the background and underused.

The banter between Kim and Bryant is a highlight in this series, but it didn’t seem as prevalent in this book. I missed their personal conversations.

One thing I found unbelievable was the hanging. How does one hang with the knot under their chin? That positions the head in the same way a doctor would to clear the airway. Would Kim have the strength to lift a 13-year-old boy who was hanging above her? Why not have Bryant lift the boy?

Please forget about Alexandra Thorne. Surely Kim could have found other more reliable resources to learn about killer kids. And why were Ted, Bryant, and the school counselor so opposed to discussing that with Kim?

I think there could have been more clarity in the resolution of the plot. I had to review the history of some of the characters, exactly what happened, and who did what. I also had some questions that had me going back into the book to look for the answers. For example, was there a Joker in the Hearts Club who should have known what happened? Were all the victims there on scholarship? Where exactly was the Spades meeting room in the bell tower?

One of the strengths of this series is the characters. I enjoyed the employee reviews which showed Kim's relationship with each of them. The focus on Dawson, his part in the investigation, and his helping an overweight student were great. The ending was a shock.

Thanks for bearing with me. My thoughts are clearer now. In summary, I think this was a good book, but it could have been better.
Profile Image for Sarah.
2,604 reviews169 followers
April 28, 2018
I really am at a loss for words for what to say about Dying Truth. There is so much I want to say but I just don't know how to say it to do this fabulous book the justice it deserves. 

The story centres around a boarding school. I'm not sure if it's because of the school setting or that some of the murder victims are children, but either way it had me totally hooked. I also think because there are children involved that you can really see how much it's affecting the team.

Dawson really stands out in the story. I loved how him and Geoffrey, one of the students, strike up an unlikely bond. It is one that will stay with me for a very long time to come. I think we see a more softer and caring side with certain characters than we have ever seen in previous books and it really makes for some emotional reading in parts.

Dr Alex Thorne being one of my all time favourite baddies certainly put a big smile on my face when I realised she was back, no matter how briefly. I know I shouldn't but I am actually routing for her to break out of prison at some point so she can cause more havoc and mayhem. I know, I'm bad, as I love Kim also. Maybe the author could write a series to do with Alex also. I don't want much do I? :) 

Dying Truth is a gripping and tense read that by the end I was an emotional wreck. Who knew you could cry so much at a book in a detective series, but I did. It just shows how talented the author is to have her readers so wrapped up in the story that the actions within it, affect us so much. Without a doubt my new favourite book in the series.

My thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for an advanced readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.
Profile Image for Brenda.
4,096 reviews2,663 followers
May 6, 2018
When Detective Inspector Kim Stone and her partner DS Bryant were called to the apparent suicide of thirteen-year-old Sadie Winter, the elite school of Heathcrest was one they had only heard of; never visited. But that would change over the next days and weeks as the second death in a matter of days followed. The shock to Kim and Bryant was that these deaths weren’t accidents at all – someone was murdering children in the school.

Dark secrets; restricted, invitation only clubs; brutal initiation rituals; students both past and present who were terrified – what on earth was happening at this school? When more deaths followed, Kim and her team knew they were in a race against the clock. But would the killer level anger towards Kim's hard-working team if they came too close?

Dying Truth is the 8th in the DI Kim Stone series by author Angela Marsons, and another brilliant psychological thriller! Twists you wouldn’t believe; a pace which is electric and a result that is breath taking! Outstanding, intense, gripping, heartbreaking - so glad I found this author’s work – bring on #9! Highly recommended.

With thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for my digital ARC to read and review.
Profile Image for Amy.
1,872 reviews1,879 followers
May 10, 2018
Oh boy, I don’t even know if I can discuss the details of this one because I’m still an emotional wreck (yes, a crime novel has me shattered, I’ll get to that later) so I’m going to try something I’ve only ever done once before, and that is with my review of The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter. I’m going to tell you why Angie Marsons is at the very top of her game and all the reasons why this series should be on your immediate TBR.

She always comes up with fresh, unique premises that pull you in instantly and don’t let you go.

