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Publisher's Summary

In the darkness of a cold December morning, Detective Kim Stone steps through the doors of Halesowen Police Station. She’s about to meet her team for the first time. The victim of her next case is about to meet his killer....

When the body of a young man is found beheaded and staked to the ground in a secluded area of the Clent Hills, Kim and her new squad rush to the crime scene. 

Searching the victim’s home, Kim discovers a little girl’s bedroom and a hidden laptop. Why is his sister relieved to hear he’s dead - and where is the rest of his family? 

As Kim begins to unearth the dark secrets at the heart of the case, DC Stacey Woodward becomes convinced that this murder is somehow linked to a women’s shelter. As a child of the care system herself, Kim knows all too well what it means to be vulnerable. 

With the killer about to strike again, Kim is in deep water with a rookie squad. Inexperienced Stacey is showing signs of brilliance but struggling to hold her nerve and, while D.S. Bryant is reliable and calm, D.S. Dawson is a liability. With his home life in pieces, his volatile behaviour is already fracturing her fragile new team. 

Can Kim bring Dawson in line and pull her crew together in time to catch the killer before another life is taken? This time, one of her own could be in terrible danger....

Discover where it all began for Kim and her team. An absolutely heart-stopping mystery thriller. Perfect for Kim Stone fans and new listeners to the million-copy best-selling series.

This audio edition includes exclusive bonus content. In conversation with narrator Jan Cramer, Angela Marsons talks about her writing process, her journey to being published, and never-before-told insights into the series and Kim Stone’s character. Not available in other formats.

A detective hiding dark secrets, Kim Stone will stop at nothing to protect the innocent.

©2019 Angela Marsons (P)2019 Bookouture

What listeners say about First Blood

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Almost Perfect

If you’re like me, you look forward to a new Kim Stone novel. First Blood will not disappoint. I don’t know how Marsons does it, churning out two books per year without losing her literary mojo! I’ve mentioned my one gripe in previous reviews and I’ve attributed it in the past to Jan Cramer, but I’ve come to realize it’s not entirely her fault. Every time she reads from the killer’s perspective, she reads it like she’s the “Wicked Witch of the West”. I expect each section to end with “I’ll get you and your little dog too!” I’ve come to realize the fault lies with Marsons. These vignettes are the one flaw in her novels. They serve no purpose, are entirely superfluous. On a side note, there’s a twist toward the end that will warm the heart of any reader of the Kim Stone series. No spoiler, just be prepared to feel a gentle tug on your emotions.

10 people found this helpful

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What a great surprise

So this is how this team got started. Very interesting. This series is a favorite of mine so this surprise prequel was another must-read for me. Kim, which is easy to understand, has had problems at previous assignments and gets sent to “Woody”’s team. There she meets her new crew - Stacey, Dawson, and Bryant. It was fun to get to know the beginnings of this team. Even though Kim was given a day to learn the team, they are immediately thrown into a gruesome murder investigation which soon escalates. As typical of Angela Marsons, we are led down many paths during the investigation. The story is disturbing but hard to put down. And it’s worth it for the little revelation at the end. The narration by Jan Cramer does, as usual, enhance the story. Very well done!

7 people found this helpful

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Enlightening and Intriguing

I was a little hesitant when I realized this was going back to the beginning of the team after I had already read every single installment in the series and was waiting for the next one. But I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend all fans of this series to read/listen to how this amazing team came together. And yes I was sad at one of the characters because I know what happens down the line but still enjoyed knowing how this character started out in the team (no spoilers from me!) And I absolutely loved the interview at the end between the amazing narrator Jan Kramer and the very talented author Angela. So interesting to hear both of them discuss their individual rituals while reading or writing their current novel. And last but certainly not least, the mystery and murder investigation was fascinating as always, and once again I did not foresee the conclusion ahead of time. I never want this series to end!

6 people found this helpful

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Detective Kim Stone Book 12

Author Angela Marsons continues her outstanding Detective Kim Stone series with FIRST BLOOD. Kim gets a fresh start with a new team in this modern detective thriller. Narrator Jan Cramer can always be counted on to deliver superb narration. One of many things I like about Audible is their classification of series novels. Audible failed to classify this novel First Blood as part of the Kim Stone series. Yesterday I finished Mark Dawson's The Assassin which is part of his Isabella Rose series but was not noted as such by Audible.

13 people found this helpful

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Not bad

It’s unfortunate that I have recently read a lot of Robert Bryndza’s work, which is similar to this but better executed. That made this novel a little flat for me. The characters are a little over the top, and feel forced instead of natural. I also feel that the author is trying to guide my emotions and opinions too much. The story itself was decent, but nothing remarkable. It’s not a bad read, and I understand how people enjoy it, but I’m not over the moon about it:

3 people found this helpful

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Best beginning ever!

Angela never disappoints. She amazing! The series is wonderfully written that Kim and her team are part of my family. Can't wait for the next book. Thanks Angela for a superb series.

3 people found this helpful

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An excellent addition to the series

Angela Marsons has written an excellent addition to the series. I love the idea of going back to the beginning to discover how Kim’s team came together. I highly recommend this book to fans of the series. And to new fans this is a good way to get your feet wet.

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Awesome

I loved this book as I did the rest of the series. Jan makes the story more real and the characters come to life. Highly recommended series.

