#BlogTour | #BookReview: Past Echoes by Graham Smith (@GrahamSmith1972) @Bloodhoundbook #PastEchoes

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“Jake Boulder is back and he’s tasked with tracking down a man due to inherit a small fortune. Not only that, he must also reveal the secret which forced a young woman to flee New York some forty years ago. The evidence he needs is hidden in a safety deposit box and while Boulder has the key, the only clue he has for box’s location is a series of numbers etched onto the key and a mysterious list of names.

Boulder has his work cut out since he must also locate his estranged father, Cameron MacDonald, so that Cameron can donate bone marrow to Boulder’s half-brother John.

In a game of cat and mouse, he must solve the case and find the two men without alerting those who control New York’s underworld.

Can Boulder survive against both the mafia and a professional hitman, in what is his toughest case yet?”

I am delighted to welcome you to damppebbles today and to my stop on the Past Echoes blog blitz. Past Echoes is the third book in the Jake Boulder series, is written by Graham Smith and was published by Bloodhound Books on 1st February 2018. I am such a fan of this series. If you want an entertaining, action-packed read then pick up a Jake Boulder thriller. Just to prove my point, here are my reviews of book one Watching the Bodies and book two The Kindred Killers.

I was eagerly anticipating book three in the series, particularly as The Kindred Killers finished on such an explosive note. And oh boy, I was not disappointed. In my opinion, this is by far the best Jake Boulder book in the series so far. I was completely entranced from start to finish. The main plot point in Past Echoes reveals a more emotional side to this lean, mean, fighting machine. And, in a strange way, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Boulder’s softer side. Although it didn’t last very long and he was back to planning revenge missions and beating the ‘you know what’ out of people in no time!

Past Echoes starts by referring back to the events of The Kindred Killers. I asked myself whether this would hinder a new reader to the series, diving straight in with book three. It always helps when you start at the beginning of a series but I am well known for accidentally (sometimes on purpose *snigger*) starting part way through. My advice is, and will always be, start at the beginning. Watch the characters grow, find out their backstory. Don’t MISS anything. But, saying that, Past Echoes ‘could’ be read as a standalone but only because Smith does an excellent job of filling in the gaps for new readers. Although I can guarantee, if this is the first Jake Boulder book you pick up, you WILL want to read the first two in the series as well. Guaranteed!

One of the things I enjoyed the most about this book was the way the author sets up the story so you think it’s going to go in one particular direction. He then completely wrong-foots you so you’re suddenly on this unexpected, intense and utterly thrilling rollercoaster ride of terror and reading delight. I loved it.

Before I sign off I would like to mention one more thing. The inclusion of Cameron MacDonald, Boulder’s estranged father. A stroke of genius on the author’s part because if you didn’t love Boulder before, once you’ve met his @r5e of a father, you won’t be able to stop yourself from feeling a little for him. Cameron is the lowest of the low. He plays a key role in Past Echoes but I hope this is the last we see of him for some time. I always enjoy it when an author includes a character for us readers to hate. In this case, Cameron fits the bill perfectly. The tension, the unpleasantness MacDonald brings. Oooh, he’s a nasty piece of work…

Would I recommend this book? Most definitely. Plus book one, plus book two. Buy the set, they’re superbly gripping with a lead character you can’t help but love. Easily Smith’s best Jake Boulder novel! I couldn’t tell whether Boulder was going to live, or die in a blaze of burning bullets and that kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. Raw, evocative and deliciously intense. I loved it!

Five out of five stars.

I chose to read and review an eARC of Past Echoes. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

Past Echoes by Graham Smith was published in the UK by Bloodhound Books on 1st February 2018 and is available in paperback and eBook formats (the following Amazon and Waterstones links are affiliate links) | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |

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about the author3

Graham Smith Author Pic

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 two novels, featuring Utah doorman, Jake Boulder.

2018 will be a busy year for Graham as he has the third Jake Boulder being published and a Harry Evans novel and novella.

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.

Author Links: | Facebook | Twitter | Website |

#BlogTour | #BookReview: The Kindred Killers by Graham Smith @GrahamSmith1972 @Bloodhoundbook

TheKindredKillers1.1 .jpg“Jake Boulder’s help is requested by his best friend, Alfonse, when his cousin is crucified and burned alive along with his wife and children.

As Boulder tries to track the heinous killer, a young woman is abducted. Soon her body is discovered and Boulder realises both murders have something unusual in common. 

With virtually no leads for Boulder to follow, he strives to find a way to get a clue as to the killer’s identity. But is he hunting for one killer or more?