This time around Kim and team are working a case in an elite private school and they’re dealing with the type of people that are not used to having their perfect little lives disrupted, even for a murder. The possibility of a child killer simultaneously sends chills up my spine and makes me want to learn more, the psychology behind this type of thing is endlessly fascinating. She also always rips stories straight from the headlines, here she dives into hazing and brutal initiations, a dark and dangerous side to an otherwise glitzy, privileged world.

Her characterization is phenomenal.

Is there a more badass fictional detective around than Kim Stone?! I can’t think of one, and I also can’t think of another character that I feel like I know quite as well as I do her. Marsons has more than peeled back the layers of Kim by this point, this is book eight after all, but as much as I feel like I know her, there are always new revelations that only serve to make me like her even more than I already did. The epilogue of this had some disclosures that gave even more insight into the woman she is and she is incredible. It’s not just Kim who is so well drawn, the rest of her team is just as fully formed, if I take a break from reading one of these books I always think that I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bryant come walking past me in my hallway. These people are larger than life and wonderfully authentic.

Her plotting is fastidious and seriously impressive.

I think any avid reader of crime fiction is tired of gimmicky twists that feel like they’re thrown in just for the sake of saying there’s a heart stopping twist. While Marsons is no stranger to said heart stopping twist, they are purposeful and extremely well thought out, nothing is added for shock value, they add real value to an already fantastic plot. Don’t get me wrong, she has the ability to make me gasp in surprise (and I was definitely biting my nails in the end) but her books are not dependent on a crazy turn, they stand strongly on their own merit.

Her writing and pacing is top notch.

Crime thrillers for the most part should be fast paced, right? Yeah slow burns can be fun, but excitement is key and no one does short, snappy chapters better than Marsons. She’s the queen of the one more chapter read because most are just a few pages and it is SO easy to get sucked in and talk yourself into just a few more pages. She also cleverly ends many chapters on mini cliffhangers so HOW can you just stop reading?! You just can’t.

She evokes emotions in the reader that are not commonly associated with crime fiction.

Karin Slaughter is one of the only other authors who has made me cry while reading a thriller, until now. I am not a weepy sort of person, books don’t effect me that way in general but this one? This one absolutely broke me. I honestly am fearful of saying anymore, but this prompted a strong emotional reaction that I won’t forget.

I’ll stop here because I’m verging on spoiler territory, but I hope I’ve encouraged you to give this series a try. If you’re one of the millions of people who are already a fan of it, then just let me assure you that you are SO in for a treat, this is Marsons best book yet and when you finish I would love to discuss THAT ENDING!!!

Dying Truth in three words: Exciting, Brilliant and Riveting.
Profile Image for Jean.
731 reviews20 followers
May 29, 2018
3.5 stars for Angela Marsons’ newest Kim Stone thriller, Dying Truth. Am I basing that on my disappointment over the ending? Yes. In part. I can’t reveal it, of course. But I was stunned, and not in a good way. I realize that it is a good thing when an author elicits feelings powerful enough to cause leaky eyeballs, but boo-hoo-hoo...

There, I’ve got that out of the way. Dying Truth is set at an ultra-elite boarding school. DI Kim Stone and DS Bryant arrive on the scene of an apparent suicide. Sadie Winters, a thirteen-year-old student, has been found lying dead below a balcony. Kim notices something odd about the position of the girl’s body and suspects foul play. Autopsy confirms that her instincts and observations are correct. As the story continues, it becomes quite clear that something is seriously awry at Heathcrest Academy.

DS Kevin Dawson follows a trail that leads to a not-so-secret club on campus. This club has existed for generations. Like those found in many schools, it involves hazing and bullying. Could these students be responsible for the students’ deaths? Kim cannot rule it out. Dawson knows what it was like to be the object of bullying, so when he sees a young student being picked on mercilessly by others because of his weight, he takes him under his wing. We see Kevin Dawson in a new light in this book. Stacy Wood is invaluable, as usual, doing background checks.

Besides my personal feelings over the outcome of this story, there were some other things that bothered me as well. First, I felt that Ms Marsons went overboard in her portrayal of the ultra-elite kids who disliked Sadie and Geoffrey, especially the way they disrespected the police. Second, I found it unlikely that the murderer would be able to pull off the assaults during the school day without being seen by anyone, since they took place in common areas. Finally, the tell-all scene with Kim, the Winters, and the mystery person (whom I guessed correctly, amazingly), was a complicated mess. Love it, or hate it – I wasn’t thrilled with it, but I suspect some readers thought it was brilliant. I didn’t necessarily like how she did it, but these are not pretty subjects, are they?

