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Author: Angela Marsons

Published: 11 July 2016
Reviewed: 6 September 2016

4 out of 5 stars
Copy supplied by Bookouture in return for an honest review

 

Description:

Three sisters. Three childhoods ruined. One chance to heal the scars of the past.

After their death of their cruel and abusive mother, estranged sisters Alex, Catherine and Beth reunite once again.

Alex, the youngest, is a bitter, unhappy woman who refuses to face the horrors of her childhood. Finding solace in a bottle, her life is spiralling dangerously out of control.

Eldest child, Catherine, has strived for success, despite her difficult upbringing. But behind the carefully constructed façade lies a secret that could shatter her world forever.

Beth, the middle child, bore the greatest burden. But having blocked out the cruelty they suffered, she remained with their mother until her death. Now she must confront the devastating reality of the past.

Brought together as strangers, the sisters embark on a painful journey to heal themselves and each other. Can they finally put their terrible childhoods to rest and start over?

My Thoughts & Review:

Angela Marsons is a name I am familiar with for crime novels, so when I heard that she was writing in a different genre I was immediately curious.

The subject of this book touches on something that many readers will be uncomfortable with, child abuse and how it’s effects are long reaching.  I would urge caution to some readers who may find the subject matter difficult to read, this is an emotional read and one that some may feel is “too much”.  Each instance is handled well by Marsons, kept short to focus the reader on the characters in the present rather than in the past.

This book sympathetically follows the tale of three sisters Alex, Catherine and Beth, recounting the abuse inflicted on them and the subsequent damage caused by it.  The abuse suffered by each sister differed and so too does their coping mechanisms.

Following the death of their mother, the three women are reunited after years of estrangement from each other.
Catherine, the eldest has succeeded in ways her mother never did but something still isn’t right, things are falling apart in her life despite having a wonderful husband who loves her, twin daughters, a lovely home and a job that she is good at.  She has kept her childhood deeply buried from those around her, her husband knows nothing of her harrowing upbringing.
Beth, the middle child remained with their mother, acting as her carer towards the end having never found the opportune time to leave.  Her tale is perhaps the most painful to read, she suffered the brunt of the abuse from their mother and her way of coping with it seems to be blocking it out and forgetting that it happened.
Alex, the youngest has severe issues with alcohol and found it was easier to turn to alcohol than the woman she loved and lose herself in a bottle.

The fact that none of these women ever sought professional help to deal with their abusive childhood makes this such a compelling and harrowing read.  Each of them has been moulded by what they endured at the hands of their mother, a woman who should have loved, cared for and cherished these girls.
Perhaps because I am a mother I read this book and cried, feeling utter desolation that someone could inflict this upon children.  Perhaps I cried because the details of the book are so compulsive to read and despite wanting to put down this book and not touch it, I felt driven to read on to find out if the sisters would eventually find closure and be able to find eventual happiness.

Marsons shows incredible skill, writing such a delicate subject in such a careful and sympathetic manner and takes the reader on an emotionally haunting journey.

Dear Mother was previously published as The Middle Child.

You can buy a copy of Dear Mother here.

About the Author

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Author Image & Information courtesy of Amazon

Angela Marsons is the author of Amazon #1 Bestseller SILENT SCREAM.

She lives in the Black Country with her partner, their bouncy Labrador and a swearing parrot.

She first discovered her love of writing at Junior School when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read “Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people’s”.

After years of writing relationship based stories (My Name Is and The Middle Child) Angela turned to Crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away.

She is signed to Bookouture.com for a total of 8 books. The second, third and fourth books in the Kim Stone series, EVIL GAMES, LOST GIRLS and PLAY DEAD are also now available.

For more information about Angela Marsons and her books go to her website http://angelamarsons-books.com or follow her on Twitter @WriteAngie

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Play Dead

Author: Angela Marsons
Published: 20 May 2016
Reviewed: 16 August 2016
 
5 out of 5 stars
 
Copy supplied by Bookouture in return for an honest review
 
 

Description:

The dead don’t tell secrets… unless you listen.

The girl’s smashed-in face stared unseeing up to the blue sky, soil spilling out of her mouth. A hundred flies hovered above the bloodied mess.

Westerley research facility is not for the faint-hearted. A ‘body farm’ investigating human decomposition, its inhabitants are corpses in various states of decay. But when Detective Kim Stone and her team discover the fresh body of a young woman, it seems a killer has discovered the perfect cover to bury their crime.

Then a second girl is attacked and left for dead, her body drugged and mouth filled with soil. It’s clear to Stone and the team that a serial killer is at work – but just how many bodies will they uncover? And who is next?

As local reporter, Tracy Frost, disappears, the stakes are raised. The past seems to hold the key to the killer’s secrets – but can Kim uncover the truth before a twisted, damaged mind claims another victim …?  

My Thoughts & Review:

Play Dead is the fourth instalment in the DI Kim Stone series, the previous books being Silent Scream, Evil Games and Lost Girls.

Kim Stone and her team are attending a tour at the Westerly Research Facility when Kim discovers a corpse that doesn’t belong there.   (The Facility is a body farm for research into human decomposition with donated corpses).  The investigation that follows soon uncovers another body, but this one is still alive.  Kim and her team race to identify the killer before they strike again, but when one of the team goes missing it becomes personal for Kim.   

The clever weaving of this murder investigation plotline and the snippets of memories from a young child who has a strained relationship with his/her mother add another dimension to this novel and really builds the intrigue levels.

As ever, the characters are excellent in Marson’s novels but here the reader really gets to see more of Kim’s personality.  She is a wonderful character, strong, determined  and her brusque manner just makes her leap off the page.  The strong relationship she has with her team has deepened, they all respect Kim greatly and this shows through their interactions with her.  The friendship between Kim and Bryant is utterly hilarious at times, the banter they have is entertaining and a joy to read.    The characters are multidimensional, engaging and very realistic. 

Fast paced and utterly thrilling, Marsons writes an incredibly gripping tale that had me on the edge of my seat, just bear in mind that once you pick this book up it will be hard to put it down unfinished – I gave up a few hours sleep just to finish this one.

I have to add how pleased I was with the reappearance of Daniel Bates, the dishy Scottish doctor (he appeared in Silent Scream).

An utterly thrilling series that I cannot wait to read more of!

You can buy a copy of Play Dead here. 

 About the Author

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Image and info courtesy of Amazon.co.uk

Angela Marsons is the author of Amazon #1 Bestseller SILENT SCREAM.

She lives in the Black Country with her partner, their bouncy Labrador and a swearing parrot.

She first discovered her love of writing at Junior School when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read “Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people’s”.

After years of writing relationship based stories (My Name Is and The Middle Child) Angela turned to Crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away.

She is signed to Bookouture.com for a total of 8 books. The second, third and fourth books in the Kim Stone series, EVIL GAMES, LOST GIRLS and PLAY DEAD are also now available.

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