Welcome to my stop on the blog blitz for The Silent Dead by Graham Smith! My thanks to Noelle at Bookouture for the opportunity to join and for my review copy!
Detective Beth Young has just joined the Cumbrian major crimes team when a body is found posed in a ritualistic manner – arms spread and graceful wings attached – at a crumbling castle in the hills of the Lake District.
The entire police force are on red alert. But Beth begins to feel she’s the only one who can follow the disturbing clues left by the twisted killer. Because she doesn’t think like everyone else. To Beth, crimes are puzzles she can solve. Even if real life is a little harder.
As more bodies are discovered in derelict stately homes across the Lake District, she knows she’s in a race against time.
But the killer is looking for another victim to add to his collection… Will Beth be able to save her? Or will he get there first?
Some of you may be familiar with Graham Smith’s other brilliant series featuring Jake Boulder. If you’re not, please go forth and fix the error of your ways or I may just have to stop talking to you 😉. Now though, Graham Smith has decided to walk a different path with a new crime police procedural.
The Silent Dead introduces us to Beth Young, who has just recently started working at the Force Major Investigation Team (FMIT). Beth is indeed young, determined and ambitious. Spurred on by the scars she carries herself, her main focus is justice for the victims and their families whose lives have been changed forever because of a crime.
When the body of a man is found in a derelict mansion, Beth and the rest of the FMIT team face an uphill battle. Who is the victim? Why was his body left in this particular place? What did he do that could possibly warrant such an incredibly gruesome death? Like seriously! This is one of those times where I curse my vivid imagination! Anyway, it becomes clear quite early on that the killer has a plan and they won’t stop until their mission is completed.
The investigation is an utterly frustrating one, a feeling I very much shared with the team. I wasn’t able to connect the dots at all and was left to think I was missing vital clues somewhere. But Beth has an uncanny way of thinking slightly out of the box, which is pretty admirable. Despite that, I didn’t really like her all that much, although I can’t quite put my finger on the why. That said though, I really enjoyed following a character at the start of their career as opposed to an experienced and often disillusioned DI.
The Silent Dead has a great plot and crisp writing, as I’ve come to expect from Graham Smith. Tense and compelling, it creates the perfect foundation for a brand-new series and is an exciting and brilliant first instalment. Beth has a rather different background than most of the detectives we tend to meet in this genre and it will be interesting to see how that develops. If at all. I can’t wait to see where Graham Smith takes Beth and this series next.
The Silent Dead is available to buy!
Graham Smith is the bestselling author of four explosive crime thrillers in the Jake Boulder series, Watching the Bodies, The Kindred Killers, Past Echoes and Die Cold. Watching the Bodies spent over two weeks at number one in the Amazon UK chart and Amazon CA charts. Graham is also the author of the popular DI Harry Evans series and has collections of short stories and novellas. His latest novel – The Silent Dead is published by Bookouture and set in Cumbria / the Lake District, featuring DC Beth Young.
He is the proud father of a young son. As a time served joiner he has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since 2000 he has been manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland.
An avid fan of crime fiction since being given one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books at the age of eight, he has also been a regular reviewer for the well-respected review site Crimesquad.com since 2010.
When not working, his time is spent reading, writing and playing games with his son. He enjoys socialising and spending time with friends and family.