Lines of Enquiry - The Major Crimes Team - Vol 1: Gripping crime stories featuring Cumbria's Major Crimes Team Kindle Edition
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I was looking through my shelves trying to find something short but interesting as I awaited the imminent arrival of a beta-read manuscript. I have a couple of Jake Boulder novels penned by this author that are much higher on my list, but I didn’t want to start a novel with only a couple of days to read. So I picked this unrelated novella by the same author just to check out his style.
What a pleasant surprise! This novella is focused on DI Harry Evans’ Major Crimes Team in Cumbria, England. I didn’t know it when I started, but the novella is divided into 5 chapters/5 crimes, each headed by a different member of the team. I have never found that one can go very deep into a story when a book is only 100 pages long, so I was astounded that this novella contained not one, not two, but FIVE completely separate respectable cases. This is what earned the novella an extra half star. I really liked that there is a thread of commonality throughout the 5 chapters as the same characters play roles in the stories where they are not the lead. My favorite characters were Harry and DS Neil Chisholm, the quiet but effective tech savvy guy.
I am happy to see there are 3 Harry Evans full-length novels out there as well as another novella featuring the Major Crimes team. Harry, often in trouble because of his renegade ways, can be brusque and pretty biting around his team, but under all that is a heart of gold. Harry has fallen on some rough times, and I hope he can pull himself up as the series progresses.
The stories are well written and pretty straightforward without a lot of detouring off into other threads or tangents, something to be expected with shorter stories. The short nature of the novella also forced some “tell rather than show” into the stories. Despite that, the shorts are “full-bodied” and intriguing. The reader also gets a good feel for the individual characters.
In summary, this novella is very well done. I recommend it for anyone looking to fill an afternoon with some quality crime stories. I look forward to reading much more from Graham Smith.
This isn’t quite like any other novella I’ve ever read, which is a good thing. There may be few pages but they are jam-packed and there’s a lot going on. Not only are we introduced to some of the members of the Major Crimes Unit and offered the chance to get to know them, there are numerous cases being investigated as I assume it would be in “real life”.
This collections of short stories and investigations is a brilliant way of getting the reader acquainted with a number of characters and their backstories so that when you read the first book in the series “Snatched From Home”, you’re already familiar with them.
I thoroughly enjoyed meeting DI Harry Evans and his team and I very much look forward to getting stuck into this series.
The imagery is excellent; I could picture an angry community wanting a convicted paedophile out of their midst and in some communities, the mob vigilante culture does exist. And using Facebook to rally the mob, it's the way to organise a mass gathering in the social media age!
I really liked Lauren's story, going in, doing her own investigation when her official request was turned down. She's a woman who gets what she wants and uses her physical assets to get what she wants/needs. Women do it throughout the working world and if it gets criminals to talk, why not!
Since I’ve know her, Noelle has shouted (a lot) about Graham Smith's writing and having met him at the #TBConFB Northern Meet Up back in February, I decided I'd give Harry Evans and the team a go. Noelle promised me if I didn’t enjoy The Major Crimes Team she would refund my money. I can’t lie; I did really enjoy meeting Harry and the team so I definitely won’t be claiming a refund.
The Major Crimes Team is an excellent introduction to the set up in Cumbria. Who knew that life was so exciting in Carlisle?! Can’t wait to read the follow up, Snatched From Home! It's going to be interesting seeing how Harry Evans reacts to John Campbell's arrival.
I can't say that any of the stories were my favourite or stood out from the others, as in my opinion they were all very well written and well put together. I find sometimes with short stories, that Just as they get going, they end. But I didn't feel that at all with these stories. They were very well written and very well put together.
I recently read Snatched from home, and although it's really not necessary I think I would have liked to have read this one first. And got more of an early feel for the officers. But there is nothing stopping me going back and reading it again.
I'm really looking forward to more Harry Evans, He's a very different and individual character and I for one can't wait for more books by Graham Smith.
I look forward to reading more.