As the cover of this book states, this is the sixth book in the D.I. Kim Stone series and you really should pick up the previous five books (Silent Scream, Evil Games, Lost Girls, Play Dead and Blood Lines) in order to understand Kim as a main character and the team she works with. Plus this is one of my favourite D. I. series which I highly recommend it.
When a collection of human bones is during a routine archaeological dig a Black country field suddenly becomes a complex crime scene and need the expertise of D.I. Kim Stone. Too bad it's outside of her jurisdiction by a hair. However, this brass have other ideas and Kim is forced to work with Det. Travis who she has a troubled past with and the fact that he despises her does not help. As they dig deeper and the bones are sorted they uncover that these people died in horrible ways from animal traps to bullet holes. While Kim is away Bryant is in charge of the team and they are dealing with an increased amount of malicious Hate Crimes that shake the team to the core that eventually puts more than one of them in danger. Can Kim uncover what happened in the Black County fields in order to save her team?
I am a big, no make that HUGE fan of Marsons, right from her first book in this series, Silent Scream, I knew that she was an author to watch out for and I was right. After five books the series was still going strong, but I did start to wonder if Marsons could continue to come up with interesting and twist worthy plots with the release of her sixth book. I think that this was one of the weaker books in this series so far. This is not to say that I did not enjoy it however, I thought that it was a bit slower than the previous books and lacked some of the imagination was not there. I also found that after reading the five previous books, you get to know that Marsons does have a formula which works great but I think that it is time to change it up a bit as I was able to see the connections fairly early while reading this book. What I did love about the plot was that it had the small town feel where everyone keeps the secret until the very end just to protect the town and themselves as well as the idea that the past can never stay buried for long.
What I appreciated in this book was that we got to know Kim better as a character in the present, not focus so much on her tortured past and focused on some of her history within the police force. This comes when she is forced to work with her former partner Travis. Lets just say they did not end on good terms, and if you have read the previous books in this series you will see that things are very much sour between them. Marsons also highlighted not only how much her team relies on Kim's leadership but how much Kim relies on Bryant and how she acts when he is not there. Bryant is very much the strongest member on their team.
There was also more development of the secondary characters as Kim is away, especially Stacey. I'm not sure if Marsons took a lot of reviewers critiques from the last book about Stacey's use of language and British slang, but it was not as nearly as bad in this book as it was in the previous. I think that Stacey was really the last character of Kim's team to be developed as a character past the computer wiz and online expert and I am glad that Marsons took the time to give more of Stacey's backstory and really give her more of a backbone in this book as well.
While this book is not my favourite in the series and I found it slower at times, I did appreciate getting to know Kim better as a character. On a whole this series is extremely solid, one of my favourite out there and I recommend it any chance I get. I now have to wait for the seventh book in this series, and it cannot come fast enough. Seriously check out this series I do not know what you are waiting for.