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  • TG
  • 01-05-21

Good start

To a new series. I liked learning about each character and the story kept me interested. The narrator did a really good job as well.

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Very predicable

The story was ok but the "bad guy" was totally out of left field. Convoluted and rather forced plotline that in the end was very unsatisfying and rather rushed to tie up dangling loose ends. First time reading this author and though the novel was not very enjoyable, I will try book two in the series in the hopes that Angela Marsons has improved.

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  • Peter G.
  • 01-08-20

Fluctuates between bearable and annoying

First prepare to withstand the awful initial narration, with strange intonation and peculiar word cadences. Ride it out. You can do it. Eventually it either improves or you become dulled to it. Persevere. Next there are the moments where the book becomes a recruitment handbook for the police force, with character's 'thought' text so contrived it makes you cringe. Again, hold firm, ride it through, for there are some reasonably extensive sections, admittedly later in the book, where the narrator finally seems to get to grips with the task in hand, and you barely notice her. If you are fortunate these moments will coincide with a section with an acceptable standard of writing and it's an ok book. Treasure these moments, they are rare. The story is ok, with a bit of a twist. The characters are almost caricatures. The worst part about it is the narration, with the portrayal of the baddie winning my personal award for worst narration ever. I don't think I'll ever listen to another book narrated by Jan Cramer. Don't expect much and you won't be disappointed

4 people found this helpful

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  • jackie
  • 12-21-19

Great story - dreadful narration

I always enjoy the Kim Stone stories, but they really are marred by the dreadful narration.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Bianca
  • 12-13-19

The narrator was so bad

I cannot comment on the story as I could not listen to this narrator passed chapter 3. Waste of a credit

2 people found this helpful

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  • Danny fenton
  • 11-29-19

best Kim Stone book so far

although this is the start chronologically, i really enjoyed reading it after Childs Play, and all the books in the series. Already knowing and liking the characters meant this was a journey into how they all jelled in their first case as a team. i listen while i walk, and passers by must have thought me mad laughing out loud at Kims wonderful dry wit. Angela Marsons, dont ever stop writing Kims story......

2 people found this helpful

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  • sull
  • 12-02-19

FANTASTIC!!

Absolutely love this series and this prequel is the icing on the cake. Finding out where it all began for Kim Stone and her team. Narration by Jan Cramer is excellent as usual, the series wouldn't be the same without her, and the conversation with Angela and Jan at the end is insightful and wonderful to listen to. Can't wait for more Kim Stone.. .please!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mac
  • 11-18-19

Brilliant

I have read all the books in this series but only have the last 2 on audio. This is an awesome series and I can not recommend it highly enough. It’s one nail biting instalment after another. Absolutely gripping from start to finish. Hope there will be more. ❤️🥰😍

2 people found this helpful

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  • Gill Blenco
  • 12-27-20

Gripping

Couldn't out this down. The short punchy style fitted the story"s pace well. The revaluation about the DI s background worked brilliantly as the story unfolded.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 11-23-20

Well worth ignoring the odd narration

This book did not disappoint! It kept you guessing until the end and I liked the characterisations. The intonation of the narrator is really annoying and kind of unwarranted. I can see she is trying to convey the slightly detached manner of Kim Stone but it spoils the listening experience - let the words work their magic! A great story and a good listen for anyone who likes Lottie Parker or a good detective novel. I guarantee you’ll not guess ‘who done it’.

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  • popeyejohn1
  • 11-16-20

Brilliant v

First book I’ve listened to by Angela Marion’s.but I intend to complete the series a steady build up to grand finish Look forward to the next book Popeye ( that’s my cat)

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  • Nina Leather
  • 10-15-20

don't bother

Not very good, did not enjoy 1 bit, do not bother. waste of money/time

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  • Jean
  • 04-18-20

Can't stop listening

Angela Marsons never disappoints. This book is the first of the series but you don't have to start with this one and I find it filling in some stories for the series. Very entertaining and enjoyable as other DI Stone books.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Rymkervic
  • 01-06-20

Gives more depth

If you are a fan of the series (which l totally recommend) then this book bounce's back in time to show the beginnings of the team Kim Stone works with throughout the other books. Some authors fail when they try to go back in time and give a current timeline roots, but this author has managed this well with First Blood. This book can also be read without you having read the others. The story is very good but why l gave this a 5 stars across the board was that this book gives just that touch more depth to the main characters which l enjoyed reading/experiencing.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jan Richardson
  • 01-11-20

Great Story

Love the Kim Stone series they flow and very easy listening.. The Narrator is very good and suits the story ... well done

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kevin
  • 12-25-19

Loved going back

Aptly titled from the team perspective and having got so far through the series it's actually really good to go back and revisit how the team came together and grew together. Also really loved the one on one chat between author and narrator at the end of the book. I am very hopeful of more in this series and I can hardly wait.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sharon
  • 12-21-19

This is so good

I love this series and I loved seeing how it all began. Kim is a very complex character and there are times when I both hate her and love her. I just know that I want her on my side. It was great seeing how the team come together and I really liked Dawson. She taught him so much. Highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-18-20

Worth a listen

This book had me hooked from start to finish well worth a read narration easy to listen to. story line had plenty to hold your interest.