Book Reviews

Digging Up Old Bones: Fear in the Lakes by Graham Smith @GrahamSmith1972 @bookouture #bookontour

I am very excited to be reviewing Fear in the Lakes, the latest DC Beth Young novel, on publication day! Have a brilliant day, Graham! 🎉

My thanks to Noelle and Bookouture for inviting me to be part of the tour and for providing me with a copy of this book.


Title: Fear in the Lakes (DC Beth Young 3)
Author: Graham Smith
Date of publication:  12th July 2019
Publisher: Bookouture
Format: e-ARC
Number of pages: 356

A case with no leads.

A victim with no enemies.

A killer with no conscience…

When Detective Beth Young is called to investigate a victim with multiple broken bones, nothing prepares her for what she finds. James Sinclair is fighting for his life, and Beth can’t shake the idea that the nature of his injuries suggest someone with a personal grudge against him.

But James’s devastated wife Laura insists that her kind, softly-spoken husband is a man with no enemies. She was the one with the fiery temper, but James was so calm, she’d never once managed to provoke even a cross word from him in their eight year marriage. And he was the same with everyone – she can’t name one person who might want to hurt him.

But she knows virtually no details about her husband’s childhood or his life before he moved to the Lake District as a young man, and Beth feels sure that the key to finding James’s attacker is hidden in the secrets of his past. Who was he really? And what is the significance of the coded messages that Beth finds hidden on his laptop?

Then two more bodies are found in one of the deep, picturesque lakes that the area is so famous for, exhibiting similar injuries to the ones James Sinclair suffered. How are they connected? And how many more people are at risk?

Beth knows she is in a race against time to hunt a vicious killer who is both elusive and incredibly dangerous. A killer who knows what James did in the past. Who likes to be one step ahead. But who – if they realise they’re being hunted – might come for Beth next…


Let me summarise my experience with Fear in the Lakes.

  • Ouch!
  • Wow!
  • What on Earth???
  • Wicked sick.
  • Okay, I’m just gonna go with the flow…
  • I don’t like you.
  • Where is this going? I’m going mad!!!
  • Could… No.
  • It’s always the weather…
  • Oooh, I see!!!!!!
  • Did I read that right???
  • No!
  • NO WAY!
  • That’s sick. Sick sick sick.
  • Ah!
  • What do you mean ‘the end’?????

Yes, that’s pretty much what I thought while reading Graham Smith’s latest DC Beth Young novel. No, you won’t find clues in my notes. I couldn’t even think properly as I was engrossed in the book!

The prologue hits hard (and I’m not only talking about the reader!) with a victim found with many of his bones broken in a way that ensures the most horrendous injuries. I couldn’t help but cringe at the details given on that poor man’s state. Who deserves such a violent attack? My answer? No one! I wouldn’t wish it to my biggest enemy! Certainly not James Sinclair, who looks white as a dove!

Now don’t go thinking this violence is free and used for fun. Graham Smith always keeps his purpose in mind and the schemes behind the horrors he describes are beautifully complex and show how deeply disturbed minds can work. No violence for the sake of it, but for a greater purpose, whether we agree with it or not. Of course, I couldn’t help but react, I am not a monster. I think the book gave me a couple of new wrinkles as I either grimaced at the pain endured or pulled a face whenever the frustration and tension would ratchet up. I was faced with a dilemma. I wanted to get to know the culprit more… Yet, I wanted him/her/them behind bars for the rest of their lives. I feel guilty to have found this chase particularly exciting and spine-chilling! Yes, it was so good that the awful events playing their parts between long hours of work, questioning, and personal life issues, kept me up late after my curfew!

While the entire book skillfully juggles a crazy plot and a strong characterization, I’ll say I found Fear in the Lakes to put the emphasis on the case, using it to bring a new light on the team, their dynamics, and how the work affects their reactions and the way they see the world. Beth has grown. I am still getting to know her, and I was glad to get more glimpses into her past, her present, and how she is willing to handle the future. The way Graham Smith throws personal matters and cases into the mix to add layers to his characters and use all the possible threads to make his book richer is really stunning. It was also refreshing to see the friend part of Beth when her great brain skills can sometimes make me roll my eyes in a “stop it with the super power, I’m jealous” way.

Plot-wise? Get ready for a wicked read!!! A guy gets beaten up so much his life is going to change forever. His wife swears he is the calmest, kindest man you can find. But his past is a mystery and all the police have to work with is the very ‘original’ injuries left by the attacker. Add to the mix an unhelpful weather and a strong sense of atmosphere, where the place becomes another enemy to deal with, and you find yourself with another beautifully-written, taut, and (sickly) entertaining novel!!

You can buy your copy now!

Blog Tour - Fear in the Lakes.jpg

about the author
Graham Smith Author Pic

Graham Smith is the bestselling author of four explosive crime thrillers in the Jake Boulder series, Watching the Bodies, The Kindred Killers, Past Echoes and Die Cold. Watching the Bodies spent over two weeks at number one in the Amazon UK chart and Amazon CA charts. Graham is also the author of the popular DI Harry Evans series and has collections of short stories and novellas. His latest novels with Bookouture are set in Cumbria and the Lake District, featuring DC Beth Young.

He is the proud father of a young son. As a time served joiner he has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since 2000 he has been manager of a busy 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, he has also been a regular reviewer for the well-respected review site since 2010.

When not working, his time is spent reading, writing and playing games with his son. He enjoys socialising and spending time with friends and family.

Author Social Media Links:






2 thoughts on “Digging Up Old Bones: Fear in the Lakes by Graham Smith @GrahamSmith1972 @bookouture #bookontour”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.