What I did love was seeing Kim emerge as a boss. While she obviously doesn’t relish the role, she does have a good handle on her team’s strengths and weaknesses, and they bend over backwards to see that the team does its job efficiently and effectively. This team has really gelled. What will happen in future books now that there’s been a change? I look forward to seeing what comes next. Kim Stone is moving beyond her own difficult past and coming into her own as a police officer and as a person. It’s enjoyable to see. Keep the books coming!

Rounded up to 4 stars
Profile Image for Ginger.
753 reviews371 followers
April 1, 2019
Best book in the series so far!
All the stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’m shocked and feel like I’ve been punched in the gut with that ending.
Holy shit, what a book!

Dying Truth is the 8th book in the D.I. Kim Stone series. The book starts off with the suicide of a teenager, Sadie Winter and lots of unanswered questions about her death. Sadie went to a private wealthy school and once DI Kim Stone starts investigating the school, things get intense and suspenseful.
Kim Stone and the detective crew she leads are trying to find out what is going on at this school. Why are rich kids dying or being severely injured?! I had no idea who was behind the evil actions in this book.

I really don’t want to say too much about the plot of this book. It was fantastic, complex and gripping! The less you know about this plot, the better the experience will be for you.

The ending of the book brought me to tears and I was a hot mess!
Dying Truth is hands down the best book of this series. This is the type of writing and plot you look for in the crime detective genre. I just can’t see Angela Marsons topping this book but I hope she can.

Go check out this series if you love crime detective series, thrillers and addicting mysteries.
This. Book. Was. Just. Fantastic!
Profile Image for The Cats’ Mother.
2,061 reviews131 followers
December 31, 2018
Ah, school, the best days of your life, where you make life-long friendships with people who will stand by you no matter what... well, not in Angela Marsons’ world. This eighth book in the fabulous Kim Stone series explores the world of privileged private boarding schools with their institutionalised bullying, secret societies and long-lasting resentments. Somehow she manages to keep up the intensity of the previous books and still bring something new.

A lonely thirteen year old girl has jumped off the roof of an exclusive school, and none of her peers seem to care. Kim’s suspicions are raised when she visits the scene, and confirmed when the autopsy findings conflict with the story given. Then a second child dies in implausible circumstances, but still the principal is only interested in the school’s reputation. How do these deaths connect to the exclusive groups where members are named for playing cards?

This was another amazing thriller but oh that ending 😿
I knew it was coming, first only that something awful happens, from the veiled comments in friends’ reviews, then to whom, from some careless spoiler comments that I should know better than to read, but they caught me off guard. It didn’t lessen the impact, and just makes me glad that I have the next book lined up ready to go.

My only criticism, and I was surprised by the mistake as this series normally seems so well researched, is the confusion between a psychiatrist - a medically trained doctor who treats specific mental illnesses, a psychologist - who has completed a degree in psychology and undergone specific training in administering psychological therapies, and a counsellor, who may or may not have had formal training and tends to deal with less severe psychological problems. A character here is described as being all three, which just wouldn’t happen. Some psychologists do do counselling work, usually for much lower pay though, but a psychiatrist can’t just decide to be a psychologist!
Profile Image for Holly.
1,003 reviews413 followers
August 29, 2019
I started reading this series last year, and I'm actually quite surprised that I haven't binge read this entire series. Its that good! In the 8th book, we start with a young girl that is brutally beaten (not a spoiler, this happens within the first few pages) at a prestigious boarding school. Right away, Kim Stone knows that something is wrong about this "apparent" suicide. Since this school has wealthy clients she is being met with resistance at every step, even by the girl's parents. That doesn't stop the tenacious Kim Stone though. She will get to the bottom of what is going on at the school, even as more young kids are being murdered.

These are fast-paced books, that don't really give you time to breathe. You waste no time diving into the story with murder, and then with Kim and her team leading it leaves you no time to think. You're just along for the ride. I'm really loving these stories. I haven't read a bad one yet, and I have a feeling they are just going to get better.

* Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
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