Today’s book review hosted by Rachel’s Random Resources is for a novella featuring DI Harry Evans: No Comment, by Graham Smith.
When a single mother, Julie Simon, is found in her kitchen with a stab wound to her stomach, Cumbria’s Major Crimes Team are handed the case. Under the supervision of DI Campbell and with advice from his former DI, Harry Evans, DC Amir Bhaki fights to discover who assaulted an innocent woman and left her with life-threatening injuries.
Nothing is as it first appears and when the team looks into Julie’s life they uncover a hidden sex-life that may just hold the key to the identity of her attacker.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I took on No Comment to review. In my experience, crime detective novellas more often than not go one of two ways: boring, OTT details with little character development and a predictable plot; or too little details with a promising beginning, and then a weak ending. Very rarely does an author get it right in such a short length of space.
No Comment caught me by surprise. It was short, sharp, with an interesting twist, and it packed a punch on character development.
As a novella featuring characters from a longer series of books, there were hints at backstory, but they never really detracted from the impact of this particular case, which the Major Crimes team was working. If anything, it only added to it.
I loved the emotions, the reality of the trauma that police and detectives deal with when working on major crimes, and even though the end left me feeling lost and a little heartbroken, it was so true to life that I couldn’t fault Smith for doing that to me.
My favourite character out of the whole team has to be Lauren, who uses her sexuality to her advantage and takes no prisoners while doing it. Not even her boss gets away with his attraction to her.
More than that, I loved Harry Evans himself. Retired in this novella, he clearly has a lot of emotional trauma he needs to work through, but instead of tormenting himself and losing himself in alcohol or other unhealthy coping mechanisms, he tries to work through it in healthier ways. Although, Mr Evans, getting the snot beat out of you is not healthy, and hopefully that was a once off.
I thoroughly enjoyed No Comment, and will be on the lookout for the full-length novels from Graham Smith.
No Comment gets four out of five feathers.
*I received a free copy of the book from Rachel’s Random Resources in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Graham Smith is a time served joiner who has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since Christmas 2000, he has been manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland.
He is an internationally best-selling Kindle author and has four books featuring DI Harry Evans and the Cumbrian Major Crimes Team, and three novels, featuring Utah doorman, Jake Boulder.
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 and interviewer for the well-respected website Crimesquad.com since 2009
Graham is the founder of Crime and Publishment, a weekend of crime-writing classes which includes the chance for attendees to pitch their novels to agents and publishers. Since the first weekend in 2013, eight attendees have gone on to sign publishing contracts.
Social Media Links –
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/grahamnsmithauthor
Twitter – https://twitter.com/GrahamSmith1972
Website – www.grahamsmithauthor.com