Title: Ladybird (DS Jason Smith #3) by Stewart Giles
Date Published: 29th October 2014
Genre: Police Procedural
From #1 best-selling author: Stewart Giles comes a new addition to the popular Detective Jason Smith series.
The Ghoul is arrested for Murder and Jason Smith is on sick leave.
Detective Sergeant Jason Smith is days away from the end of his sick leave after a case that almost cost him his life when he gets a call from an old friend. His friend has been arrested for the murder of a student. He wants Smith to investigate the murder and prove his innocence. Smith is persuaded return to work. The student was killed with a bread knife. Ladybirds were scattered on his dead body.
When another man is found dead with ladybirds on his body, Smith enlists the help of an insect doctor, the enigmatic DR Karen Wood, to try and understand the significance of the ladybirds. As Smith gets drawn closer to this mysterious woman and more and more men wind up dead with ladybirds on their bodies Smith quickly realises that Dr Wood is not who she seems to be.
Smith and his team unearth a terrible secret from twenty years earlier; somebody wants justice and, as more and more men die, Smith realises he is running out of time to find out who.
This is a fast-paced page-turner with twists and turns all the way to an ending you won’t see coming.
If you like Police Procedurals, then this is a series you won’t want to miss.
York is a historic walled city in North Yorkshire, England.
At the confluence of the River Ouse and Foss, York is the traditional county town of the historic county of Yorkshire. York Minster and a variety of cultural and sporting activities make it a popular tourist destination.
DS Jason Smith is an Australian who was sent to York to live with his Grandmother when his sister disappeared from a beach. He has suffered many losses in his short life and is now a dedicated detective. He is a bit of a loose cannon he has his own way of doing things and that doesn’t always mean following orders and procedures.
DS Thompson is of the same rank as Jason, but he doesn’t have the same support or success. He and Jason have a love/hate relationship which brings a bit of humour to the series. Thompson is old school and thinks his age should give him respect and privileges, but life doesn’t work that way for him.
DC Erica Witton is Jason’s preferred partner they work well together and share a bond. She isn’t always appreciated by Jason, but they care about each other and that brings a different dimension to the series.
What readers are saying about Ladybird:
‘This book was gripping from the first page to the last. The characters are all well written, believable and sympathetic.’ – Mrs Christine H Clark
‘Superb book left you guessing to the end. Sends you up so many alleys and you still can’t see the outcome.’ – Mike
‘A well paced story that will have you hooked very quickly and then drag you along for the ride in such a way as to not want to stop reading..’ – Hisboss
‘Another gripping book by this Author well written lots going on could not put this book down.’ – Kindle Customer
‘What a good book had you wandering all the time would read his books again I haven’t read his before.’ – Dora Gibbons
BOOKS BY STEWART GILES
DS JASON SMITH SERIES
Book 0.5 – Phobia
Book 1 – Smith
Book 2 – Boomerang
Book 3 – Ladybird
Book 4 – Occam’s Razor
Book 5 – Harlequin
Book 6 – Selene
Book 7 – Horsemen
Book 8 – Unworthy
DC HARRIET TAYLOR SERIES
Book 1 – The Beekeeper
Book 2 – The Perfect Murder
Book 3 – The Backpacker
DS Jason Smith is on sick leave, he doesn’t know whether he wants to return to the police force after the events of the previous book Boomerang. He gets a call out of the blue from his friend The Ghoul, a pathologist and friend, saying he’s been arrested for murder. The victim, a young student, has had his throat cut and ladybirds scattered around him.
Unable to leave it alone Smith returns and launches into an investigation. A second body turns up with the same M.O. it’s clear that The Ghoul didn’t do this but who did?
So I’m continuing on my journey through the back catalogue of DS Smith novels. While this could be read as a stand alone I would suggest reading Boomerang first (you can read my review here) just because this book does contain a few spoilers.
Ladybird is a really quick and compelling read which kept me guessing who the killer was almost until it was revealed.
I was a little wary when I first started reading this because I love ladybirds (the only insect I don’t scream and run away from) and they’ve always represented summer and childhood to me but them being used in a murder? I wasn’t quite sure but as I read on I saw they were cleverly used as symbolism for a very deranged killer. This book has also really opened my eyes to how creepy the nursery rhyme ‘ladybird, ladybird fly away home’, actually is!
I do feel like Smith is growing on me, I didn’t find him quite so irksome with his whole ‘the world’s gone soft’ attitude. I felt like he’s really developed as a character too, don’t get me wrong he still drinks too much and questions authority but he seems a little less brash than he has been in the past.
My only complaint was the addition of the cash machine robberies storyline, frankly I didn’t think it really added much to the overall story.
Ladybird is a fast paced, gripping read full of murder and mayhem with an action packed ending.
Stewart Giles – Author Bio
After reading English at 3 Universities and graduating from none of them, I set off travelling around the world with my wife, Ann, finally settling in South Africa, where we still live. After Ann dropped a rather large speaker on my head I came up with the idea for a detective series. DS Jason Smith was born. Smith, the first in the series was finished a few months later. 3 years and 8 DS Smith books later, Joffe Books wondered if I would be interested in working with them. As a self-published author, I agreed. However, we decided on a new series – the DC Harriet Taylor Cornwall series. The Beekeeper hit the shelves and hit the number one spot in Australia. The second in the series, The Perfect Murder did just as well. The third in the series, The Backpacker I have self-published and is now available.
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