Title: Phobia by Stewart Giles
Publisher: Self Published
Date Published: 25th November 2015
AN ESSENTIAL INTRODUCTION TO THE DS SMITH THRILLER SERIES.
Phobia is a series of five DS Jason Smith cases he worked on before we met him in the first book ‘Smith’. We get insights into what moulded him into the Detective Sergeant we first get a glimpse of in ‘Smith’. Smith quickly realizes that police work isn’t always cut and dry. Justice is not always black and white; there are many shades of grey in between.
So I’ve previously read a book of Stewart Giles published through Joffe Books and enjoyed it, so when Jill Burkinshaw offered the chance to read Stewart’s self published stories I jumped at the chance.
The book contains five stories:
Cause and Effect
This has Smith’s very first case as a PC and shows how he goes from studying law to the police. After a nasty bout of flu he’s drafted up to CID to help on a spat of armed robberies of Post Offices.
The Girl In The River
Now a detective constable, Smith is given his first murder case. A young woman is found dead in the river. Suspicion quickly falls on her dodgy boyfriend. Smith’s superiors think it’s an open and shut case but far from happy he digs further.
A teacher from the local school is found bludgeoned to death in her own home. Bizarrely the murder weapon, an ornamental rock has been wiped clean and placed on her stomach. Yet when a known felons fingerprints are found at the crime scene, the other members of Smith’s team think they’ve found their man but he is so sure.
A man phones the police when his neighbour’s dog won’t stop barking. Smith and his colleague DC Bridge are sent to investigate further. They find a gruesome scene of a young man bludgeoned to death and another in a bathtub, seemingly having taken his own life. Is it a case of murder/suicide or is it just plain murder?
Smith passed his sergeants exams and is now DS and heading up his first case, the suspicious deaths of two students from York University found laid out on the beach of a small town called Saltburn. Due to an incident when he was sixteen Smith is now terrified of the sea, will he be able to get over his fear and investigate?
Having not read any of his Jason Smith books before (even though I do own a couple, they are sadly languishing on my lengthy tbr pile), these short stories are a perfect introduction to the detective if like me you have yet to dive into this series.
It’s not very often that we get to follow a detective from when they joined to police force. Smith is definitely a character! He moved to England from Australia as a teenager, he lives in the lovely city of York, a place I have visited a couple of times, so I have a little soft spot for it. So much tragedy in his past too, from his father’s suicide to his sister that has gone missing and the death of his beloved grandmother. He has this knack of rubbing people up the wrong way but not letting go until he feels justice is served.
Each story is split into short sharp chapters making it a quick and pacey read. I don’t often say this with a collection, I could not pick a favourite, they were all fantastic! Each story was well plotted, action packed and entertaining.
I’m now really looking forward to reading the first full length novel Smith (watch out for my spot on the blog tour next month!).
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.