Today I’m sharing my review of the second book in the DC Beth Young series. Thank you to Noelle at Bookouture for my invite onto the A Body In The Lakes blog tour. And a happy publication day to author Graham Smith!
About this book…
The woman’s limbs were so thin; the skin on her arms as translucent as tracing paper. Around her neck lay a faint string of purple bruises. In one so frail, darker, angrier marks might be expected but Beth knew the bruising would have stopped the moment her heart stopped beating.
When a walker finds the body of a woman by the shores of Lake Ullswater, the police are put on high alert. Felicia Evans was known to be a tough character, but who would have strangled her?
Detective Beth Young quickly spots the links to three cold cases. Three women strangled and discarded in the stunning, wild hills of the Lake District.
As Beth begins tracking down witnesses, the team receives an anonymous letter claiming the charming mayor of Carlisle is behind the murders. There’s pressure from the top to clear his name. But Beth is determined to find the truth no matter whose feathers she ruffles in the process.
Beth knows the clock is ticking. The killer is hunting again. And it’s down to her to find who’s responsible before another woman becomes his prey…
What did I think…
I enjoyed meeting DC Beth Young in her first outing, The Silent Dead, and so I knew that I was definitely up for another trip to the Lakes for her second case. But be prepared for a disturbingly dark and graphic enquiry for our heroine once again, as she searches for an unstoppable serial killer.
I think I said in my review of The Silent Dead that I wanted to see a little bit more of Beth’s personal life in future books and here we are drip fed a few more details especially when she comes up against a face from her past and also starts a possible relationship! But once again it’s the crimes that takes centre stage in Beth’s world and I don’t think she would have it any other way! The brutal murder of Felicia Evans provided a shocking start to the narrative and one that really did make me gasp in horror. And the harrowing descriptions of the injuries suffered by these murder victims may be too much for some (I have to say I couldn’t read all of them after the first few details although I do understand that this is a realistically portrayed police procedural and these details are needed for authenticity of plotting). But I did really enjoy the storyline here, even more than The Silent Dead to be honest! It was compelling reading from start to finish as we watch a killer stalk his next victim whilst we are also left wondering just who is writing the intermittent diary entries throughout and how (and why!!) the mayor is connected to this intriguing case.
I still don’t feel I have an in-depth knowledge of Beth Young but I’ve come to understand that this is probably deliberate! Beth’s job IS her life after all and that makes these books all about the crimes, with the focus on what drives people to commit these horrific acts of violence and how the police work to keep us safe from them. Graham Smith keeps his attention on the facts of the case and writes compelling characters, bringing them together with an ease of experience so that they are believable and relatable, even if they are not always likeable!!
Don’t worry if you haven’t read any of Graham’s books before, The Body In the Lake can be totally be read as a stand-alone and I’m sure that once you do, you will become as hooked on his books as I am!
The Body in the Lake is published by Bookouture and is out on 15th March 2019.
Meet the author…
Graham Smith is the bestselling author of four explosive crime thrillers in the Jake Boulder series, Watching the Bodies, The Kindred Killers, Past Echoes and Die Cold. Watching the Bodies spent over two weeks at number one in the Amazon UK chart and Amazon CA charts. Graham is also the author of the popular DI Harry Evans series and has collections of short stories and novellas. His latest novel with Bookouture is set in Cumbria and the Lake District, featuring DC Beth Young.
He is the proud father of a young son. As a time served joiner he has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since 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 for the well-respected review site Crimesquad.com since 2010.
When not working, his time is spent reading, writing and playing games with his son. He enjoys socialising and spending time with friends and family.