I’m delighted to be taking part in this blog blitz for the launch of Graham Smith’s new novel When The Waters Recede. Thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part. Make sure you scroll right down to the end of the review for details of how to enter a fantastic giveaway of all 6 books in the Harry Evans series.
“When a car is pulled from raging floodwaters with a dead man in the front and the decapitated body of an evil woman in the boot, Cumbria’s Major Crimes Team are handed the investigation.
The woman is soon recognised, but the man cannot be identified and this leads the team and their former leader, Harry Evans, into areas none of them want to visit.
Before they know it, they’re dealing with protection scams and looking for answers to questions they didn’t know needed to be asked.”
Let’s just read the opening part of the blurb for this book again. “A car is pulled from raging floodwaters with a dead man in the front and the decapitated body of an evil woman in the boot.” This is the action on page one of Graham Smith’s new Harry Smith novel and the opening hits you like a punch to the face and sets up the pace of the action for the rest of the book.
Enter stage right, DC Lauren Phillips of Cumbria’s Major Crimes Team to take control of the investigation and we are then swiftly introduced to the rest of the squad, including recently retired ex-DI Harry Evans who is struggling with his recent departure from the force and the fact that he is only now acting as a consultant to the team he recently lead. I will admit to not having read any of Smith’s previous books so I am not familiar with the back story of these characters and the obviously intimate and complex relationships that they have developed. This did not impeded my ability to enjoy this book but I think the experience would have been enhanced if I had read them in order and understood more about certain issues, particularly why Evans had left the force. However, this book can be read perfectly well as a standalone.
It is refreshing to see a crime book set outside the normal confines of a big city but lose none of the darkness and grittiness that readers appreciate in a good crime novel. The underbelly of the picturesque setting of Cumbria is just as grubby as anywhere else and Smith does a great job of emphasising this, in a similar way to the way Stephen Booth does with the Peak District. I enjoyed the way he used the topical subject of extreme flooding as a plot device for the story, bringing current affairs into fiction.
The characters are interesting and sympathetic. The two main protagonists, Phillips and Evans, are both struggling with personal issues alongside the investigation which made them deeply human. Evans has recently lost his wife, a fact he is still coming to terms with at the same time as battling unwelcome issues with his frustrated libido and changing feelings for his former colleague. Phillips was the most fascinating character for me. She is portrayed as a strong, modern and attractive woman but she seems to be struggling with her identity and reputation, plus additional complications, that her perceived promiscuous behaviour has brought upon her. Again, this is a relevant and interesting issue to be examined in a novel given the current #MeToo climate and I applaud the author for addressing these topics.
The story weaves together strands of different investigations together very cleverly until they converge in an exciting denouement and I found myself turning the pages quickly and reading ‘just one more chapter’ late into the night, as you do with a great novel in this genre.
Right from the off this book grabs you by the collar and hauls you along on a fast, intense, car-chase of a plot that doesn’t let up. It twists and turns and keeps you tight in its grip until the last page where it drops you panting at the conclusion and excited to embark on the next ride with this author. I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in the series. Make sure you enter the giveaway below for your chance to win them too.
When The Waters Recede is out now and you can buy a copy here.
To celebrate the release of When the Waters Recede, Graham Smith is offering one lucky reader the chance to win all six books in the Harry Evans series.
To enter, simply sign up for his newsletter via the link provided before the 5th of June 2018 and you’ll be entered into not just this competition, but all competitions that he runs. Entrants from the whole world are welcome. http://blogspot.us9.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=8bbfc9a3acb79a408253510a8&id=48d2dc65e5
Follow the blitz and find out what other bloggers think of the book:
About the Author
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 three 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, eight attendees have gone on to sign publishing contracts.
Connect with Graham:
Facebook: Graham Smith Author