Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Graham Smith Blog Tour - Matching the Evidence - a review.

It gives me great pleasure to play my part in the Graham Smith Blog Tour, and present my review of his latest novella - Matching the Evidence.

Here we go . . .

The Blurb
Carlisle United are playing Millwall and the Major Crimes Team are assigned to crowd control as punishment for their renegade ways. Typically DI Harry Evans has other ideas and tries to thwart the local firm’s plans to teach Millwall’s notorious Bushwhackers an unforgettable lesson.

Meanwhile an undercover cop is travelling north with some of the Millwall contingent. His mission is to identify the ringleaders and gather evidence against them.

Three illegal immigrants have been transported to Carlisle and are about to meet their new employers.

Nothing is as it seems for Evans and his Major Crimes Team as they battle to avoid a bloodbath while also uncovering a far more heinous crime.

The Review 
Matching the Evidence is the follow up novella to Graham Smith's debut novel - Snatched from Home. DI Harry Evans and his Major Crimes Team are in hot water with the top brass over their handling of the case in Snatched from Home, and Millwall are coming to town. 

So it is DI Harry Evans and his Major Crimes Team are given a slap on the wrist and set the task of keeping an eye on the notoriously unsavoury Millwall support - apologies to all the decent Millwall supporters out there, I'm sure you are both very nice people ;) 

With the eyes of the Major Crimes Team on the thugs in blue, DI Harry Evans and his people get whiff of something else afoot. And so Smith sets up the two strands of this excellent novella.

The undoubted star of the novella - as of Snatched from Home - is DI Harry Evans. An uncompromising detective from the Old School, Evans makes The Sweeney look like something off children's telly. 

Harry is due to retire shortly, and there is no way he is going to let a few knuckle draggers from the big city end his career with blood on his own streets. 

Just always staying on the right side of cliche and just about the right side of the law - most of the time - Evans and his team know the ins and outs of their patch like no other team I have ever read.

And then there are the young women, intriguingly slipped into the narrative, getting ready to meet their boss, anxious about their clothes and their make-up, hoping to make a good impression and make a go of it in their newly adopted country. When the reason for their appearance in Carlisle becomes apparent, DI Harry Evans leads his team with his usual reckless ferocity right into the eye of the storm.

Harry may be the central character, but what sets Smith's writing apart is the strength of the characters in the Major Crimes Team. Each is so very well drawn, their motivations clear, their personalities distinct.
As I mentioned, Matching the Evidence begins just a few days after the resolution of Snatched from Home. Just a few days. Not six months after. Not a year. A few days. What I love about this, what I find so refreshing, is the reader gets a real sense of continuity from the novel to the novella. With Smith's second DI Harry Evans novel out in just a few weeks, Matching the Evidence makes for an excellent filler for Smith's growing legion of fans - of which I am undoubtedly one.

                                    About Graham Smith

Graham Smith is married with a young son. A time served joiner he 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.

Matching the Evidence

Snatched from Home

Lines of Enquiry

I Know Your Secret – Out October 2016

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