Twelve years after he left Peterborough under a cloud, DI Bliss returns to the city and the major crimes team. Having spent years policing organised crime, Bliss is plunged straight into the heart of a serial murder investigation.
Meanwhile, Penny Chandler has been promoted to DS and has been working in London on the Met’s sexual crimes team. But when two rapes are reported on her old patch in Peterborough, Chandler volunteers to interview the victims.
Chandler joins the hunt for the attacker and soon notices a possible link between the rapes and Bliss’s murder investigation. Could the same man be responsible?
Just as both cases seem to stall, a call comes in from an ex-policeman who knows of unsolved cases in the USA with a similar MO. Bliss finds himself travelling to California to hunt for a killer whose reach may have stretched further than anyone could possibly imagine.
But in order to catch the murderer, Bliss must discover the killer’s motive. A motive which should have remained buried in the past…
The Scent of Guilt was published on the 17th February 2018 by Bloodhound Books. Many thanks to Bloodhound Books for having me on the blog tour and providing me with my copy of the book for this review.
I absolutely loved the first book in this series, Bad To The Bone, so I was absolutely thrilled to hear about the next book and to be on its blog blitz. Unfortunately, due to being unwell, I was unable to post my review on my scheduled date but here it is, better late than never…..
The Scent of Guilt is twelve years after Bad To The Bone and we pick up with DI Bliss upon his return to Peterborough. Whilst this book can be read as a standalone, I would recommend reading the first book to get an understanding of what led to Bliss leaving Peterborough in the first place and to get a background to his relationship with Chandler and his chain of command. If Bliss was expecting a gentle return to the Peterborough team, he was wrong because pretty much when Bliss arrives in Peterborough, the body of a female is found throwing him straight into a serial killer investigation. Prior to his return, the team have been investigating the deaths of two others to no avail so when a third body turns up with the same MO, Bliss and the team are put under immense pressure to find the perpetrator.
What I really liked from Bad To The Bone was the rapport that Bliss and DC Chandler had so I was pleased to see that Chandler was to also feature in this book as don’t think it would have been the same without her – someone has to keep Bliss in check! Chandler and Bliss haven’t been working together since his departure from the city twelve years ago however they have remained on friendly terms – during which time she has promoted to DS and working on the Met’s sexual crimes team in London.
As to be expected from the nature of the plot, there are scenes in this book that are difficult reading but Forder deals with these brilliantly and sensitively. What particularly stood out to me were the scenes between Bliss and an elderly gentleman who has had his wife taken away from him in the worst possible way – the dialogue between these two men is both harrowing and heartwarming.
The Scent of Guilt is a brilliantly complex and gripping police procedural investing in parallel the murders of older women alongside the rapes of young women – both are which are portrayed sensitively with an authentic voice. I look forward to book three to pick up again with Bliss and Chandler.
Tony J Forder is the author of the critically acclaimed crime thriller Bad to the Bone, the first in a series featuring DI Jimmy Bliss and DC Penny Chandler. The sequel, The Scent of Guilt, is available from 17 February 2018. A third book in the series is currently in progress.
Tony’s dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, was also published by Bloodhound Books. This was intended to be a stand-alone novel, but Tony is now considering the possibility of a follow-up.
One book that will definitely see a sequel is Scream Blue Murder. This was published in November 2017, and received praise from many, including fellow authors Mason Cross and Matt Hilton.
Some years ago, Tony won a short story competition judged by an editor from Pan Books. The story, Gino’s Bar and Grille, went on to be published in Dark Voices 2, part of the celebrated Pan Book of Horror series. Three further short story sales followed: Book End, published in Dark Voices 4, Character Role, in FEAR magazine, and finally A Grim Story, which featured in A Rattler’s Tale. It was the start of Tony’s publishing journey.