Monday 13 February 2017

Evil Games by Angela Marsons

Published by Bookouture on May 29, 2015
Published by Zaffre on January 26, 2017

Evil Games is book two in the D.I. Kim Stone series, following Silent Scream, which was an absolutely fantastic start to the series. The story in Evil Games is very different to what was presented in Silent Scream. Silent Scream was a whodunit whereas Evil Games is just as suspenseful but on a far more psychological level. Evil Games is just as unsettling as Silent Scream, but in a completely different way. At first I was unsure about how I felt about that. Having loved the first book so much, I was ready for more of the same. But it took me just a few chapters to realise that Evil Games had me hook, line and sinker. I daren’t put it down.

In Evil Games, Kim Stone meets her match. And I have to say that Alex is one of the most disturbing characters I have ever had the displeasure of meeting. Getting into the mind of a sociopath is definitely one messed-up place to be. Alex was the epitome of a love-to-hate character. I detested her and yet I found her utterly fascinating. She made me see just how perfect the title of this book was. Evil Games suits her completely and in a sick kind of way I could never wait to see who and what she was going to manipulate next. Alex is a cold and calculated character. Her real people skills are lacking, but she puts on a brilliant front to get people to trust her and confide in her. She always had a plan to suit herself and she didn’t care one bit about who she’d destroy along the way, in fact, she welcomed it. In truth there was only ever going to be one person resilient enough to challenge Alex, and that was, of course, Kim Stone.

Kim has gone from strength to strength since Silent Scream. I loved her in the first book, and now after the second she’s up there with my favourite ever book characters. I love her attitude, the way her and the rest of her team work, her dedication and drive, how she never sleeps so her mind is always on the job. Through Alex’s meddling, we really get to learn more about Kim and her personal story in Evil Games which I found really engaging and interesting. Kim’s story is one that would make me feel sympathetic if I didn’t know how much she would resent that. She’s not great socially or emotionally but she does however have those odd moments where we get a glimpse of how she is feeling, and those moments completely fascinate me.

Angela writes some truly dark and clever crime fiction. Evil Games is quite a bit different to what I would expect from the typical crime novel as the character of Alex makes the story even more messed-up, gripping and thrilling than I have experienced in this genre. Without realising it, I quickly became obsessed with Evil Games in a refusing to put it down, shocked at how few pages are left kind of way. This book delivers a pure on-the-edge-of-your-seat reading experience which I loved. The tension gradually builds right from the first chapter and so by the final few chapters I genuinely couldn’t tear myself away from the book. Evil Games is breathtakingly good and definitely lived up to the expectations set after the brilliant Silent Scream – not that I expected anything else!

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