Peter James - Author of the Roy Gace series"...a talented story teller."
Matt Hilton – Author of the Joe Hunter novels“…Graham Smith is another talent to watch for…”
Sheila Quigley - Author of The Seahills series and the Mike Yorke / Smiler novels“Graham Smith is not just a rising star but a shooting star.
Eleven The Hardest Way
I’m a big fan of crime short stories and always get excited when a new writer appears. The e-publishing world has expanded over the last couple of years and seems particularly suited to short stories which can be picked up and put down at leisure. ‘Eleven The Hardest Way’ gives eleven slices of modern crime and draws you into the narrative particularly from the victim’s point of view.
Graham Smith has used the book to show his range of writing styles, featuring stories written in the first and third person. A couple of the stories (‘There Goes the Bride’ and ‘Under the Cover of the Streets’) feature policemen and are interesting whodunnits. Others (‘Shooting Stars’ and ‘Adult Education’) are more thrillers with a macabre and wry feel to the writing. I liked the stories that take place within the home. These can be the most uncomfortable to read, when fear enters the comfort of your own abode and these stories I thought worked particularly well. ’Eleven The Hardest Way’ is a marvellous and eclectic mix and one that gives us a taste of things to come as this new author branches out in his chosen genre. An assured debut of stories and I am convinced we will see more from Graham Smith as he develops his talent even further.
Although a very short ebook, Eleven The Hardest Way brings to life eleven different tales of crime with a twist and interestingly written in different styles that brings life to not only the stories but the characters. Turning from psychological thriller, to action and noir, Graham provides fast paced action throughout and demonstrates an in depth knowledge of the genre. http://www.shotsmag.co.uk/
Harry Charters Chronicles
Harry Charters is an old school detective, who whilst taking cases, also has his own brand of justice which he dispenses without thought. The stories are more noir based, short, gritty and violent and have something that keeps you hooked all the way through.
Although part of me wants these stories to be padded out more and dig deeper, in actuality the fact that they are short and to the point of abrupt is part of the charm. The short, sharp dialogue, quick plot and clues to the answer all still have an attention to detail and a dark twist.
Short stories are often too long, lack depth or often feel like a longer take that’s been over edited; these are to me what short stories should be. I look forward to more from Graham Smith.
Eleven The Hardest Way
This is Smith's debut collection and I have to say I am impressed. Short stories are difficult to write and getting the right ending can be particularly tough. However, this is where Graham excels in adding that twist or trick ending that really makes a story shine. Some of his endings are surprising whilst others are plain quirky but all are cleverly executed.
Another thing I enjoyed about this collection was the "voice" of some of the characters within the stories. This voice was very strong particularly in the first story Under The Cover of the Streets and stood out well also in Bobby's Bar.
A quirky and interesting collection that contains all the necessary ingredients for an entertaining read. Smith gives us humour, wit and plenty of action. He manages to get a surprising amount of story within a few words. Some of his tales convey precise descriptive detail and a clear sense of irony such as Shooting Stars. Other stories like the Kansas Kindred Killer showed good deal of plot development for a such short story.
A great value collection that I would recommend
Let's get this out of the way first. 11 the Hardest Way is not the novel adaptation of a porno. It's a collection of 11 short stories from crime author Graham Smith. It's way better than 40 e-reader pages of "oh baby"s.
Some stories are funny, or at least have an ironic twist. Others are tragic. All are punchy in the way only authors from the United Kingdom can write.
Yeah, I'll make a sweeping generalization about crime authors on the east side of the pond. They keep things to the point. Here's your crime story, now shut your mouth before your face gets sandpapered with the grit of another one.
Graham Smith is no exception. His style is blunt in the most brutal sense possible. Like trying to find the give in the hurt side of a knuckle.
On that note, the best story of the bunch involves not a punch but a bullet. One coming from a sniper on a rooftop. He's aiming at an actress who made a personal attack in a public way. The ending is one of the most unexpected, most satisfying wrap-ups I've encountered yet.
Harry Charter Chronicles
I bought this on recommendation and wasn't sure if it would be my cup of tea but I loved the stories and read them all in one go, couldn't put them down! Really entertaining and am off to buy his other book now
Here we have seven tales of a gumshoe detective whose only real friend seems to live in the bottom of one bottle or another. We meet him when work is on the up and he is starting to think that life is not always that bad.
These are short stories and I don't want to give too much away but Harry is not a law abiding citizen doing a fine job for society. He is a man who meters out his own form of justice once he has tracked his targets down.
Graham Smith has the language and detail of the time down to near perfection and I can honestly say that five lines into the first story I was taken aback and thought," way to go Graham, this is something else. You've cracked it mate." And he has.
My favourite tale is The Smell of Perfume, a magnificent play on words that has him searching for the missing son of his old army sergeant.
We have card game deceit, a very dodgy coach driver and a little bit of gangland control in this collection and through it all, Harry Charters and his straight up bourbon manage to bring it all to a satisfying conclusion.
I sincerely hope that Graham gives life to Harry and writes a full length novel so that we can learn what made this man what he is.
Not only has Graham Smith written another fist pounding, heart thumping collection of gloriously dark and twisted stories, he has also introduced us to the crime solving detective who will reinvigorate the genre. Harry's is the only type of justice on offer and it is meted out in spades, his actions will shock you before you find yourself nodding in agreement and rooting for him anyway. Each story is compelling, brilliantly paced and perfectly told so as to shock the reader over and over. My personal favourite is The Smell of Perfume, a violent, gut wrenching ride that will make you gasp in disbelief as you are dragged kicking and screaming towards an end that actually makes you want to shout out loud. I am such a huge fan of Graham Smith; he is incredibly skilled in the way he hooks his audience from the first line and can make you feel such a range of conflicting emotions in so short a space of time. I do hope a full length Harry novel is on the cards ... though I'm not 100% sure my nerves can take it