The Silent Dead by Graham Smith | @GrahamSmith1972 @bookouture | #blogtour #TheSilentDead

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!

Author : Graham Smith
Title : The Silent Dead
Series : Detective Beth Young #1
Pages : 371
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : November 30, 2018

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!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

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.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

Die Cold by Graham Smith | @GrahamSmith1972 @Bloodhoundbook | #DieCold #JakeBoulder #TeamBoulder #blogtour

Thrilled to bits to join the blog tour for Die Cold by Graham Smith today! My thanks to Emma Welton at Bloodhound Books for the invitation to join and for my review copy!

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Author : Graham Smith
Title : Die Cold
Series : Jake Boulder #4
Pages :
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : November 12, 2018

aboutthebook

Boulder is back.

Jake Boulder is working as a bartender, at an exclusive Vermont ski resort on New Year’s Eve, when armed terrorists hold up the lodge and take the guests hostage.

Trapped with the other hostages, Boulder watches in horror as the female terrorist leader disfigures a singer to make her point. He wants to fight back, but is unarmed and being held at gunpoint.

When Boulder finds a way to escape from the terrorists he searches for a way to raise the alarm. After he discovers the terrorists plan to leave no witnesses to their crime, he knows has a race against time to save as many innocent people as he can…

But will Boulder be the reluctant hero and save the day?

mythoughts

Boulder is back! BOULDER IS BACK!!! I may be a wee excited.

Die Cold is the fourth instalment in the Jake Boulder series and really, if you’re not reading these, you need to go sit in a corner and think about your life’s choices!

First things first, do yourselves a favour and do not treat this as a stand-alone! Jake’s struggle is real and I feel it’s important that you know him as well as you possibly can to understand him and his actions better. Our reluctant hero has been through a lot and events from the previous book especially have made a massive impact on him.

So much so, that he’s left behind family, friends and his hometown. Jake is now working as a bartender at an exclusive ski resort in Vermont. It’s New Year’s Eve but before the champagne even has the opportunity to start flowing, terrorists hold up the lodge and take everyone hostage. Their female leader is a cold and vile woman who has no qualms whatsoever in getting her point across. But what is it these terrorists want? Stuck up on a mountain in the middle of a fierce snow blizzard, what are the odds that help is coming? Does anyone even realise the people at the resort need any help? Or will it be left to Jake to save the hostages and the day?

Die Cold should have come with a warning to hook up an oxygen tank before you start reading because hoo boy, I found myself thrown right into the action from the very first page and it just didn’t let up! I was holding my breath numerous times (not literally, obviously, or I probably wouldn’t be here right now), could almost feel the adrenaline pumping inside my veins and was quite frankly left utterly exhausted. This would make an incredible action movie!

Now, I must admit, I missed Alphonse. But a character called Daniel made up for so much of that and I’m kind of hoping (possibly against all hope) that he might somehow make an appearance in other Boulder books. I’d quite like that. Through Daniel’s eyes and a few other hostages, we constantly get a glimpse into what’s going on, which really added to the tension. I found myself desperately trying to figure out what the terrorists had in mind, while all the time hoping I’d never find myself in that position.

What an immensely thrilling journey this was. Action-packed from the word “go”, tense, totally addictive and a fantastic addition to this series, Die Cold may just leave you gasping for air. I absolutely can’t wait to see where Graham Smith takes Jake Boulder next. Although, I do hope it’s somewhere warmer.

Die Cold is published TODAY!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Graham Smith is a time served joiner who has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since Christmas 2000, he has been manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland.

He is an internationally best-selling Kindle author and has six books featuring DI Harry Evans and the Cumbrian Major Crimes Team, and four novels, featuring Utah doorman, Jake Boulder.

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 and interviewer for the well-respected website Crimesquad.com since 2009

Graham is the founder of Crime and Publishment, a weekend of crime-writing classes which includes the chance for attendees to pitch their novels to agents and publishers. Since the first weekend in 2013, ten attendees have gone on to sign publishing contracts.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter | Website

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This Week in Books (November 7)

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Hosted by Lipsy Lost and Found, my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I’m reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words.

