In Trotterdown, Cornwall a boat, The Enigma washes in to the harbour. The skipper is dead, and Harriet Taylor is brought in to investigate. But 1 dead body is not the only crime the team have to deal with. Meanwhile, further up the coast in Whitby a boat washes up on the rocks just outside the harbour. Everyone on board is dead. Whitby Police are out of their depth, so DS Jason Smith is called in to help. It soon becomes clear the cases are connected and the teams from York and Trotterdown settle down to work with each other.
‘The Enigma’ is the first book in the brand new series featuring DS Jason Smith and DC Harriet Taylor. I have read, reviewed and loved reading Stewart’s earlier books featuring both detectives, who each have their own series. As I love both characters and I love Stewart’s books, I couldn’t wait to get hold of a copy of ‘The Enigma’. Fortunately I got hold of a copy and I just couldn’t wait to dive straight in. Boy oh boy, I thought that Stewart’s other books were good but ‘The Enigma’ blows his other books out of the water. I absolutely loved reading ‘The Enigma’ but more about that in a bit.
What can I say about DS Jason Smith other than the fact that I love him!!! He is actually from Australia but he was sent to live with his beloved late grandmother in York following Smith’s sister’s disappearance from a beach. Smith formed a strong bond with his grandmother and in a lot of ways she was more of a maternal figure to him than his own mother was. Smith did study at university but dropped out when he decided that he wanted to be a police officer. Smith is a bit of a rebel to say the least. He does respect some of his superiors but if his superiors tell him not to do something then that makes Smith more determined to do it. Smith is stubborn, headstrong, determined and he is fiercely protective of those he cares most about- in this case his significant other and his young daughter. Smith is a police officer who gets results even if he has to bend the rules ever so slightly on occasion. DC Harriet Taylor is instantly likeable. Following some unpleasant incidents in Edinburgh, Taylor requested a transfer, which was granted. Taylor now works in Trotterdown and she doesn’t ever want to go anywhere near Edinburgh ever again. This case sees her having to liaise with Edinburgh police and then much to her disgust, Taylor is sent to Edinburgh to liaise with her colleagues there and of course to work with DS Jason Smith. Taylor is feisty, ambitious, determined, loyal, eager to learn and she isn’t afraid to speak her mind. Taylor has heard a fair bit about Smith and she holds him in high esteem. In fact I thought that she was going a bit fan girl-like at point. ‘The Enigma’ sees Smith and Taylor’s loved ones being threatened in more ways than one.
Oh my goodness, gracious me ‘The Enigma’ is one hell of a read and then some. I read the book within a day. Once I picked the book up and began to read, I found it impossible to be put the book down. The book wasn’t exactly glued to my hand but it might as well have been because it came everywhere with me. I just had to keep reading on and on to see if the criminal was apprehended and to see if both Taylor and Smith ended the book in one piece. At one point, I had my doubts that they would both survive. The more I read, the more I wanted to read and the quicker those pages were turning. I was genuinely gutted to reach the end of this book. I was enjoying the author’s writing style, the storylines and the characters so much that I just wanted the book to continue.
‘The Enigma’ is brilliantly written. The author certainly grabs your attention from the first page onwards and keeps your attention throughout the story. The author uses such vivid and powerful descriptions that I really did feel as though I was part of the story. In fact I felt like another member of the investigating team. Everything that Smith and Taylor felt or went through, I felt or went through the same sort of emotions. I really got the way in which Smith and Taylor felt when their families or loved ones are under threat.
Reading ‘The Enigma’ is much like riding on a scary and very unpredictable rollercoaster ride with twists and turns aplenty. I must say that I did guess one aspect of the story but I only guessed fairly late on in the book and it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the book at all.
In short, I absolutely adored reading ‘The Enigma’ and I would definitely recommend it to other readers. For me, this is the best of Stewart’s books so far and I get the feeling that the series will get better and better and will go from strength to strength. No pressure there then. ‘The Enigma’ is guaranteed to get your heart rate pumping, your blood pressure soaring and will at times leave you breathless. I can’t wait to read more about this new detective pairing. Here’s hoping that we don’t have too long to wait. The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.