Welcome to my stop on the Bad to the Bone blog tour and a huge thank you to Sarah Hardy from Bloodhound Books for inviting me onto the tour.
About this book…
A skeletal body is unearthed in a wooded area of Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. DI James Bliss, together with DC Penny Chandler, investigate the case and discover that the young, female victim had been relocated from its original burial site.
A witness is convinced that a young female was struck by a vehicle back in the summer of 1990, and that police attended the scene. However, no record exists of either the accident or the reported victim. As the case develops, two retired police officers are murdered. The two are linked with others who were on duty at the time a road accident was reported.
As Bliss and Chandler delve deeper into the investigation, they start to question whether senior officers may have been involved in the murder of the young women who was buried in the woods.
As each link in the chain is put under duress, so is Bliss who clashes with superiors and the media.
When his team receives targeted warnings, Bliss will need to decide whether to drop the case or to pursue those responsible.
Will Bliss walk away in order to keep his career intact or will he fight no matter what the cost?
And is it possible the killer is much closer than they imagined?
This is the first book I’ve read by Tony J Forder and I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last! This is a Cambridgeshire based police procedural, well written and researched with a DI who is very different to the norm and certainly not what I was expecting when I first started to read Bad to the Bone!
We are first introduced to DI James Bliss when he is brought in to investigate a body in the woods. He came across strongly for me at first, even though I thought his behaviour was rather unconventional at times and slightly politically incorrect -I felt he would have been very much at home in a 1970s TV police drama such as The Sweeney at times! But then I came to realise a lot of how he behaved was down to a recently diagnosed medical condition combined with an overwhelming sense of grief that he was struggling to deal with. Unfortunately, he then did a few things that seemed totally uncharacteristic including sharing details of some extra curricular activities that I was unexpectedly shocked by(and I’m no prude!!) as it didn’t seem to match up with his character! This disclosure actually made me wonder whether or not to carry on with the book but I’m glad I did as the closer I got to the end, the more he redeemed himself although it may take another book to totally convince me!
There is a large cast of characters here which helps add to the feeling of suspense with having so many suspects and possible motives to sift through. It did mean that I didn’t work out what was going on until the resolution which was well thought out and presented. I loved the relationship between Bliss and Chandler, their easy going dialogue felt authentic and natural and seemed to bring out the best of Bliss-I do love a bit of banter! And I would like to find out more about Penny Chandler in future books, although after the shocks I had finding out more about Bliss and his personal life, maybe it’s best if I don’t!
Although DI Bliss wasn’t really my cup of tea, it did make a refreshing change to get an insight into a man who wasn’t your stereotypical police officer. And while I didn’t particularly take to him it doesn’t mean others won’t applaud his actions and revel in his idiosyncrasies! Although I felt the narrative struggled a bit in the middle with the plot threads, once they started to come together in the final third of the book I couldn’t put it down! A good solid crime thriller that will keep you guessing till the very end.
Many thanks to the publisher Bloodhound Books for my review copy of Bad to the Bone which is now available to purchase from Amazon UK
Meet the author…
On 1st February 2017, Tony signed to Bloodhound Books, who will publish his new edgy crime thriller Bad to the Bone on Saturday 29 April. It features DI James Bliss and DC Penny Chandler, and is the first in a series.
Later in 2017, Tony’s first novel, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, will also be published by Bloodhound Books.
Tony Forder has been writing stories since childhood, but it was only when he won a short story competition judged by an editor from Pan Books, that he realised he might actually be half decent at this writing business.
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.
During a book singing for Dark Voices 2, Tony was seated next to author Brian Lumley. At one point, Tony revealed to Brian that he felt out of place alongside all the proper writers. Brian then told Tony something he has never forgotten: “The moment you sat down and pulled a story out of your imagination and put it to paper, you became a proper writer.”
Subsequently, Tony began to focus on novel writing. He admits that his initial attempts were exploratory and somewhat derivative, although there was some interest from an agent – who oddly enough turned out to be Brian Lumley’s wife, Dorothy.
Tony wrote Degrees of Darkness, which he was happy with. He wasn’t so happy with a follow-up, so that never saw the light of day.
As a part-time writer with a full-time job, plus some ill-health, life got in the way and, although Tony continued writing, it took a back seat to making a living.
This year, however, Tony has been inspired by new ideas, and has been working hard on two new books, at least one of which will be completed in 2017. In the meantime, he hopes you enjoy Bad to the Bone.