Watching the Bodies - Graham Smith - Book Cover
Detective, Mystery & Thriller

Watching the Bodies – Graham Smith

They call him the Watcher, the serial killer who watches the bodies after slaughtering them. Why? You would never guess …Time for Jake Boulder to find out! 


Jake Boulder Thriller #1

Jake Boulder is no private detective. Nevertheless, his friend Alfonso, who is a detective, asks for his help to investigate the brutal murder of Kira Niemeyer. When they find out about Kira’s complicated life and many persons in it, they fear the investigation will have too many leads to follow and the murderer will never be caught. Then another murder takes place and soon it seems Kira’s murder is part of a devious serial killer’s scheme with randomly chosen victims. This is way over Jake’s head: time to form an alliance with the new Head of Police, Chief Watson. Jake knows he is Chief Watson’s only option as Lieutenant Farrage is not exactly over-furnished in the brain department.


The first thing we learn about Jake Boulder is that he inherited his Scottish grandfather’s trait of extreme stubbornness and that he taught him the skills to counteract any physical attack. To Jake, fighting is almost second nature and although he is fully aware of this behaviour, he has no wish to change his dangerous ways even though his mother harasses him to change his ways as well as his job as a bouncer.  She would like him to have a nice job without the threats of being beaten up or shot at on a regular basis. Jake’s friend Alfonso is a detective and in recent years has engaged Jake’s help. No wonder Alfonso seeks advice from Jake whether to accept the case of the murdered millionaire’s daughter Kira, as both men have never investigated a murder; accepting this case means they have to hunt down a killer and, to make matters worse, follow the footsteps of “the most useless police force since the Keystone Kops.”

Head of Police Chief Watson is new in Casperton but soon figures out that his men are not up to their task and this is probably why he grudgingly accepts Jake’s proposal of working together to catch the killer. Little does he know that soon he will need all the help he can get as more butchered bodies are found and the victims were seemingly chosen at random. ‘He’ is excited his project has entered a new phase with the discovery of Kira’s body. From now on, ‘he’ knows the public attention will be on his actions. ‘He’ has studied the behaviour of serial killers before choosing a pattern and “a selection process so simple yet so beautiful.” It gets creepier by the hour and it does not help that ‘he’ strives for immortality with his project, as he calls it. Before Jake knows it, he is in the middle of what becomes more dangerous every day. A serial killer with nothing to lose and an incompetent police force, how will they ever catch the Watcher?

My Thoughts

Wow! An extraordinary thriller! I loved the fast-paced action in this book and the way Jake Boulder works with the Police. It is difficult to say much because I hate to give away the plot and its quite unique concept. The characters in this crime thriller are true-to-life as are the events (most of them, I do hope some are not!). Jake is a character you’ve got to love – he has unresolved issues and an inherited Scottish stubbornness and his way of solving situations is using his fists. Furthermore, he is constantly pestered by his mother and her psychiatrist. This is the bit of wit shining through which I love, even or perhaps because of it being such a dark and gruesome thriller. Can I say I loved and empathised with Chief of Police Watson? He is one of those characters coming alive in this excellently written novel. The author very usefully employs a third person narrative when relating to the serial killer’s actions and thoughts and the first for Jake Boulder’s perspective. I hope, no, urge the author to write more Jake Boulder thrillers and look forward to reading them!

The next Jake Boulder Thrillers:
#2 Kindred Killers (my review)
#3 Past Echoes (my review)

About the Author

Graham Smith Author Image

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 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, resulting already in six attendees having gone on to sign publishing contracts. Next to Watching the Bodies, introducing Jake Boulder, the author has also written four books featuring DI Harry Evans and the Cumbrian Major Crimes Team.

Book Info

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 Paperback   320 pages
 Publisher   Bloodhound Books (18 April 2017)
 Language   English
 ISBN-10  1912175150
 ISBN-13   978-1912175154

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