Quick Review–Evil Games by Angela Marsons

In Evil Games, Detective Inspector Kim Stone is pitted against Alexandra Thorne, a psychiatrist with some pretty messed up aspirations for her patients. Alex Thorne is a sociopath who wants to find the secret for “guiltless” behavior through her patients. She manipulates them into committing murder and other violent actions. DI Stone is assigned to these murders and quickly finds herself suspicious of Dr. Thorne, although her team is mostly doubting of her. This is a fairly generic thriller that hopes to distinguish itself with a female antagonist. Unfortunately, Dr. Thorne is about as deep as a puddle (the chapter that introduces her ends with her laughing out loud like an old Bond villain after her patient leaves her office). She is described as incredibly beautiful, brilliant, and charismatic, but yet she shows her hand incredibly easy (e.g., pulling patients in a group home aside and threatening them). There’s no real exploration of her motives or what she gets from her actions, at least not on anything beyond a surface level. DI Stone is fine. She’s humanized a bit by adopting a dog, adding a little emotional depth to her character. One problem with this book is the limited world it presents–the city of London (I assume) is the backdrop but hardly utilized, the main characters have no lives outside the storyline, and there’s no sociocultural context of any of the stuff that happens. I suppose I would describe it all as “shallow.” Plus, the secondary storyline with the child abuse case had the MOST bizarre resolution that just seemed a little unrealistic to me. Overall, I’m not sure I get all the amazing accolades for this book–it’s the book version of an episode of Criminal Minds (fun but shallow).

I received this book for free from Netgalley.