After a young couple are snatched in the middle of the night the case takes a brutal turn. When the FBI is invited to help with the case, Boulder finds himself warned off the investigation.

When gruesome, and incendiary, footage from a mobile phone is sent to all the major US News outlets and the pressure to find those responsible for the crimes mounts. But with the authorities against him can Boulder catch the killer before it’s too late?”

I am delighted to welcome you to my stop on The Kindred Killers blog tour which I share with my #blogbestie, the lovely Joanne at My Chestnut Reading Tree.  If you haven’t visited My Chestnut Reading Tree before, then do.  Joanne is such a lovely person and her blog is one of my very favourites, plus she LOVES books.  What more could you ask for?

The Kindred Killers is the second book in the explosive and thrilling Jake Boulder series and is written by author, Graham Smith.  I thoroughly enjoyed Watching the Bodies, the first book in this brilliant series so was looking forward to making a start on The Kindred Killers.  You can read my review of book one by clicking here.

There’s *something* about this series.  Something the author has managed to capture which keeps the reader coming back for more.  I, for one, love it and will always make a special effort to keep up with Boulder’s adventures.  For me, it may be that the books are so wonderfully American.  Regular visitors to the blog will know that I have a bit of a ‘thing’ for American crime.  Or, it may just be that they are cracking crime stories about a hard as nails part-time crime fighter in the shape of Utah doorman, Jake Boulder.

This time Jake’s best friend and occasional employer, Alfonse is in need of Boulder’s investigative skills.  Alfonse and Jake make a formidable team with Jake’s ability to sniff out a lead and Alfonse’s high-tech hacking talent.  Alfonse’s cousin, Darryl and his family have gone missing.  Boulder knows instantly that this was not a voluntary retreat as there are signs of a struggle.  The incompetent Lieutenant Farrage and his hapless bunch of detectives have dismissed the scene and intend to do as little as possible.  Thankfully, Boulder is on the case.  But when Chief Watson calls Boulder to Ashley National Forest, Boulder quickly becomes aware that time has run out for Darryl and his young family. Reeling from his recent run in with a twisted serial killer, it looks like Boulder will have to stare evil in the face once again.  Four burning crosses suspended from a tree, four smouldering corpses nailed to them…

I do like a little bit of blood and gore in my reads and Smith has excelled himself with a number of brutal murder scenes in this latest instalment.  Maybe that’s the reason I enjoy these books so much!  Smith is quite prepared to break down boundaries and kill off his victims with some stomach-churning methods.  Would other authors be prepared to be as graphic?  I’m not sure….and I flipping love it!  I don’t want to put any squeamish readers off though.  If you’ve ever watched GoT or Breaking Bad then I’m sure you’ve seen worse scenes played out on your television screen!

I was glad to see the incredibly irritating Lieutenant Farrage playing a very small role in proceedings; being replaced by the more competent, more likeable Chief Watson.  I would be very happy to see the end of Farrage for good and a lot more of Watson in future books.  The other character I would like to see a lot more of is Boulder’s mother. She added a wonderful dose of humour to the first book which I was hoping to see again, but she only made one or two very brief appearances – mostly nagging her son!

The conclusion of this book blew me away!  One of the smaller, yet fairly regular characters in the books plays a rather shocking role.  I had never really warmed to this character while reading the first book, or this second novel.  In fact, I thought them to be quite insubstantial.  There are, however, several paragraphs in the build up to the explosive finale which made me completely change my mind about them.  I went from thinking ‘pah’ to thinking ‘woah’ (that’s the word I actually wrote in my notes, WOAH!).

Would I recommend this book? Yes, without doubt.  It’s fast paced, thrilling and you can’t help but like Boulder.  So good, so unexpected, Smith knows how to keep his readers on the edge of their seats.  I thoroughly enjoyed The Kindred Killers and heartily recommend this book (this series, really!).  If you enjoy the odd serial killer thriller then you must, MUST make sure you get a copy.

Four and a half stars out of five.

I chose to read and review an eARC of The Kindred Killers.  The above review is my own unbiased opinion.  My thanks to Sarah Hardy and Graham Smith for asking me to feature on the blog tour.

The Kindred Killers by Graham Smith was published in the UK by Bloodhound Books on 12th September 2017 and is available in paperback and eBook formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |

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about the author3

Graham Smith Author Pic.jpgA time served joiner Graham has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since Christmas 2000 he has been the 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.

