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Matching the Evidence - The Major Crimes Team - Vol 2: More gripping crime stories featuring Cumbria's Major Crimes Team Kindle Edition
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This one follows straight on the heels of ‘Snatched from Home’, the novel where Harry and team investigated a kidnapping case by following Harry’s “by any means necessary” mantra. Matching The Evidence catches up with the team in the immediate aftermath of this investigation where, rather than being given a pat on the back, they are punished for using slightly ‘unconventional’ means to solve the case. In this case, the punishment involves working on crowd control at a Carlisle Utd game where Millwall are the visiting fans. As most people who follow football will be aware, Millwall fans have a bit of a reputation for getting involved in a bit of fisticuffs with the rival supporters.
If you have read any of my previous reviews of the DI Harry Evans books, you will know that I’m a massive fan of the entire team and what each of them bring to the party. This story mainly revolves around soon to be retiring Harry and his designated replacement, DI John Campbell (plus the other team members all make appearances at some point). Both Detectives have a bit of a silent admiration for each other but you get this feeling this admiration will never be publicly voiced. Campbell is definitely a bit more of a ‘by the book’ copper that is a great foil for the methods of Evans, who tends to use his contacts and a lot more ‘off the record’ type discussions. It is this relationship that also brings some very humorous moments into these books as you can almost hear the ‘Oh FFS’ being uttered under Campbell’s breath!
Running alongside the football hooligan element of the book is a story line that involves people trafficking from Eastern Europe. Smith does a great job in detailing the plight of these girls, and I can only imagine the horror of them being caught up in such a situation. This for me is one of the finest things about the D.I Harry Evans series…its realism. All the books I have read in the series so far have involved very ordinary people in what you could conceivably believe are situations that could happen in real life. There’s something about that which just helps me believe it all and completely buy into each of the characters. It’s such a refreshing change from the usual twisted serial killer type thing, and I feel it just gives these books that little bit of extra grittiness to them.
Given that this is a novella, Smith still manages to pack a great deal in with the 2 story lines coming together nicely at the conclusion of the book. The impending retirement of Harry Evans, plus a court case that is very personal to Harry, are all bubbling under the surface to give the reader that feeling of wanting more. With that in mind, I will rapidly be getting stuck into the next in the series ‘I know Your Secret’, in order to find out what lies in store for Harry and the gang.
I can highly recommend this series to lovers of crime fiction. There are some brilliant characters here which are a fantastic addition to the genre that, alongside his Jake Boulder series, have rapidly cemented Smith’s place as one of my ‘must read’ authors!
An easy 5 stars for a novella that packs a punch!!
This is the third book to feature DI Harry Evans and his team. I loved the first two in the series ‘The Major Crimes Team: Vol 1’ and ‘Snatched From Home’, so when I was offered the chance to review ‘Matching The Evidence’ I naturally jumped at the chance. I was not to be disappointed as this novella more than matches its predecessors.
As is indicated in the final sentence of the synopsis nothing is as it seems at first. You could say that surprises and twists are a-plenty. There are more twists and turns than you would find on a rollercoaster ride. Graham uses such language in that you can’t help but be drawn in from the first word on the first page and you aren’t released from the book’s grip until the full stop on the last page. You could say that I almost ‘live’ the story as it were and I feel as though I am taking part in the investigation.
Again my favourite character has to be DI Harry Evans himself. He is a Northern man, who has experienced extreme trauma in his personal life but as is often the case with men from his generation, he tends to bottle up his emotions. Harry throws himself into his work as he has nothing else left, given that his wife and unborn child are no more. However, work presents a new set of problems in that Harry is being forced into retirement, but he needs his work to keep his mind occupied and he also is fixated on securing justice for his wife and unborn child. Harry joined the police force when certain methods and tactics were used that would be deemed unacceptable now. Harry is resistant to change and is a bit of a dinosaur in that respect. His attitude is that he gets results and he knows the villains in the area so what’s the problem with the methods that he uses? He gets himself in a bit of a pickle with those in authority but to Harry it’s like water off a duck’s back.
‘Matching The Evidence’ isn’t a full length novel but it is a novella. However it reads just as well as a full length novel. The story is fast paced, gritty and authentic in tone. I also find that Graham’s books are full of nail biting and tense moments. At times I literally had to hold my breath as I feared what was going to happen next.
In short I really did love this book and I would definitely recommend it to others. I can’t wait to read the next book in the DI Harry Evans series and I don’t have too long to wait as ‘I Know Your Secret’ is released on the 17th October 2016.
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I’m not a fan of police procedural (or football), and I think one of...Read more