Last book I finished reading

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Boulder is back.

Jake Boulder is working as a bartender, at an exclusive Vermont ski resort on New Year’s Eve, when armed terrorists hold up the lodge and take the guests hostage.

Trapped with the other hostages, Boulder watches in horror as the female terrorist leader disfigures a singer to make her point. He wants to fight back, but is unarmed and being held at gunpoint.

When Boulder finds a way to escape from the terrorists he searches for a way to raise the alarm. After he discovers the terrorists plan to leave no witnesses to their crime, he knows has a race against time to save as many innocent people as he can…

But will Boulder be the reluctant hero and save the day?

The book I’m currently reading

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A woman is strangled six hours after organising her own funeral.

Did she know she was going to die? Did she recognise her killer?

Daniel Hawthorne, a recalcitrant detective with secrets of his own, is on the case, together with his reluctant side-kick – a man completely unaccustomed to the world of crime.

But even Hawthorne isn’t prepared for the twists and turns in store – as unexpected as they are bloody…

What I’m (probably) reading next

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Kim Lord is an avant garde figure, feminist icon, and agent provocateur in the L.A. art scene. Her groundbreaking new exhibition Still Lives is comprised of self-portraits depicting herself as famous, murdered women—the Black Dahlia, Chandra Levy, Nicole Brown Simpson, among many others—and the works are as compelling as they are disturbing, implicating a culture that is too accustomed to violence against women.

As the city’s richest art patrons pour into the Rocque Museum’s opening night, all of the staff, including editor Maggie Richter, hope the event will be enough to save the historic institution’s flailing finances.

Except Kim Lord never shows up to her own gala.

Fear mounts as the hours and days drag on and Lord remains missing. Suspicion falls upon the up-and-coming gallerist Greg Shaw Ferguson, who happens to be Maggie’s ex. A rogue’s gallery of eccentric art world figures could also have motive for the act, and as Maggie gets drawn into her own investigation of Lord’s disappearance, she’ll come to suspect all of those closest to her.

Set against a culture that too often fetishizes violence against women, Still Lives is a page-turning exodus into the art world’s hall of mirrors, and one woman’s journey into the belly of an industry flooded with money and secrets.

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What are you reading this week? Let me know! I don’t want to run out of books! 😉

Happy reading! xx

Past Echoes by Graham Smith @GrahamSmith1972 @Bloodhoundbook #blogblitz #PastEchoes #TeamBoulder

Eek! I’m so excited to host a stop on the blog tour for Past Echoes by Graham Smith today, I may just wet myself. 😳 Sorry.

Let’s just quickly move on with the all-important bookish information, shall we.

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Author : Graham Smith
Title : Past Echoes
Series : Jake Boulder #3
Pages : 348
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : February 1, 2018

aboutthebook

Tasked with finding a beneficiary and revealing a dead woman’s secret, Jake Boulder travels to New York with his girlfriend Taylor. He also has to find his estranged father for a life-saving transfusion.

Once there he becomes embroiled in a web of mystery, deceit and violence which sees him pitted against a professional assassin known only as The Mortician. Boulder must use every drop of his courage and cunning to survive the chaos that envelops him.

mythoughts

* insert lots of incoherent gibberish here *

Holy flying … haggis! What the fudge just happened?!

Jake Boulder receives a request from beyond the grave and his mission leads him to New York. He’s also tasked with finding his long-lost father for a life-saving transfusion. All sounds perfectly innocent, doesn’t it? Ha! Well, just sit back and watch that brown stuff hit the fan like you wouldn’t believe!

I don’t have the vocabulary to even try to explain this rollercoaster ride. I feel like I’ve just spent the last three hours stuck in the fastest spinning cycle of my washing machine. This third instalment in the Boulder series is just utterly insane and had me running a gamut of emotions. My diet went right out of the window as I stuffed my face with chocolate because the tension was just unbearable. How very much dare you, Mr Graham Smith, sir. Putting Jake and us through the wringer like that. (I kid. Please can I have some more?)