Author Links: | Facebook | Website | Twitter | Amazon UK |

#BlogTour | #BookReview: Watching the Bodies by Graham Smith (@GrahamSmith1972) @BloodhoundBook

Watching the Bodies“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.”

I am absolutely delighted to welcome you to my stop on the Watching the Bodies blog tour alongside the lovely Caroline over at Bits About Books.  Watching the Bodies is the first book in the new Jake Boulder series, is written by author Graham Smith and was published by Bloodhound Books on 25th April 2017.

Graham Smith is best known for his DI Harry Evans series set in Cumbria.  I have read a novella and the latest book in the series, I Know Your Secret featuring DI Evans.  Both of which I enjoyed so I was thrilled to be asked to join the blog tour and excited to make a start on this brand new series featuring expat Scot, Jake Boulder.

The first thing I should say is that this new series is nothing like Smith’s DI Evans series. I’m a huge fan of the ‘damaged detective’ (that includes Evans) and I love my police procedurals but this was something else altogether.  Something great.  Something refreshing and different.

I was expecting the story to be set close to home so was pleasantly surprised to find myself in Utah.  I have a bit of a penchant for crime stories set in America so this immediately appealed to me.  From then on things just got better and better.  This is a cracking serial killer thriller which doesn’t shy away from blood, guts and gore.  I absolutely loved the serial killer’s method of choosing his next victim along with his way of deciding how they were going to die.  As an avid crime reader it does sometimes get a little tiresome reading about the killer’s same, repetitive MO again and again.  You don’t get this with Watching the Bodies.  Each victim is disposed of in a different and unique way which I (because I’m a little strange) found fascinating.  I also like my serial killers to reach double figures in the victim count.

Jake Boulder is a very intriguing character and I want to read more.  He could be one of those aloof, very masculine characters who steals a few reader’s hearts but I, for one, am undecided at the moment.  Don’t get me wrong.  I really liked him.  I’m just not sure that I fell for his charms as some other readers may do.  Employed at one of the local bars as the doorman he’s a fighter who hasn’t forgotten his Scottish roots, despite living in the US for many years.  I loved that he’s still close and heavily influenced by his mother and her maternal concerns.  That relationship gave the story several lighter, more humorous moments which were appreciated.  I also loved the relationship between Boulder and Alfonse.  Alfonse is the owner of a PI company and Boulder’s best buddy.  He’s also the reason Boulder gets into the trouble he does.  Alfonse is a geek, a computer genius so his pairing with tough nut, Boulder seemed unlikely but it totally works.  I could read about these two all day long.

Would I recommend this book?  Most definitely.  It’s one of the best serial killer thrillers I have read in a LONG time.  I couldn’t stop turning the pages and devoured the book in two short days.  If this is what Graham Smith has in store for us with this new series then consider me hooked.  I can’t wait to read more!

Four and a half stars out of five.

I chose to read and review an eARC of Watching the Bodies.  The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

Watching the Bodies by Graham Smith was published in the UK by Bloodhound Books on 25th April 2017 and is available in paperback and eBook formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |

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about the author2

Graham Smith Author Pic (1).jpg

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 and one book, WATCHING THE BODIES in a new series featuring Utah doorman, Jake Boulder.

Author Links: | Facebook | Website | Twitter | Amazon UK |

 

#CoverReveal: Watching the Bodies by Graham Smith (@GrahamSmith1972) @BloodhoundBook

Hello my booky friends.  I am delighted to have a cover reveal to share with you today and it’s for a book I have been wanting to read since I first heard about it at the end of last year.  The book is Watching the Bodies by Graham Smith and it is the start of a brand new series featuring expat Scot, Jake Boulder.  Here’s the blurb:

“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.”

Now, I have to confess that I have already read an ARC of this book and it’s an incredibly gripping read.  And of course, I have the biggest crush on Jake Boulder already!  This is one that fans of the serial killer thriller should NOT miss.

And here’s the cover:

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I hope that’s piqued your interest.  I will be part of the blog tour on Sunday 30th April so pop back then to read my review of this thrilling action-packed book.

Watching the Bodies by Graham Smith will be published in the UK by Bloodhound Books on 25th April 2017.

“Watching the Bodies is a storming addition to the action thriller genre, and Jake Boulder a new tough guy to root for. Be under no illusion, Boulder is no Jack Reacher or Joe Hunter clone – he is his own man, and re.png

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Graham Smith Author Pic.jpg

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 and one book, WATCHING THE BODIES in a new series featuring Utah doorman, Jake Boulder.

Author Links: | Facebook | WebsiteTwitter | Amazon UK Author Page |