A woman brutally attacked in her own home – her son imprisoned, and her sister appalled at the double life the victim was leading brings DI Campbell and his team in contact with dark criminals whilst DI Harry Evans cannot help but crack his brain to get to the bottom of it in this thrilling novella
Julie Simmons has no way of escaping the nightmare as the knife approaches her abdomen, about to slice through her flesh. Still, she does her best to focus on the appearances of her attackers. Will the police ever find them? Upon examining the scene, the new DI Campbell and DC Amir Bhaki soon realise that whoever cut the woman, were no ordinary intruders – was Julie targeted and if so why and by whom?
Whoever attacked Julie must have had a personal motive and Bhaki decides to inform his former boss, DI Harry Evans, currently recovering from a heavy beating. The case intrigues Evans, even more so because he recognises Julie’s name, aware as he is that Bhaki deliberately draws him in, he cannot resist getting involved. DI Campbell is determined to stop the ‘renegade’ tactics used by his team that, apart from Bhaki, consists of DC Lauren Phillips, in the habit of using her good looks to get results, and computer nerd DS Neil Chisholm. The discovery of Julie’s secret and her son’s imprisonment provide them with leads to follow, still, none of it explains the motive for the brutal and vicious attack. With Evans cracking his brain and Campbell eager for results you would think the case will be solved quickly but instead, it takes a sinister turn…
No Comment is the first Harry Evans story I’ve read and, as it happens, it looks like the first story in which he’s no longer a detective. His tragic past is somewhat disclosed – but I’ll refrain from mentioning it as its only impact is the healing of the injuries following a self-sought beating – Evans’ brain is as sharp as before. I loved how his (former) team still held him in such high regards and came to him for advice. Must be so difficult for his successor and I felt sympathy for DI Campbell – he obviously is aware of the team’s loyalty to their former boss and struggles to keep them within the boundaries, as set by his superiors.
To me, it is always confronting when you meet a victim just before they’re about to get killed or being tortured. It’s an instant draw into the tale, to empathise with the victim whilst secretly feeling glad it’s not you lying there on the table, about to be cut open. Julie Simon – she’s a strong character, independent, master of her own life. But, after finishing the tale, I thought again about the violent opening scene and, well.. I came to the conclusion that I cannot quite fathom her mindset and behaviour under the circumstances – not only in the described opening scene but even more so in the period before that – however, I will refrain from mentioning it as it would give the plot away.
Also, there was an inconsistency which, although it annoyed me a bit, did not have an impact on the plotline. Furthermore, the ending felt very abrupt which leads me to conclude that No Comment has all the makings of a complete novel, a spellbinding detective thriller instead of the novella it is. So many ingredients and stories here, I’d love to have more background and more insight into what happened and the reasons why. Having said that, No Comment is a fast-paced, gripping and at times harrowing thriller with a dark plotline – a captivating novella as a taster for the next Harry Evans thriller!
About the Author
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 the manager of a 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 and making the usual progression through the Hardy Boys to adult novels. Since 2009, he has been a regular reviewer and interviewer for the well-respected website Crimesquad.com. Graham Smith considers writing “to be the most infuriatingly rewarding hobby imaginable” although he is well aware, in his own words, he is “the stenographer for the voices in his head.” Graham Smith is the founder of Crime and Publishment, crime-writing masterclasses which are held annually at the hotel he manages, The Mill Forge, sofar resulting in six attendees having gone on to sign publishing contracts.
Next to the Jake Boulder Thrillers, the author has written four books featuring DI Harry Evans and the Cumbrian Major Crimes Team.
|Ebook||802 KB (99 pages)|
|Publisher||Caffeine Nights Publishing (22 Mar. 2018)|