I’m loving this new series by Graham Smith with Bookouture. and just look at that cover of the latest DC Beth Young novel, “A Body in the Lakes”, how lush is that! It is with a huge thanks to the publishers, Bookouture and the author for the copy to review. I’m delighted to be one of the bloggers closing down the tour for the book. So let’s get the show on the road!
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
The woman’s limbs were so thin; the skin on her arms as translucent as tracing paper. Around her neck lay a faint string of purple bruises. In one so frail, darker, angrier marks might be expected but Beth knew the bruising would have stopped the moment her heart stopped beating.
When a walker finds the body of a woman by the shores of Ullswater Lake, the police are put on high alert. Felicia Evans was known to be a tough character, but who would have strangled her?
Detective Beth Young quickly spots the links to three cold cases. Three women strangled and discarded in the stunning, wild hills of the Lake District.
As Beth begins tracking down witnesses, the team receives an anonymous letter claiming the charming mayor of Carlisle is behind the murders. There’s pressure from the top to clear his name. But Beth is determined to find the truth no matter whose feathers she ruffles in the process.
Beth knows the clock is ticking. The killer is hunting again. And it’s down to her to find who’s responsible before another woman becomes his prey…
Graham Smith paints a perfect picture of the Cumbrian scenery lulling the reader into a false sense of security as he destroys the beautiful imagery with his own special twisted brand of evil.
Opening up with the discovery of the body of an elderly woman, it soon becomes clear that past and present are about to collide as Beth recognises a link with previously unsolved cases. As is to be expected of the author he doesn’t shy away from grisly or gruesome and there were a few eye-watering moments for me as I read through! Despite his love of evil, Graham Smith still manages to inject some humour into his writing so don’t worry, there will be a few smiles on the way!
This is the second novel featuring DC Beth Young and she is a detective determined to serve justice. With an unusual background Beth does not come with a drinking problem or broken marriage, however, she does have her own unique reasons for joining the force. She was the victim of a brutal attack which left her physically scarred and her desire to bring her perpetrator to justice was the driving force behind her decision to join the police. She is an intriguing young woman with a lateral thinking mind who loves nothing more than a puzzle and the investigations that Graham Smith puts her way provide her with plenty to puzzle over that’s for sure! Beth’s own story is further explored in this novel and I’m really looking forward to finding out more about her as the series develops.
Her relationship with her colleagues is based on mutual respect and over the two books, we can see how they have developed. I particularly enjoy the banter between Beth and her superior DI Zoe O’Dowd but it is definitely DS Thompson who pulls at my heartstrings. He and Beth had a rocky start to their relationship but as she has learned about his personal circumstances their bond has deepened.
There are a few characters in this book who will get your emotions rising, from Forster, the Mayor, who is a grade A creep to the unknown narrator who drip-feeds you information via their diary entries! To say any more would be giving away too much info!
The dialogue between the characters is natural and flows well. Plenty of red herrings and twists kept my brain engaged throughout. Exploring sexual assault and rape, misogynistic attitudes and values are cleverly challenged through the characters.
As I have already said this is the 2nd book in the series but the author gives just enough background that anyone picking this up without having read the first one, will not be left floundering. But hey, just go and buy the other one too!
A Body in the Lakes is available to purchase from:
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About the author:
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 with Bookouture is set in Cumbria and 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.
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