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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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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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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.

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Great Story

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

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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.

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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.

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Great to get acquainted!

I really enjoyed listening to this prequel to DI K I'm Stone's adventures - makes me want to start all over again!

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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.

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  • Jennifer
  • 08-12-2019

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.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Maine Knitter
  • 18-11-2019

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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  • Wayne
  • 10-12-2019

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.

14 people found this helpful

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  • DM Salazar
  • 21-12-2019

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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  • Chantal Noordeloos
  • 25-08-2020

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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  • Joanne Solis-Keus
  • 23-11-2019

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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  • Dawn
  • 10-01-2020

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Debbijane
  • 18-12-2019

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • DB
  • 28-05-2021

love the interview at the end

I am an American listener / audience and I love your series. I looked for a long time to find a female author writing crime series with a female lead. I absolutely love the characters of your book and how diverse they are. I enjoy the humor that ranges from Kim and Bryant to the new character Tiffany. The interview at the end of this book was such a treat. I really loved the exchange and would love to see it happen more. thank you for the letter from the author. I really love hearing your thoughts and voice. Don't stop writing please. I'm so glad a publisher finally realized the hidden jewel that was you.

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  • Christine
  • 06-02-2021

Great British crime procedural

...and narration was good as well. I enjoyed a new take on themes typical of this genre.

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  • Peter G.
  • 08-01-2020

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

6 people found this helpful

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  • jackie
  • 21-12-2019

Great story - dreadful narration

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

4 people found this helpful

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  • Bianca
  • 13-12-2019

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
  • 29-11-2019

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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  • Nina Leather
  • 15-10-2020

don't bother

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-09-2020

Enjoyable listen

I nearly didn't get this book after reading the reviews, no one seems to like the narrator, but I gave it a go.
I'm so glad I did, while she may not be the best I've ever listened to, she is far from being the worst.
Some of the reviews said they would never listen to her again, a little over the top i think.
The story kept me listening, fast paced and believable.
So on to the next book, moral of the story, give it a try, if you don't like it you can always send it back, but I think you will.

1 person found this helpful

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  • nfsull
  • 02-12-2019

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
  • 18-11-2019

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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  • deirdreq64
  • 30-05-2021

Brilliant

Absolutely brilliant. I am so looking forward to reading the other books in this series.the narrator is brilliant in every way. All the voices were different and it was so easy to keep up with the different characters
Absolutely brilliant book

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-05-2021

should have taken more notice of the reviews

I didn't get past the first two paragraphs. I don't know what is wrong with the tone of the narrator. I always give everyone a chance. But in this case it grated my nerves immediately. Sorry but not for me.
I tried to return it but I only sent one back a week ago so I was refused. Hopefully I can get it sent back in a few months.
my favourite narrator is Anton Lester.
much more to my taste.

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