Author : Angela Marsons
Title : The Stolen Ones
Series : DI Kim Stone #15
Pages : 325
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : November 11, 2021
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
One August afternoon, eight-year-old Grace Lennard skips into the garden of the childcare centre she attends and vanishes into thin air.
Hours before, Steven Harte walks into Halesowen police station and confesses to having information that will lead Detective Kim Stone to Melody Jones – the little girl who was taken from a playground exactly twenty-five years ago. But something about his confession is off and Kim dismisses his claims.
Arriving at the scene of Grace’s disappearance, Kim finds a chilling piece of evidence: the heart bracelet belonging to Melody. Now Kim must play Steven’s twisted game if she is to find Grace alive. But they’re going to play by Kim’s rules.
| MY THOUGHTS |
Quite remarkable to see ‘The Stolen Ones‘ is already the fifteenth instalment in the DI Kim Stone series and it doesn’t look as if Angela Marsons is finished as the next one is due soon. Stone fans around the world rejoice.
But back to this one for now. With any series, especially one that has been going on as long as this one, the author needs to somehow come up with ways to keep things fresh. This time around Angela Marsons achieves that by creating a cat-and-mouse game where Kim Stone doesn’t have the upper hand at all. Much to her chagrin.
Who is able to accomplish this, you wonder? His name is Steven Harte. Steven arrives at the police station implying he has information about a girl who went missing twenty-five years ago. But he has no intention of offering up this information just like that. Oh no. Kim and her team definitely have their work cut out with this guy. Even more so as another little girl goes missing. What information does Steven have? How is he involved? Will Grace live to see her mother again?
Meanwhile in a prison not so far away, everyone’s favourite baddie makes another appearance. Alex Thorne, the character we all love to hate, is back and she hasn’t changed one iota. Alex would quite like to get out of prison now, thank you very much, and she will use all her skills to make that happen.
First things first, the case of the missing girl. Missing children will always remain a harrowing tale and it’s no different here but I truly enjoyed seeing Kim on the back foot for a change. The mysterious Steven Harte definitely knows how to push her buttons. But Kim has a fierce weapon in her corner as Doctor Alison Lowe, a behaviourist consultant, returns and puts Harte under the microscope in order to find out what makes him tick. Because whether we like it or not, we always give away a little something more than we think we do. Through Alison and Kim, the reader too can try to figure out what Harte’s game is and whether he truly is the person they’re looking for. I must say, whatever the clues were, I missed them all. Because of that, I felt the ultimate reveal came a little out of left field.
But my biggest niggle, to my complete surprise, was the reappearance of Alex Thorne. I’m going to assume her inclusion in ‘The Stolen Ones‘ is to set up a whole slew of shenanigans from her in the next book(s) but I felt her chapters were a total distraction from the investigation. For the first time, she was more of an annoying pain-in-the-proverbial than a baddie to me and her storyline interrupted the flow of the book. She’s definitely been a favourite villain of mine for a long while but now, I’m afraid I must conclude I’ve had it with her and I think it is time that arc is wrapped up for good. Not that I’m in any way telling Marsons how to write her books 😳.
All in all, though not my favourite, ‘The Stolen Ones‘ is another great addition to the series and I look forward to more from Kim and her team.
My thanks to the publisher for the review copy, which I received via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.