Spicewalker Reply to on 1 April 2018
|This may be a novella but, by 'eck, it packs one hell of a punch into the mere 100 pages or so. For the uninitiated, i.e. me, Harry Evans is a retired DI rom Cumbria's Major Crimes team. This book find Harry in a bit of a mess emotionally and physically, the reasons for which become clear as you read the story. I've not read any of the prior books so I guess, for me, there were potentially some minor spoilers in terms of the recap of Harry's former life, but nothing that will stop me from enjoying reading the first books in the series.
From the very beginning this book has me gripped. We are faced with a woman who is being attacked in a rather brutal way, the reasons unknown and yet it is clear that she know's why. It will take the readers the length of the novella to get to the root cause of the attack but you will be faced with clues and suppositions as the Major Crimes team investigate. As to which is the actual reason ... well you need to read to find out as I'm not going to tell you.
Although this was only a short story, the tension was kept up throughout, the mystery and intrigue none abating as I wanted to learn just what as going on. The violence was kept off the page for the most part, so for the squeamish amongst you, you have nothing to fear, but that doesn't mean that Graham Smith won't keep you on edge. He absolutely blooming well will. This isn't a story which needs to be gratuitous and the strength of the novella lies in the plotting and the team which Smith has created to support the story.
And what a team they are. While I may not have met them before, the author has done a great job of establishing character, so much so that I got a real feeling for each of them and was immediately wanting to learn more. From DC Amir Bhaki to DC Lauren Phillips, the tech savvy DS Neil Chisholm or the relatively new and not quite fully accepted Harry Evans replacement, DI Campbell, each ones individual quirks and style emanated from the page and made me want to get to know them better. But it is Harry Evans who you want to know the most. He's old school, hard hitting, not quite able to retire, not quite willing to follow protocol. A flawed protagonist and although my introduction was brief, I loved getting to know a bit more about him, And Tripod. I really love Tripod. Sounds like my kind of dog.
The writing in this novella is tight, all driving the action onward at a perfect speed, with no ounce of fat or wasted paragraphs to be found. I raced through it, almost disappointed that it wasn't longer to be fair, and I can tell already this is a series I need to catch up on. I have the next release ready and waiting for me, so I can't wait to make a start on it. If you've never met Harry and Co before, then this could be a great place to start. But then why not go back to the beginning. From what I've seen here, you're in for one heck of a treat. Brilliant stuff.