Title: Hidden Scars
(DI Kim Stone #17)

Author: Angela Marsons
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Detective
First published: November 9th 2022
Publisher: Bookouture
Finished reading: October 16th 2022
Pages: 356

“What people don’t understand is that in some ways, the nightmares are worse than the trauma itself.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Bookouture in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***


I needed something good to take my mind off my recent bad luck with some of my reading choices, and I decided to turn to DI Kim Stone because this series hasn’t failed me yet. After a shocking previous sequel, I wasn’t sure what Hidden Scars would have in store for us… Thankfully it hits less hard close to home this time around, but that doesn’t mean that the case itself is less shocking. I learned a thing or two about conversion therapy along the way, and I was appalled by just how far those treatments would take things… Make sure to brace yourself for twisted ride that mixes the well known banter with great police work.

Before I continue, I have to stress that this is definitely a series to read in order both because you will find major spoilers for past events and you won’t be able to fully understand the dynamics between the different characters. Hidden Scars in particular has major spoilers for the previous book, and since that one is one of the strongest (and most shocking) of the series it would be a shame to ruin the full effect of the plot twist bombs. Hidden Scars gives us some time to let our poor fragile hearts recover after book sixteen, and this healing process is also reflected in main character Kim Stone. It’s obvious she isn’t ready yet to return to work after everything that she’s been through, but her incompetent replacement DI leaves her no option but to rescue her team.

One of the things that makes this series works so well for me is its cast of characters. Kim and the rest of the team feel like old friends, and it’s always so great to meet up with them again. The banter itself is brilliant too, and I like how it balances out the more serious topics. There are some developments on a personal level in Hidden Scars, but thankfully nothing with a negative impact this time around. My poor heart says thank you! The writing itself is extremely engaging and the pace is fast, making you turn those pages like there is no tomorrow. Make sure to clear your schedule before you start reading this book, because it’s hard to stop reading once you’re past the first couple of pages.

The main case in Hidden Scars is another fascinating one, and focuses on the LGBT community and conversion therapy. I felt like I was being educated along with the main characters, and I simply couldn’t believe how far those conversion treatments would go… Utterly appalling, and it’s shocking that this can actually happen even today. There are some strong inspiring messages as well, and I liked how they added a positive note. Stacey once again investigates her own case at the same time; an aspect I always like of this series because detectives never have just one case demanding their attention. What I can also say is that I never saw the full truth behind both cases coming, and especially the missing husband resolution came as a total shock. Very successful plot twists indeed!

All in all Hidden Scars turned out to be yet another very satisfying DI Kim Stone sequel, and I already can’t wait to see what happens next. I do have to say that I’m keeping fingers and toes crossed a certain doctor won’t be popping up again any time soon… But I know that I’m in the minority when it comes to my opinion about that character.

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