Evil Games was a book given to Iain by our cleaner and not really the kind of thing I choose to read. However, I picked it up one day, read the first few pages and found myself hooked.
The second in the author’s series of D.I. Kim Stone novels, it begins with a raid on the home of a suspected child abuser. While the investigation into this case continues, a sociopathic psychiatrist uses her knowledge of the human mind to manipulate her patients into committing murders. This is not a spoiler – it’s made quite clear that this is happening very early in the book.
Kim Stone seems at first to be something of a stereotype. A strong woman in what is still, to some extent, seen as a man’s world, she is tough, dedicated and as hard as the hammers of hell. But as the book progresses, it becomes clear that this is not just lazy writing and poor characterisation as we learn about her background and the reasons she behaves the way she does. And we do see small signs of softening – at one stage she adopts a murder victim’s dog.
The two cases – child abuse and murder – are unconnected and this adds a sense of realism to the book. Contrary to the impression given by TV, the victim in one case does not generally turn out to be the perpetrator in the next. However, there is a neat little link when something that happens during one investigation provides a serendipitous clue to another.
While I’m sure no-one would claim Evil Games could be described as great literature, it was an entertaining and satisfying read and I would certainly read further books about Kim Stone.