It’s always a pleasure to discover a good new crime series, where there are lots of novels ahead of you. I have recently really enjoyed the Kim Stone series by Angela Marsons. The novels are set in the north of England and feature a young woman detective who had a seriously damaged childhood but is determined to protect other women and children. The pace is good, there’s some intriguing mysteries solved and I like the main character. You begin the series with First Blood and there are another 19 books to go after that, so I’ll be kept busy for some time.
However, sometimes a series just gets too disappointing and has to be dropped, leaving you forever wondering what happened to the characters. A friend suggested I try reading Michael Wood’s Matilda Darke series, set in Sheffield, and I read the first few books and enjoyed them. Then I got to the 7th novel in the series, Time is Running Out, and was horrified. The author killed off so many of the characters I had come to know and feel an interest in – the book was like a blood bath, and I kept shaking my head in disbelief. I know authors have a perfect right to do what they like with the characters they themselves have created, but to slaughter so many of them in one novel seemed to me to be deeply unfair. I just could not bear to go on with the series.
One expects dead bodies in a crime novel, but one does not expect to have the majority of the main characters killed off so brutally, and even the major character herself left in a coma. I assume Matilda does recover, since there are more novels in the series, but I was too traumatised to find out more and will leave that particular series unfinished.
Now I just have to hope that Kim Stone remains alive and well, so I can continue to enjoy the series.