If you’re a fan of this series, think back to “Evil Games”. Remember Dr. Alexandra Thorne? Well….in the words of Elton John, the bitch is back *.
As usual, we’ve got several plot lines on the go. Kim & her crew are called to investigate the body of an affluent middle aged woman found dead in her car outside a housing estate. Not only is her car still there, so are her her wallet & jewelry. Hmmm…
Meanwhile, behind bars, Alex Thorne is putting her latest scheme for freedom in motion. She’s got an appeal coming up & the only things standing in her way are 2 pesky witnesses. Ruth, the young woman she encouraged to kill her rapist & a certain detective with a delicate psyche. That’s ok, she’s got plans for them both. Besides, the chance to mess with Kim’s head is like a trip to Disneyland for the good doctor.
There are alternate chapters featuring 2 anonymous characters. One shares the contents of a diary, the other makes us aware Kim has an “admirer” (AKA stalker guy lurking in the shadows). Kim’s long incarcerated mother also has a much larger role in this outing.
The murder investigation has some serious twists with no shortage of suspects or red herrings. As the pieces start to fall into place, the whole team must look to the past if they’re going to have any chance of saving one of their own in the present.
It’s a well paced read full of action & suspense due to multiple story lines playing out simultaneously. The gang is all back & it’s like catching up with old acquaintances. Bryant is still Kim’s DB (designated buffer) & Dawson still has a lot to learn. This is a more emotional Kim that we’ve seen in previous outings as several old ghosts reappear & threaten to dismantle her carefully crafted life. Luckily she has good old Barney waiting at home to provide some furry therapy.
Two little quibbles prevented my giving this book a higher rating. First, there are frequent flashbacks & long passages detailing Kim’s childhood & the death of her brother. It does have relevance here due to one of the story lines but it’s ground covered extensively in every book & a brief mention would suffice to inform present events. Second, some of Alex’s shenanigans really put my ability to suspend disbelief through its paces. But hey….this is fiction. Her character may be OTT but that’s what makes her so much fun to loathe. An author is supposed to take dramatic license to keep you turning the pages so I suspect it can be blamed on that elusive factor called personal preference.
Ms. Marsons excels at weaving everything together in time to provide a seat-of-your-pants ending & this one is no different. It’s a fast paced & entertaining read that delivers just what fans expect when they crack the cover to spend time with these engaging characters. Bring on book #6!
(* not to be confused with his breakthrough smash "The Pig is Back!")