Graham Smith

Death in The Lakes

"Bam! Right from the first page, Smith hits the ground running..."


Detective Beth Young has just joined the Cumbrian major crimes team when a body is found posed in a ritualistic manner – arms spread and graceful wings attached – at a crumbling castle in the hills of the Lake District.

The entire police force is on red alert. But Beth begins to feel she’s the only one who can follow the disturbing clues left by the twisted killer. Because she doesn’t think like everyone else. To Beth, crimes are puzzles she can solve. Even if real life is a little harder.

As more bodies are discovered in derelict stately homes across the Lake District, Beth knows she’s in a race against time.

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Bam! Right from the first page, Smith hits the ground running with the discovery of the first victim. There is no dilly-dallying with Smith – he goes straight for the jugular and to be honest, he doesn’t ease off the pressure throughout the whole of this novel. Smith gives all those in FMIT a back story and this makes them fully rounded and allows us to be more sympathetic to them and how they behave. My favourite is DI O’Dowd, a woman who appears hard as nails to her colleagues, but does have a soft centre. Beth is also a deliciously complicated woman and I hope that Smith will peel back more layers on his characters in his following books. With precision, Smith weaves his tale of smoke and mirrors as he dangles red herrings and gladly sends you down the wrong path with his clever narrative. Added to the mix are the short, sharp chapters that are similar to a tube of Pringles, once you pop you can’t stop… or in this case, once you start reading you can’t stop! I have read Smith’s books from the beginning with his e-book, ’11 – The Hard Way’ when he was finding his way as a writer and seeking what suited him best. It is wonderful to see a writer find his preferred patch – even if it takes him to dark and gruesome places – and flourish as he does with ‘Death in The Lakes’. If you want a stepping on platform for this writer, then this latest from his twisted imagination is the perfect introduction.

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