Watching the Bodies

Jake Boulder 1

Jake Boulder - Book 1

When Jake Boulder is asked by his PI friend to help investigate the vicious murder of Kira Niemeyer, he soon finds himself tracking a serial killer who selects his next victim in a most unusual manner.

As the body count rises, Boulder has to work with the police to identify the heinous killer before more lives are taken. What ensues is a twisted game of cat and mouse, that only Boulder or the Watcher can survive. But who will it be?

What Readers are Saying

“Watching the Bodies is a storming addition to the action thriller genre, and Jake Boulder a new tough guy to root for. Be under no illusion, Boulder is no Jack Reacher or Joe Hunter clone- He is his own man and readers will delight in getting to know a hero who is as sharp with his wits, and his tongue, as he is with his fists.” Matt Hilton – Bestselling author of the Joe Hunter thrillers

 “If you are looking for a high-octane, action-packed, crime thriller that will leave you begging…yes BEGGING for more, then look no further!” Noelle Holten – Crime Book Junkie

 “Fast-paced, suspenseful, action-packed and led by a stellar brooding protagonist (Jake Boulder).” Samantha Ellen – Clues and Reviews

 “A must-read page-turner that will compel you to read way beyond your bedtime. An awesome start to a new series and all I can say is roll on book two.” Sharon Bairden – Chapter In My Life

“This is a dark and suspenseful read that just drew me in and placed me slap bang in the thick of things. With a thrilling serial killer and a smouldering Boulder, there is definitely something for everyone who loves a good crime thriller.” Sarah Hardy – By the Letter Book Reviews

“A belter of a start to a series. High-stakes cat and mouse games with a twisted killer and a really likeable protagonist. Definitely, one to add to your TBR if you enjoy fast-paced action!” Kate Moloney – Bibliophile Book Club

“With unwavering tension, fast-paced action, a creepy killer, murders galore and a great protagonist to boot, this book kept me hooked and interested from start to finish. Short chapters, many of which end in cliffhangers, kept me entertained and on my toes throughout. The breath-taking finale made me gasp…literally.” Joseph Calleja – Relax and Read Book Reviews

“I have always been a sucker for a serial killer story and in Watching the Bodies, I have found one of the best serial killer tales that I have read for a long, long time. I loved this.” Gordon Mcghie – Grab This Book

“It’s one of the best serial killer thrillers I have read in a LONG time. I couldn’t stop turning the pages and devoured this book in two short days. If this is what Graham Smith has in store for us with this new series, then consider me hooked. I can’t wait to read more!” Emma Welton – Damppebbles Book Blog

The Writing Of

  There’s quite a story behind the origins of Jake Boulder and how I came to move from UK set police procedurals to US based crime action thrillers. Hold on to your hats folks, this is a bit of a long one.

After completing my debut novel, Snatched from Home, I was about to start the submission process when two very kind friends recommended both Snatched and myself to the editor of a US publisher who was looking for new authors.

I duly went through the submission process and the editor had some very positive things to say about my novel. She passed it on to some colleagues and they loved it too. From there it had to pass the scrupulous eyes of the owners. To my amazement it still wasn’t rejected, this was my debut novel and while I was fully invested in the story, I could understand why US publishers might not love a story set in the English Lake District.

I was kept informed of Snatched’s progress all the way through their consideration process. With one last hurdle to surmount, I awaited emails from the editor like an expectant father pacing a hospital corridor. The final hurdle was a staff meeting where all the relevant departments of the publishing team discussed various books.

Despite Snatched having many champions at the publisher, the marketing team felt they couldn’t sell a UK set book by a UK based author to a US market. I got a very gracious and apologetic email from the editor rejecting my submission.

I found a home for Snatched and other titles in the series and had relative success with Harry Evans and co, but there was always that sense of what might have been plaguing me. 

I’m a cussed sort of character, I don’t take no for an answer very easily. To show these US marketers what I was made of I decided to create a new series, set in America. It would be a crime action thriller series which allowed me scope to investigate the kind of crimes that are too grand in scale for a UK set novel.

I built Jake as a character, decided on his location, (Casperton is based on a real city that I renamed for my own purposes) and worked out the kinks in the plot I would use. When I started writing, the book evolved in front of me with every new chapter. Kira Niemeyer took a hold of the novel despite being dead from the first line, and the various characters and plot threads all came alive in my mind.

Where things didn’t work out so well for me was in the style of writing. I was writing in third person, past tense which is the standard for most crime novels. This was normal, unremarkable and it’s practically the industry standard. It wasn’t working for me though. The action seemed flat and I couldn’t get the narrative inside the head of Jake Boulder the way I wanted to. 

I was perhaps a third of the way through at this point and I was struggling, really starting to doubt the novel and whether I had the writing chops to make the story work the way I wanted it to. I was feeling the story was being told in the wrong way so in a desperate attempt to prevent the collapse of my self-confidence as a writer, I decided to try writing a chapter in first person, present tense to give the story both intimacy and urgency. Two pages later, I was flying and knew I’d found the solution to my problem.

Once the story was finished I had to go back and change the tense and point of view in the first hundred or so pages. Once that was done, I polished it up, sent it out on submission, and the rest as they say, is history.