Past Echoes is by far the best one in the series yet! It’s incredibly tense and just phenomenally relentless. Don’t even think about going off to do something else once you start reading this one. You will not want to put this one down! It’ll grab you by the throat and leave you gasping for breath.

Yes, I’m fully aware I’ve not mentioned a thing about the plot. I can’t. I’m way too afraid I’ll give something away. I will say, for the first time ever, I actually liked Ivy. That made for a nice change. I love that she finally got a chance to confront her past. I loved the fights, which in my opinion would look incredible on a big movie screen. And I love an author who’s willing to mess with and mess up his main character. But other than that, my lips are sealed. Hold on to something and prepare yourself for a wild adventure.

If you’re not reading this series, … how to say this nicely? What is WRONG with you?! Do yourself a favour and pick these up and please, start at the beginning with Watching The Bodies or you’ll miss out on the full experience. I promise from the bottom of my heart you won’t regret it! #TeamBoulder

I can’t wait for the next book! Is it here yet? How about now? Now?

Past Echoes was published on February 1st. Get your copy ASAP!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Wordery | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Graham Smith is a time served joiner who has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since Christmas 2000, he has been manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland.

 He is an internationally best-selling Kindle author and has four books featuring DI Harry Evans and the Cumbrian Major Crimes Team, and two novels, featuring Utah doorman, Jake Boulder.

 2018 will be a busy year for Graham as he has the third Jake Boulder being published and a Harry Evans novel and novella.

 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 and interviewer for the well-respected website Crimesquad.com since 2009

 Graham is the founder of Crime and Publishment, a weekend of crime-writing classes which includes the chance for attendees to pitch their novels to agents and publishers. Since the first weekend in 2013, eight attendees have gone on to sign publishing contracts.

Facebook | Twitter | Website

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My Top 10 Favourite Series of 2017

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I can’t wrap my head around the fact it’s time to compile favourites of the year already. Where did this year go? I don’t know but I do know that it was filled with absolutely amazing books and since my list of favourites was getting way too long, I decided to split things up. Next week, I’ll be telling you all about stand-alones but today, the focus is on series. Not all of these were published this year but as I’ve been catching up and did actually read them this year, I think that counts.

So, here we go. In alphabetical order, this is my Top 10 Favourite Series of 2017.

Angela Marsons – DI Kim Stone

I read the first book in the DI Kim Stone series when it first came out and then somehow lost track of the series but thanks to an amazing fellow blogger, I set myself the challenge to catch up before Dead Souls was published back in April. Nailed it, in case you missed it. Still one of my proudest moments. 😉 This is just an incredibly thrilling and gripping series and the last one left me completely discombobulated.

Carol Wyer – DI Robyn Carter

An author who quickly found her way onto my list of go-to authors and another series that just keeps getting better. Carol Wyer has an uncanny ability to make me sympathise with the “bad guys”. She also has this mean streak of letting you get to know a character and caring for them, only to kill them off. Love it! There’s also an intriguing backstory that has me hooked!

C.J. Carver – Dan Forrester

I knew from the second I started reading the first book that this series would make the list. This series is perfect for binge-reading, which is exactly what I did and I read all three in three days. My reviews will be shared soon but I tell you right now, if you are not reading these, you are missing out!

David Videcette – DI Jake Flannagan

I can’t tell you the truth, but I can tell you a story …

With that one sentence, David Videcette had me hook, line and sinker! The author is a former Scotland Yard investigator and boy, does that show! Inspired by true events, this series just blows my mind to smithereens.

Graham Smith – Jake Boulder

Bad boy Jake Boulder wormed his way into my heart from the minute I met him and Graham Smith effortlessly found his way onto my list of go-to authors this year.

Helen Fields – DI Luc Callanagh

Truly magnificent series with taut and brilliantly executed plots full of lovely gruesomeness! Possibly not for the faint-hearted. Watch out for book 3 Perfect Death, which is coming in January!

Michael Wood – DCI Matilda Darke

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An absolute corker! Matilda’s new case leads her to Starling House, a home for some of the country’s deadliest teenagers who are too young to be sent to prison. When someone is murdered, it’s up to Matilda and her team to figure out if the killer is one of the teenage boys or someone from the staff. Can any of them be trusted?

