Well, she’s done it! Angela’s written a book that is somehow equally as chilling, frightening, compelling, thrilling and brilliant as her first (which is no mean feat!)
Evil Games is a novel which welcomes us back into Kim Stone’s life as she’s faced with a brand new case which seems to be multi-faceted. There is a sickening discovery of child abuse which Kim is responsible for solving alongside dealing with a string of crimes which have a haunting connection. Kim finds herself up against her greatest nemesis yet, Alexandra, who is carrying out an extreme social experiment which leads to a spate of murders. With her trusty sidekick, Bryant, Kim must race to prove her suspicions about certain people and solve the cases before anyone else gets hurt.
I love Kim. I cannot remember a female detective I’ve loved so much since Kay Scarpetta – a creation of Patricia Cornwall. She has this fierce, impenetrable front and refuses to show any hint of emotion through fear of seeming weak. We find out from the first novel, and it’s touched upon again in the second, why she is this way and, hearing about her traumatic childhood, we can’t help but feel sympathy for her.
In this installment of Kim’s adventures, she is faced with Alexandra – a complete and utter monster. In years of reading crime-thrillers I cannot remember the last time I was so disgusted and appalled by a character. Marsons has created an absolute beastly villain and one whose downfall I was eagerly awaiting, ready to cheer and punch the air with victory. A lot of the time in fiction, we criticise authors for creating characters we don’t much like and characters who we feel we can’t relate to, but that was Alexandra’s beauty. She was so unrelatable to the point I wasn’t sure a single person would ever find themselves empathising with her as a character and I think that’s a real skill on the author’s part. To be able to create someone who is so emotionally removed from the ‘normal’ population is impressive!
I adore Bryant, Kim’s colleague, in these novels. He is a true gem and his relationship with Kim is just perfect. They have such a brilliant level of banter which brings humor to the otherwise dark and frightening plot. Their incessant teasing of each other seems to stem from a really awesome platonic friendship rather than from a sense of attraction to one another. At the moment, I love their relationship but I am starting to wonder if one day I might be cheering them on to become a couple…!
Angela’s writing style is just perfect for this genre. Her ability to keep the reader on edge and have them racing through the pages is something I envy! It it done with such ease and feels natural instead of forced which it can sometimes do in books within this genre. The pace is always fantastic and right from the off you are hooked in a story which constantly keeps you on your toes and never relents until the very final page.
I cannot recommend Evil Games enough. Angela Marsons is fast becoming one of my favourite authors and I’m already eagerly awaiting the next Kim Stone book! Silent Scream was Angela’s first novel and I suggest you give that one a read before this one (especially since it is only 99p!)
A breathtaking novel full of suspense, surprises and secrets.
Q&A with Angela Marsons
I had the enviable opportunity to ask Angela a few questions after I’d finished reading Evil Games!
Evil Games is your latest (and fabulous) new novel featuring my favourite female detective Kim Stone. For those who are yet to read the novel, can you describe it in just three words? Thank you. Oh my, to describe it in three words: Chilling, Unsettling, Powerful.
I hear on the grapevine that we are in for a few more Kim Stone books! Do you have an idea of where you want her to eventually end up? Or do you take one book at a time? Yes, I’m contracted to write eight Kim Stone books altogether. (WAHOOOO!) I take one book at a time and see where she leads me. Part of me wants her to settle down eventually but another part of me sees her as another ‘Vera’. In some ways she is perfectly content with the life she leads so although there are attractions I don’t know if she’ll ever truly allow herself to mend.
One thing I really want to know – is Kim based on anyone you know? (If so, I want to meet her!) Ha ha, I hope not because I’d be scared of her! I’ve managed teams that were predominantly men and you have to learn to be quite direct to stand a chance so I think that bit comes from me. But I’m not nearly as brave. Also, I like to think I have slightly better social skills! But primarily I wanted to portray her as she sounds in my head which is often rude, sometimes disrespectful but passionate and driven for the right reasons.
Kim has a huge love for anything with two wheels and handlebars! Is this a trait you share with Kim? What made you want to give her motorbikes as a hobby? I rode a moped for 18 years but I don’t think a lawnmower engine with wheels is in the same league. When I thought about her spare time I knew it would have to be something challenging. She just isn’t a needlework kind of girl. I wanted it to be something that was also puzzling because her mind never switches off. So, I just tried to picture what she might like to do and the idea of her restoring classic motorbikes just seemed to fit her well.
How do you go about researching your novels? Is it a very structured process and one you plan or do you rely more on experiences you’ve had in the past? The first thing I do is buy books on the subjects. I’m old school and like to read a factual book and make notes as I go on things I’d like to use or explore further. My ‘items bought’ section of Amazon reads like a Wes Craven film. I do the research before any writing because it can really ignite the ideas for plot which I note down as I go. Once I’m done with the books I go online and search for more information or updated facts. And that’s when I start to write.
Bryant is one of my favourite characters and his relationship with Kim is really something! I love their banter and the way that they are friends without them being romantically involved. Do you foresee any future romance in the air for Kim? I wanted it clear from the outset that there was no chance of romance between the two of them so people could enjoy their banter without wondering where it might lead. It was important to me that Kim have just one person that she feels she could trust. My favourite scenes to write are the ones between Kim and Bryant. I see Kim experiencing snippets of attraction but full romance is beyond her right now.
Can you give us ANY clues about your next novel? (Please?!) Ooh, here’s one. How would you fancy seeing if Kim has met her match in a male version of herself? Hmmm… there may be trouble ahead!! Eeeeeeeeeeek!