Endless Silent Scream by Tony J. Forder #BookReview #BlogTour

From the author of the bestselling DI Bliss crime series comes another gripping police procedural thriller that will have readers hooked from the stunning first page to the very last.

He saved her once. Can he do it again?

When DI Bliss prevents fifteen-year-old Molly from jumping from a hotel roof, he has no idea their paths will cross again. A county lines mule, Molly is questioned by the drugs squad, but Bliss becomes convinced she is in danger and attempts to have her relocated. A local drug dealer and a London-based enforcer have other ideas.

Meanwhile, the remains of a freelance journalist are discovered alongside an archaeological find, which brings an old flame back into Bliss’s life. It’s only a matter of time before reports emerge linking the murdered journalist with the police, putting pressure on the Major Crimes team to find the killer.

Bliss is torn between the two investigations. Desperate to move Molly to safety before she can be reached by those who want her silenced, he is blinded to other dangers.

The stunning DI Bliss series of fast-paced police thrillers will appeal to fans of authors like Michael Connelly, Joy Ellis, Peter James, Robert Bryndza and Angela Marsons. Tony J Forder is also the bestselling author of Degrees of Darkness, Scream Blue Murder and Cold Winter Sun.

I am thrilled to be hosting the blog tour for Endless Silent Scream today. Huge thanks to Tony J. Forder and Sarah Hardy from BOTBS for inviting me and for my advance digital copy of the novel.

Endless Silent Scream is the sixth book in what has become my favourite police procedural crime thriller series and as always, although it can easily be enjoyed as a standalone, my advice would be to read the previous books if you can in order to fully appreciate the overarching storyline and character development as a whole. Also, these are all brilliant novels and you're really missing out by not reading them!
The action here takes place just a few weeks after the shocking events of the previous novel, The Death of Justice and the awful tragedy which devastated Bliss and his team still looms heavily over them all. The book opens with Bliss in the unlikely position of being the first person on site when a call comes in reporting that a young girl is on the roof of a city-centre building, obviously intending to jump. In a tense yet darkly humorous scene, he talks to the girl in his own inimitably blunt manner. He knows he would never be the first choice for this particular role and though he has sent instructions for somebody better trained to get there soon, he still manages to form a strong bond with the young woman who is dressed in only a thin nightdress and is clutching a knife which is dripping with blood. 
This exciting opening introduces Bliss and readers to Molly who is a very different character to anybody who has appeared in the series before and she certainly makes a significant impact on the irascible Detective Inspector. As a county lines drugs mule, Molly is viewed by some of his colleagues - the vastly unlikable DI Bentley in particular - as little more than a common criminal. While Bliss has spotted some spark in the girl which has convinced him that she deserves their help, Bentley considers her no better than any of the other street kids who he comes across on a daily basis. The argument here, of course, is that perhaps many of these kids are in similar situations to Molly because they too have already reached the point in their young lives where their current lifestyle is preferable to any of the alternatives they see as available to them.
Tony J. Forder explores some of the most concerning aspects of contemporary life in Endless Silent Scream with Molly becoming the human face of the children and young people who have been consistently let down by a society which allows them to become drug runners, thrown into a world of violence, addiction and sexual predators. She doesn't go into the full details of her past but it's evident that Molly has experienced some terrible abuse as a child which has resulted in her accepting the harrowing situation she describes to Bliss and Chandler - until she reached the point where she could take no more.
It puts her in a desperately dangerous position but as a potential suspect or witness to a case which is being handled by another department, Bliss is in a difficult position. One of my favourite aspects of his character is the way in which he refuses to play the political game and although he has mellowed a little over the course of the series, the hot-headed man who speaks before he thinks is never far away and now that his previously chilly relationship with DCI Edwards has improved somewhat, I looked forward to his frank encounters with Bentley.
Bliss and his team have their own cases to investigate, the most pressing of which means that he must once again confront the demons of 2005; the most difficult year of his career haunting him once again. Although the events of the first book in the series, Bad to the Bone are mentioned here, it's a case known as Burnout which took place shortly before that life-changing investigation which becomes the focus of the present-day discovery of a missing journalist's body. Bliss is put in the difficult position of having to consider some of his previous colleagues as potential suspects - whilst also acknowledging that he could also come under suspicion as one of the high-ranking officers who was working on the highly sensitive investigation into arsonists who were targeting immigrants at the time of her disappearance.
Violent extremism has become a feature of modern life and although the right-wing racism of various ultra-nationalistic groups is once more under the spotlight, the team must also look into the activities of Antifa, with the recognition that though they are theoretically the polar opposites of the racist groups, they often employ the same violent, fascistic methods in enforcing their own agenda. It's an uncomfortable but important topic and I thought it was handled really well here, presenting a realistic look a the sort of challenges facing police officers today.
Throughout the book, the psychological impact - both in the short and longer term  - of their job is portrayed with perceptive empathy. Bliss is still attending counselling sessions we saw him start in the The Death of Justice, which is another example of how his character has evolved during this series as it's not something the he would ever have countenanced previously. However, he still mostly bears his emotional scars privately, keeping the true depth of his feelings about what he has encountered to himself. I've always loved the way he supports his younger colleagues and that continues in Endless Silent Scream, particularly when it comes to DS Bishop whose reaction to an ill-thought comment is a heartbreaking reminder of just how much the whole team are still suffering from the awful tragedy of a few weeks ago.
If I'm asked what I look for in a book, I always say I want a story to make me feel something and Endless Silent Scream is an outstanding emotional rollercoaster of a read. There are some unbearably tense scenes which play out perfectly, the exchanges between colleagues - especially Bliss and Chandler often feature the realistic black humour which exists in long-term friendships, particularly those which are formed in stressful occupations and there are moments of tear-jerking poignancy which reveal a compassionate side to Bliss which perhaps comes as more of a surprise to the man than it does to readers who have grown to love this complex, multifaceted character.
I'm not surprised I loved Endless Silent Scream; Tony J. Forder's writing is consistently of the very highest quality and although I never know what lies in store for his characters, I expect and invariably read an exceptional crime thriller. I can only reiterate my words at the start of this review - this is my favourite police procedural series and if you've not yet discovered these books then I urge you not to delay any further. I cannot recommend this book and series highly enough.

Endless Silent Scream was published on 9th March 2020 and can be purchased from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Don't miss the rest of the blog tour, details are below.

About the Author

Tony J Forder is the author of the bestselling crime thriller series featuring detectives Jimmy Bliss and Penny Chandler. The first four books, Bad to the Bone, The Scent of Guilt, If Fear Wins, and The Reach of Shadows, were joined by The Death of Justice, on 9 September 2019. Book number six, Endless Silent Scream, will be published on 9 March 2020.
Tony’s dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, was also published by Bloodhound Books. This is a stand-alone serial-killer novel. Scream Blue Murder, an action-adventure thriller, was published in November 2017, and received praise from many, including fellow authors Mason Cross, Matt Hilton and Anita Waller. The sequel, Cold Winter Sun, was published in November 2018.
Tony lives with his wife in Peterborough, UK, and is now a full-time author. He is currently editing a new novel, and has also started on Bliss #7, Slow Slicing.
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  1. Thank you so much Karen for being part of the blog tour today.


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