Thursday 5 March 2020

The Harder They Fall - Alex Smith - Softley Softley Thrillers Book 1.0

The Harder They Fall
Softley Softley Thrillers Book 1.0
Zertex Crime

This is the third mystery or thriller I have read from Alex Smith. I have read the first two stories on the DCI Kett stories that I have read and I have can state that both were great crime mystery novels. This is the first of the Softley Softley series I have read. A decade ago, I read and loved the Lockdown series published primarily for a young adult audience by Alexander Gordon Smith. I compared the DCI Kett series to TV series like Wired in the Blood, or the Commander. Reading this was more like reading a British story similar to the Jack Reacher series, by Lee Child. or the character John T. Clark from Tom Clancy's works. In fact, I am almost certain that people who like the Reacher stories will thoroughly enjoy this first novel in a new series from Smith.

This is a revised version of this novel. It has been updated with links to the DCI Kett stories. The original version of this that was released makes no reference to Kett, and the beginning because of that is slightly different. But the main story is the same. I can only expect that at some point the two series are going to cross over in a much more dramatic manner. If you have read the first version you only really need to reread the section where Jack Softley receives the news that his brother Liam is dead. He and his brother had mostly been estranged and had not seen each other in years. When he goes to London to the funeral, Jack gets mixed up in a world that he did not know existed, and that his brother had apparently been a part of.

 The story is fast packed, and is intense from the moment Jack walks into the funeral home until the story concludes. The Softley brothers appear to be very different. Jack is an English teacher, family man, and just wants to get back together with his wife and help look after his son. Liam was special forces and did a lot of contract work after his military time. But Jack holds secrets, and they upbringing at the hands of a brutal drunk has given both of them tools to survive, and tools to fight with. And Soon Jack is in a fight for his life and those of his family. Jack’s fight is both literal, in a bare-knuckle ring, against thugs, and against underworld characters. But also figurative in getting himself up and moving again and again no matter how hard he has been knocked down or what has happened to him. 

Woven through the current events that are taking place over a few days, are Jack’s memories. Remembering back to his childhood. To Liam as his older brother and protector. To their father beating them and their mother. To them finding a dead body in the woods. And even finding a gun. 

There are a couple of real twists in this story. Both took me by surprise. And the end leaves you desperate for book two.  Up until this past year I had not read many in the mystery or crime genres for over 25 years. But last year I did read a lot of crime and mystery books. I read all the books available by Maureen Jennings, the Jack Reacher Series by Lee Child, and the Hunt for Reacher series by Diane Capri. And the writing in this story kept up with each of them. It is a great first story in a series. And sets us up for some serious action in the coming volumes. 

It is a great read for anyone who enjoys the crime, mystery, thriller genres!

Mystery Books as Alex Smith:

Softley Softley Series:
2.0 Hard Luck House

DCI Kett Series:
2.0 Bad Dog
3.0 Three Little Pigs

Books By Alexander Gordon Smith:
Escape from Furnace:

Death Sentence
Execution Epilogue - Short Story
The Night Children - Short Story

Fury Series:
The Fury
The Storm

The Inventors:
The Inventors
The Inventors And The City of Stolen Souls

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