Today is the first of a series of blogs spotlighting books by Stewart Giles. I am starting with the DS Smith series and today we look at
Phobia, Smith & Boomerang:
Phobia (DS Smith #0.5) – AN ESSENTIAL INTRODUCTION TO THE DS SMITH THRILLER SERIES.
Available from AMAZON
Phobia is a series of five DS Jason Smith cases he worked on before we met him in the first book ‘Smith’. We get insights into what moulded him into the Detective Sergeant we first get a glimpse of in ‘Smith’. Smith quickly realizes that police work isn’t always cut and dried. Justice is not always black and white; there are many shades of grey in between.
My Thoughts: I am a big fan of Stewart’s books they are easy to read and are a little bit different (but I can’t put my finger on why) and I have LOVED every single one. So I was very excited to be reading this book.
I have to say this is an absolutely brilliant way of bringing the reader up to date with the time before Smith became a DS. I haven’t seen this done before we usually get snippets throughout the series that you need to put together or a prequel novella so this was an enlightening breath of fresh air.
I also need to add that I am not a fan of short stories I like a book I can get stuck in to. I usually find that short stories don’t give enough insight into the characters or depth to the story. Here, again, Stewart has excelled himself. Each of the 5 stories is gripping and interesting absolutely no padding these are straight down the line detective stories.
I wont say much about the stories as they are short and I don’t want to spoil them for anyone.
Smith: well he grows and develops in each story and we learn more about his character and history but most of all about him and his unique talent for putting together the clues quickly and effectively.
Absolutely brilliant and well worth the 5 stars.
Smith (DS Smith #1) The sleepy historical city of York is about to wake up’
Available from Amazon
It is Christmas Day in York. A woman is found dead in her bed. A suicide note is found on her chest. It reads ‘I am so sorry Martin’. Hours later the police are called to a house a few miles away. A mother & daughter have been brutally attacked; the mother is dead, and the daughter is barely alive. The father is found shaking uncontrollably in the corner of the room. He is covered in blood, but he is unharmed. His name is Martin Willow.
My Thoughts: I love Stewart Giles work he has a unique way of writing that I love. His characters are very believable, human and he makes a brilliant job of integrating personal life into the story.
I first met Jason Smith in Unworthy which is book 8 and loved it so decided to go back and start at the beginning. Phobia covers his life from joining the police to becoming DS by 5 early cases. However, if you haven’t read that it wont matter.
Jason is suffering nightmares brought on by witnessing his sister disappear from a beach 10 years earlier. The loss of Laura was the cause of him being shipped from Australia and ending up making a life in York.
The story begins at Christmas with a small family visiting friends. Such a happy occasion ends in tragedy as the mother is murdered and the little girl left in a coma. All the clues point to the husband/father. At the same time their babysitter is found dead assumed to be suicide but forensics show she was murdered. What are the links and why. Jason is on a mission to find out.
As Jason and his team try to find a way forward the clues all lead back to the father/ husband, Martin and it is his name that is found on the dead babysitters suicide note. When an enemy from his past turns up with news about Laura Smith finds himself torn between the cases and finding out what happened to his sister. The search for Laura sees Jason struggling to cope.
This is a fast paced emotional read that had me turning page after page. Complex characters that gain depth steadily as the story progresses and the twists and turns make sure the interest and suspense is maintained. With Smith’s personal issues adding another dimension to the story it makes for a compelling read that I highly recommend.
5 big golden stars from me.
Boomerang (DS Smith #2) – A MAN IS KILLING PEOPLE IN YORK!
Available from AMAZON
Initially, the murders appear to be the random acts of a maniac. Detective Jason Smith is put in charge of the investigation. It soon becomes clear that the murders are all connected to him in one way or another. All of the killings correspond to events in Smith’s life and the murderer leaves dates at the crime scene which tie up to important dates in Smith’s history. When one of the dates is a time before Smith was even born, he realises he must look deep into the past to find a way to stop the worst spate of murders in York’s long history.
My Thoughts: This is book 2 in a very addictive series I find myself reaching for the next book as soon as I have finished the previous one.
The story begins with a suicide that turns out to be murder. Then Smith’s life is changed forever. People are dying and the dates are significant dates from the past. Someone has Smith in their sights but why? What happened all those years ago and why is Smith being held accountable?
This is an adrenaline pumping read from the very first page. The suspense and pace build gradually as we progress into the book and the further I got the more invested I was in the story and the characters.
Lets talk about the characters: Jason is the lead character I have followed his journey from the beginning in Phobia and then Smith but if you haven’t read those it is perfectly okay as Stewart makes a brilliant job of building the history into the book. He is flawed he has had a difficult time with many heart-breaking losses and now this! All this comes accross in the book excellently. He is on a mission to put away the bad guys whatever it takes. He is a bit of a loose cannon and a straight talker and that brings humour to the book.
Witton is his favoured partner. She has a lot of feelings for Smith but he isn’t returning them, yet. She has Smith’s back and that makes her vulnerable at times. I think they are a relationship waiting to happen but we will see. They look out for each other and that becomes very important in this story.
The main theme of the story is Smith’s past and part of that is Lucy, an old flame from his teenage years. As the looking back into his past takes Smith out of his comfort zone the murderer is ranking up and the bodies are stacking up. The clock is ticking.
Suspense, twists, turns and curve balls. This book has it all. An adrenaline pumping page turner that I found very difficult to put down. Definitely 5 golden stars from me.