No Comment – Graham Smith
When a single mother, Julie Simon, is found in her kitchen with a stab wound to her stomach, Cumbria’s Major Crimes Team are handed the case. Under the supervision of DI Campbell and with advice from his former DI, Harry Evans, DC Amir Bhaki fights to discover who assaulted an innocent woman and left her with life-threatening injuries.
Nothing is as it first appears and when the team looks into Julie’s life they uncover a hidden sex-life that may just hold the key to the identity of her attacker.
I was excited to discover a new crime writer, so super keen to join the Blog Blitz for “No Comment” by Graham Smith.
I have read other Novella’s by similar authors but with this story I felt that so much had been crammed into a short space. I couldn’t help me feel that there was something missing from the story.
The story starts off Julie Simon’s who is alone in her kitchen with two men standing over her branding a knife. There is so much description in this first opening chapter, how that though Julie is bound and gagged life still goes on in her kitchen. The author tells us how Julie makes mental notes of the description of the men so she can report it all to the police if she makes it out of this alive. We are also given clues that these men want information about her son. It makes us question who is her son and what is he involved in. I for one thought her son was older and some criminal We are then taken to the aftermath and the clean up operation of when the police arrive.
The team come across as having no confidence in their new DI, as they visit on several occasions their former DI Evan’s who is now medically retired for advice and guidance. It almost felt like he was part of the investigation and there wasn’t really any use for the new DI. We later learn that DI Evans is going to be a consultant for the team and there is some question as to whether DC Laura Philips had anything to do with it.
I felt that we were being dropped into the middle of the story when we learn that Julie’s son is in prison for drug possession after drugs are found in his school locker and that he refused to name where or how he got them.
As I read the story and researched the author I began to wonder if this book is to bridge a gap between DI Evan’s injury and him becoming a consultant in a future novel.
This is a clever way, to make sure the series can carry on, while the author makes a huge change in the character’s and their role in the story.
Though I enjoyed reading this book, I felt like that there was something missing and just as we were dropped into the middle of a case the story ends in the middle of the case they were investigating.
I look forward to reading more from this author, but feel that this Novella wasn’t for me being a first time reader of Graham Smith where as those already accustomed to his character’s would possibly enjoy this book more.
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.
Thank you to Rachel and Graham Smith for providing me an ARC of “No Comment”