Rachel Amphlett – Detective Kay Hunter

Rachel Amphlett always delivers an interesting premise and manages to balance Kay Hunter’s personal and professional life like no other. These are all hugely entertaining page-turners and I always quite happily drop whatever it is I’m doing to read the next instalment as soon as it publishes.

Sarah Hilary – DI Marnie Rome

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Without a doubt the best one in the series yet. Sarah Hilary’s writing just keeps getting better and better. Marnie’s foster brother returns, and it’s obvious he’s not done playing games. Meanwhile, Noah is faced with some difficult decisions concerning his brother.

Sarah Ward – DC Connie Childs

I didn’t review either one of these on the blog. A Deadly Thaw was published before I started blogging and I read A Patient Fury on holiday. It left me rather speechless. While I did take notes, by the time I got home they made zero sense to me so the review was never written. Sarah Ward continues to raise the bar and blow my mind at the same time. This is a corker of a series and a writer to watch!

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And there you have it. The best series this year according to little old me. Do you agree with my choices? Did I forget to include a firm favourite of yours? Have you read any of these or would you like to? Do let me know in the comments so we can talk about books!

Next Friday, I’ll be sharing my Top 10 favourite stand-alone books of 2017. Or maybe 20. I haven’t quite figured it out yet. See you then!

Happy reading! xx

The Kindred Killers by Graham Smith @GrahamSmith1972 @Bloodhoundbook

** advanced copy received via publisher **

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Author : Graham Smith
Title : The Kindred Killers
Series : Jake Boulder #2
Pages : 318
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : September 12, 2017

aboutthebook

Jake Boulder’s help is requested by his best friend, Alfonse, when his cousin is crucified and burned alive along with his wife and children. As Boulder tries to track the heinous killer, a young woman is abducted. Soon her body is discovered and Boulder realises both murders have something unusual in common.

With virtually no leads for Boulder to follow, he strives to find a way to get a clue as to the killer’s identity. But is he hunting for one killer or more?

After a young couple are snatched in the middle of the night the case takes a brutal turn. When the FBI are invited to help with the case, Boulder finds himself warned off the investigation. When gruesome, and incendiary, footage from a mobile phone is sent to all the major US News outlets and the pressure to find those responsible for the crimes mounts. But with the authorities against him can Boulder catch the killer before it’s too late?

mythoughts

Flippin’ heck! Mind blown! Need a minute!

Whew! Okay, here we go.

Not that long ago, I discovered Graham Smith’s work and lost myself in the world of the brooding hunk of a man that is Jake Boulder. Since then, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the next book in the series and when I was offered the opportunity to read it, it felt like my birthday had come early!

The Kindred Killers is the second instalment in the Jake Boulder series and it is absolutely mind-blowing! Yes, I’m aware I’ve already used that word but it fits perfectly!

Jake’s best friend Alphonse asks for his help when his cousin and his family go missing. Sadly there is no good news as the family is found horribly murdered. They are found to have been crucified and burned alive. And with that, the tone is set for a cruel and disturbing story that is unfortunately still rather apt and relevant these days. Some of these events may not be for the faint-hearted as they are quite brutal and stomach-churning but I feel it’s necessary to point out that none of it’s gratuitous and the author manages to set the scene as sympathetically as possible.

The return of Jake Boulder was most definitely worth the wait and this series just keeps getting better. I was utterly engrossed in the case and completely blown away by the reasoning behind the initial killings. I also really always enjoy it when an author takes the time to introduce us to a character so that even though you know deep down something is going to happen to them, it packs the most astounding punch when that something actually happens.

I continue to enjoy the friendship between Jake and Alphonse. Despite the strain they’re under and the grief Alphonse needs to deal with, they know each other so well that even when tempers rise, you know this bond won’t break. (Gee, I hope I didn’t jinx them now!)

I may have said it before but it’s worth saying again : Graham Smith has fast become one of my favourite authors and I honestly can’t wait to read more, be it about Jake Boulder or something else entirely! And you, yes you (!), should pick up this Jake Boulder series right now and get caught up! I promise you won’t regret it!

