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?
After reading and enjoying Graham Smith's fabulous DI Harry Evans series, I was quite excited to see what this author had in store for his readers in 'Watching the Bodies', the first book in a brand new series.
This series is somewhat different to the DI Harry Evans one, but if the first instalment is anything to go by, it will most definitely be equally brilliant. Set in the USA, in a town named Casperton, Utah, the main character is Jake Boulder. In a welcome departure from most crime thrillers, Jake is neither a cop nor a private investigator. He's a Scottish ex-pat working as a bouncer in a bar.
"She fits the pattern. She will die tonight."
One night Jake is approached by his friend Alfonse, who's a private investigator. Alfonse wants Jake to help him investigate the vicious murder of a common acquaintance, a Kira Niemeyer. Jake knew the woman well and agrees to help his friend. With the local PD made up of a bunch of good-for-nothing, disrespectful incompetents, the two men agree with Chief Watson to assist him in their own investigation of Kira's murder.
And suddenly another murder hits the small community. This time a man is bludgeoned to death. What's happening in Casperton? Two murders taking place in as many days is unheard of in the small town. There's nothing common between both cases, but could they be connected somehow?
When more murder victims are discovered in rapid succession, each killed in a completely different way, Jake is sure the town is in the grip of a serial killer who doesn't stick to one MO. But with no witnesses or trace evidence, how could Jake ever catch this shrewd killer? He needs to find a link between the murder victims, but how? None of the victims are related or of the same age group or sex. So how is the killer selecting them? When the case suddenly becomes personal, Jake vows to stop at nothing to bring this monster to justice.
This was a brilliant, fast-paced read and I really enjoyed it. Jake Boulder is a great character. Prone to drink binges, he's strong, witty, determined and fearless, but not without his own fears, which he keeps well hidden. He loves women, but stable relationships are definitely not for him. Alfonse is also a likeable character and together he and Jack form an invincible team and complement each other perfectly. And I'm sure you'll love Jake's ballsy mum as much as I did.
Stretching his dark imagination to the limits, the author has filled this book with murders... of all kinds! What starts as an investigation into the life and murder of a free-spirited, wayward lady, (the first part of the book), rapidly escalates into a frenetic hunt for a violent killer stalking the streets of Casperton. Chapters from the pov of the killer made my blood run cold. I was amazed by the ingenious 'pattern' devised by the killer to select the next victim. Well done to the author for this great idea.
With unwavering tension, fast-paced action, a creepy killer, murders galore, twists and turns and a great protagonist to boot, this book kept me hooked and interested from start to finish. Short chapters, many of which ending in cliffhangers, kept me entertained and on my toes throughout. The breathtaking finale made me gasp... literally.
'Watching the Bodies' is an exciting, fantastic start to a fab new series and I can't wait to join Boulder again on his next adventure. Highly recommended!
With thanks to Bloodhound Books for an ARC and to Ms Sarah Hardy of #bytheletterbookreviews for organising and inviting me to take part in the blog tour of this book.
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.