Title: Smith (DS Jason Smith #1) by Stewart Giles
Date Published: 16th November 2014
Genre: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural
‘The sleepy historical city of York is about to wake up’.
It is Christmas Day in York. A woman is found dead in her bed. A suicide note is found on her chest. It reads ‘I am so sorry Martin’. Hours later the police are called to a house a few miles away. A mother and her daughter have been brutally attacked; the mother is dead and the daughter is barely alive. The father is found shaking uncontrollably in the corner of the room. He is covered in blood but he is unharmed. His name is Martin Willow.
Detective Sergeant Jason Smith is put in charge of the investigation. After reaching dead end after dead end, Smith starts to put the pieces together and figures out that Martin Willow is innocent and the killer is still out there.
The little girl who was attacked on Christmas Day wakes from her coma and gives Smith a clue about the attacker; a piece of a song she heard directly before the attack. Smith then finds himself in a race against time to find this maniac before he kills again.
DS Jason Smith has drawn the short straw and is on call on Christmas Day. He’s called to the apparent suicide of a young student by the name of Lauren Cowley. On the same day the police are called to the Willow house where a mother and her daughter have been brutally attacked but there’s not a scratch on the father. It transpires that Lauren was the Willow’s babysitter, who’d called in sick the previous night. Could the two cases be connected? To complicate matters a face from his past reappears claiming that the sister he lost ten years previously is not in fact dead. Can Smith crack the case and find his sister?
So this is the second in the Smith series that I’ve read, the first being a collection of short stories, Phobia, you can read my review here.
I really enjoyed this first full length Jason Smith novel! It’s one of those mysteries that you can really get stuck into! Like with Phobia the chapters are short and snappy with an incredibly fast paced but Stewart Giles still managed to weave an intricate narrative balancing almost three separate storylines and timelines.
For those of you who don’t know DS Jason Smith, he’s an Aussie who’s lived in the beautiful city of York for ten years after his sister was supposedly attacked by a shark, which gave him a fear of the water. He not opposed to bending the rules and doesn’t suffer fools gladly, especially lazy police work and usually butts head with fellow officers especially one of his team DS Thompson. He also has a bit of a will they, won’t they relationship with DC Erica Whitton.
There is a bit of dipping in between time lines (there’s 2008, 1998 and 2005) and in places it was more of a whydunnit than whodunnit but I really enjoyed it and found it utterly engrossing.
I’d recommend this book for those who like a fast paced and easy read with an emphasis on entertainment.
Stewart Giles – Author Bio:
After reading English & Drama at three different English Universities and graduating from none of them, I set off travelling and finally ended up in South Africa, where I still live. I enjoy the serene life running a boat shop on the banks of the Vaal Dam. I came up with the DS Jason Smith idea after my wife dropped a rather large speaker on my head. Whether it was intentional still remains a mystery. Smith, the first in the series was finished in September 2013 and was closely followed by Boomerang and Ladybird. Occam’s Razor, Harlequin and Phobia (a series of short stories detailing Smith’s early life) were all completed in one hazy 365 days and Selene was done and dusted a few months later.Links: