Snatched From Home by Graham Smith #BookReview #BlogTour

Middle-class parents Victoria and Nicholas Foulkes are distraught when their children are kidnapped against Nicholas' gambling debts. 
Penniless and desperate the couple turn to crime as a way to raise the ransom.
Hot on their heels is recently bereaved DI Harry Evans and his Major Crimes team. 
Evans is fighting against enforced retirement and his replacement – 
DI John Campbell – is foisted upon him along with other cases. 
If he must leave the police then he wants one last big case before he goes.
In a race against time Victoria and Nicholas must evade the police while continuing to add to the ransom fund. 
If they don't pay up on time the kidnappers have threatened to amputate their children's limbs with an oxy-acetylene torch.
Can they save their children before time runs out?

It's my pleasure to be hosting the blog tour for Snatched From Home today. Many thanks to Graham Smith and Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me and for my copy of the novel.

I've been meaning to read one of Graham Smith's books for ages, after reading a number of enthusiastic reviews from my fellow bloggers. However, I must admit to feeling a little ambivalent about Snatched From Home at first. I was immediately drawn in by the story but I wasn't at all sure about the lead character, DI Harry Evans.
Evans is an old-school detective - think Gene Hunt. He's intractably non-PC and although he clearly gets results, I found him difficult to warm to. I've read a lot of police procedurals where the lead detective is a bit of a dinosaur but they tend to be more immediately sympathetic than Evans whose comments frequently made me wince. In comparison, I found the man lined up to replace him, DI John Campbell easier to like, even if he does seem a little uptight.
However, as the book progressed and I learned more about Harry, my opinion slowly changed and while he could never be described as being an affable man, his knowledge of, and interest in the local community reveals him to be somebody who cares very much about his job and the people he represents. Having recently been through his own tragedy, he's actually more empathetic than I gave him credit for. The gradual revelations about the two detective inspectors meant that by the end of the novel, I had reassessed my opinions of them both and I enjoyed having my preconceived ideas challenged.
As much as this is Harry Evans' book, I thought Samantha Foulkes was a fabulous character and the scenes she appears in were a real highlight for me, even though there are moments which are difficult to read. Her mother, Victoria is as determined and resourceful as Sam but Nicholas Foulkes is a pitiful man who is made to suffer for the mistakes he has made. Although he is roundly and rightly criticised for running up the gambling debts which led to his children being kidnapped as collateral until he is able to repay them, I had some sympathy for him and couldn't help but wish that there had been some recognition of gambling as an addiction and not just a character failing. It could be argued that the flaws of other characters were portrayed in a more balanced light; Evans isn't quite the bigot he seems to be, DC Lauren Phillips owns her right to dress and act as provocatively as she pleases, but Nicholas is never really given the opportunity to redeem himself. That said, this is really about a police officer and a mother who are prepared to go to any length to ensure Sam and Kyle are returned safely and so I understand that their anger and uncompromising judgement of Foulkes' behaviour is entirely realistic.
Snatched From Home started as a novel I wasn't quite sure about and finished as one I couldn't put down! The action becomes increasingly tense and by the dramatic conclusion, my heart was in my mouth. With its compelling, well-structured plot, excellent character development and shock disclosures, I thoroughly enjoyed this introduction to the Harry Evans series and look forward to reading more of Graham Smith's books.

Snatched From Home is published by Caffeine Nights and can be purchased here.

Don't miss the rest of the blog tour, details are below.

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 six books featuring DI Harry Evans and the Cumbrian Major Crimes Team, and four novels, featuring Utah doorman, Jake Boulder. His ‘Lakes’ series which has three novels featuring DC Beth Young has received much critical acclaim.
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 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, ten attendees have gone on to sign publishing contracts.


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