Title: Watch the Bodies
Author: Graham Smith
Publisher: Bloodhound Books
Genre: Mystery, thriller
Date of publication: April 25th 2017
Number of pages: 355
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ and a half
Watching The Bodies: an explosive new crime thriller from a critically acclaimed author
When Jake Boulder is asked by his PI friend to help investigate the vicious murder of Kira Niemeyer, he soon finds himself tracking a serial killer who selects his next victim in a most unusual manner.
As the body count rises, Boulder has to work with the police to identify the heinous killer before more lives are taken. What ensues is a twisted game of cat and mouse, that only Boulder or the Watcher can survive. But who will it be?
Watching the Bodies came highly recommended by my lovely and very knowledgeable friend Noelle (crimebookjunkie!), so I had high expectations for this book! Of course, you can’t help feeling excited when your friends tell you a book or an author is among their favorites! And I can totally see why lovers of the genre should give the Jake Boulder series a chance!
What the hell was that plot????? This is me screaming. Not because I’m mad and saw plenty of holes in the story. On the contrary, the only holes were the ones left on the body when the killing required it… But the mind behind this crime plot is really really really good. Brilliant. I can’t reveal a single thing about it, it’s the power of the reader who has finished a book, but also their curse, as I just want to warn everyone and stop shivering when I think of the calculations it took to put the pieces together and come up with such a terrific and coldly logical killing plan!
Being right has never seemed so wrong.
The different narrations, from the good to the bad guys, don’t take any of the tension away. I was racing from one POV from the other to know who would get there first! If you haven’t guessed already, there’s more tension in this book than your cardiologist would advise you to get! What starts as a single private investigation about the murder of a woman turns into a totally frantic and desperate race against the clock and a breathtaking chase for a serial killer! Every detail fits the picture, which is always something I appreciate. I hate loose ends and sloppy investigations. Procedures were followed, another good point! Also, I was both surprised and pleased by the choice of the author to make his main character a civilian…
Everything about the area screams bland domesticity to me. I want to leave in case it’s contagious.
Yes, it’s time to talk about the cast this thrilling adventure features! Jake Boulder is not even a private investigator per se! It’s his best friend who’s running a company and he is the big guy, the helping hand, the sidekick... So much for the anti-hero! I truly believe this is one of the reasons I appreciated Jack so quickly. He doesn’t have a huge ego, he doesn’t need the light to be on him. On the contrary, he is okay with being the +1. The two men being complementary was perfect and really emphasized the fact Jack isn’t looking for the spotlight. And most of all, Jack is not a steroids-filled macho, he is a guy who is not afraid to say he’s afraid, or at least to be honest with himself and admit it in his head! He never tries to take control of the events and his willingness to play as a team, whether with his friends or with the police made me fall for him! His only concern was to get to the bottom of the case… Except this case is bottomless!!!
Now something about the police itself. I felt a little bad that only the chief got to be efficient and clever. Small towns or big cities, you’ll always find workers who… let’s say are not extra motivated or don’t have the skills to handle big events happening, but I couldn’t help but think the police force deserves a little more respect, even though things got easier on them as the story unfolded. I really wanted to believe there were more than one able cope around!
There was enough information about every character to picture them and get a real view of what was happening. Reactions were genuine, descriptions were on point, stereotypes were accounted for (they exist because they fill our world!).
A point I hesitated before mentioning, but my honesty and my perfectionism as a former student in Japanese force me to is the use of Hara-Kiri. I have nothing to say about the method itself, but the book mentions Hari-Kari every time, which is a misspelling for Hara-Kiri, or Seppuku. I am aware this is only a detail, but it just distracted me from the story.
Last but not least, the writing style matches the protagonists and the dark atmosphere of the story. I felt the words were rushing me to keep going in a very addictive way and the balance between all events keeps the reader from feeling exhausted. It only feels as if you’re following everything at the same time as the characters do, in a Jack Bauer kind of way, but better!
Watching the Bodies is a gripping first installment that introduces a different male character in a dark world. I’m looking forward to reading Jake’s next … adventure!
I’d like to thank Sarah Hardy for my copy of this book.
You can find Watching the Bodies on Amazon!
A time served joiner Graham 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.
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
He is the author of four books featuring DI Harry Evans and the Cumbrian Major Crimes Team and now two books in the crime series featuring Utah doorman, Jake Boulder.