Many thanks to Graham Smith and Sarah Hardy at Bloodhound Books for my advanced copy, which I chose to review honestly! And a special shout-out to Noelle Holten! 😉

The Kindred Killers is available now!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

Lines of Enquiry by Graham Smith @GrahamSmith1972 @caffeinenights

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Author : Graham Smith
Title : Lines of Enquiry
Series : The Major Crimes Team
Pages : 104
Publisher : Caffeine Nights Publishing
Publication date : March 5, 2015

aboutthebook

The Cumbria Major Crimes team is under immense pressure to get results. DCI Harry Evans and his subordinates, DS Neil Chisholm, DC Lauren Phillips and DC Amir Bhaki must juggle cases while tragedy stalks them. Up in Glasgow, DI John Campbell is
preparing to replace Evans, whose renegade ways have brought enforced retirement.

Together they must investigate a man killed in his own home, a vigilante group chasing a suspected paedophile, a river dammed for no obvious reason and a woman whose cries of ‘wolf’ turn to ‘rape’. Meanwhile DC Phillips goes undercover off the books.

mythoughts

I don’t normally read novellas because I always feel that just when I’m about to really sink my teeth into the story, it’s over. However, considering this is Graham Smith and how hard I raved about “Watching The Bodies” (which you’ve all read by now, right?!), I decided to make an exception and I’m glad I did.

This isn’t quite like any other novella I’ve ever read, which is a good thing. There may be few pages but they are jam-packed and there’s a lot going on. Not only are we introduced to some of the members of the Major Crimes Unit and offered the chance to get to know them, there are numerous cases being investigated as I assume it would be in “real life”.

This collections of short stories and investigations is a brilliant way of getting the reader acquainted with a number of characters and their backstories so that when you read the first book in the series “Snatched From Home”, you’re already familiar with them.

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting DI Harry Evans and his team and I very much look forward to getting stuck into this series.

Lines of Enquiry was published in 2015.

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Watching the Bodies by Graham Smith @GrahamSmith1972 @Bloodhoundbook

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Author : Graham Smith
Pages : 322
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : April 25, 2017

aboutthebook

When Jake Boulder is asked by his PI friend to help investigate the vicious murder of Kira Niemeyer, he soon finds himself tracking a serial killer who selects his next victim in a most unusual manner.

As the body count rises, Boulder has to work with the police to identify the heinous killer before more lives are taken. What ensues is a twisted game of cat and mouse, that only Boulder or the Watcher can survive. But who will it be?

mythoughts

Watching the Bodies has been sitting on my Kindle collecting dust since publication day and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to finally get around to reading it! This is the first book I’ve read by Graham Smith and I can already tell you that it won’t be my last.

Let’s start with our protagonist. Jake Boulder isn’t a police officer or detective. He’s just a guy who works in a bar called The Joshua Tree. He has commitment issues, a narcissistic mother and a temper that boils right underneath the surface, ready to ignite before you get the chance to say “Oh, Jake, take me away!”. He’s intelligent, perceptive and determined but not exactly the man you take home to meet your parents. Still, that whole dark and brooding thing he has going on totally got my pulse racing and he makes an excellent narrator.

His best friend Alphonse is a private detective and a whizz at all things IT. When he’s hired to investigate the murder of Kira Niemeyer, he quickly enlists the help of Jake. I really enjoyed the banter between these two. Their longtime friendship is a thing of beauty.

Now, this killer, The Watcher, is something else. Not only does he have the most unusual way of choosing his next victim, he also has a novel approach to deciding how they die. Genius! The Watcher is on a mission. He wants to go down in history and he will stop at nothing to achieve that.

Watching the Bodies is one of the best crime fiction thrillers I’ve ever read and a brilliant start to a new series. I could point out that maybe the ending wasn’t exactly what I’d been expecting but then I’d just be nitpicking. However, if the author’s aim was to leave the reader wanting more, then he totally succeeded in that and I absolutely can’t wait for the next instalment!

This fabulous Jake Boulder thriller was published on April 25th.

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