Slow Slicing by Tony J. Forder #BookReview #BlogTour


The bestselling author of the compelling DI Bliss crime series is back with another stunning novel.

When slices of flesh and body parts are discovered in different areas of the country, DI Bliss and his team are tasked with running the operation. After Bliss realises the victims have been subjected to a specific form of torture, it leads him to a cold case involving the brutal and bloody murder of a woman in London twenty-six years earlier.

As the team discover links between their victims, the murdered woman, and gangland crime, they begin a dangerous investigation into both the past and the present. But Bliss is stumped, unable to decide if the current spate of mutilations are acts of revenge or the result of ageing criminals seeking to hide their despicable actions. Following a leak to the media, Bliss’s reaction may have dire consequences.

With the hunt for the victims at fever point, Bliss uncovers evidence steering him in the direction of one particular individual. The only problem being, his prime suspect is the one person it cannot possibly be. When Bliss orders a sting operation, the astonishing truth is revealed. And that’s when things really start to go wrong…

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'm  thrilled to be sharing my review of Slow Slicing today. Huge thanks to Tony Forder and to Sarah Hardy from BOTBS Publicity for inviting me and for my advance digital copy of the novel.

A new DI Bliss novel is always something to look forward to but even at this stage of the series, with Slow Slicing the seventh book published, Tony Forder's skill as a writer means it can be enjoyed as a standalone - although I would strongly advise you to read the previous books if possible, not only because they're all thoroughly enjoyable but also because I do believe there's an additional emotional pull that comes from really knowing these characters.
After a really grisly opening chapter featuring an unknown victim being horrifically tortured, we get to briefly see Bliss in an uncharacteristically light mood as he meets up with Molly, who returning readers will be pleased to see again after she made such an impression in the previous story, Endless Silent Scream. Things have moved on considerably since then and Molly only has a peripheral role to play here but the scenes she appears in are a delight and allow us to see the softer side of Jimmy Bliss.
Their reunion is cut short, however, when Bliss receives a call from a Wiltshire based Superintendent who worked in the Serious and Organised Crime Agency at the same time as Bliss. It quickly transpires that the discovery of a large slice of human flesh at West Kennet Long Barrow bears too close similarities to the case Bliss and his team are currently working back in Peterborough to be merely coincidence. Nine days ago, another chunk of flesh was left in a plastic bag in a stone fireplace in Peterborough Cathedral. As the first piece was white and the second, black, it begins to look as if a serial killer might be at work. Both have been carved with a series of letters and numbers but they don't match and at this point offer no clue as to what their significance might mean.
One of the many highlights of this series is just how different each case is and that's true again here. Although Tony Forder often explores the more shadowy aspects of society and of human behaviour, Slow Slicing is perhaps even darker than what came before. The nature of the violence here is especially gruesome and even though I read a lot of dark crime fiction, I still winced at some of the horrors inflicted on the victims. It's not gratuitous, however, and is integral to the plot and to understanding the motivation behind the cruelty. 
As more body parts are discovered, it becomes evident that this is linked to the horrific murder of a woman in 1994 and is almost certainly connected to organised crime, an area of policing Jimmy Bliss knows well from his time working in London. The emotional toll of policing is another constant and welcome feature of this series and whether it's DS Bishop still traumatised by the tragic loss of his partner, Mia or DC Ansari having her optimism dulled by the grinding, almost hopeless nature of the case, it's not just Bliss who is suffering here. It's wonderful then to see his partner, DS Penny Chandler enjoying a much better time of things in her personal life and even Bliss himself might have the chance at some happiness if he takes the opportunity to allow somebody in. 
In the earlier books in the series, Bliss was often angry and confrontational and while we definitely still see that side of his character in Slow Slicing, as the lead of the joint task force operation set up to pool and double knowledge, he is more mindful in his dealings with his opposing officers. However, he is also more contemplative here too and recognises his tendency to become maudlin, although it could be argued with good reason at times. He claims to be happy with his own company and while that is undoubtedly true to an extent, he is afflicted with a lonely melancholy that threatens to become more entrenched. Now in the final years of his career, he looks back at his past and considers his future with a mixture of nostalgia, disappointment and acceptance. Nevertheless, he remains a loyal, principled boss and the interactions with his team, particularly Chandler, are still as effortlessly natural and frequently humorous as I've come to expect from an author who understands his characters so well.
As complex and shocking as the case may be, it is also entirely believable, both in terms of the reasons behind the violence and the consequences after the operation reaches its conclusion. Slow Slicing is yet another outstanding instalment in this exceptional series; intelligent, surprising and entertaining, it is also a book written with a real insight into human nature. It is a pleasure to see Bliss out of Peterborough again too, and as always the sense of place evoked is excellent throughout. This continues to be an unmissable, benchmark police procedural series for me and the potential repercussions following what happens at the end means I'm desperate to find out what lies in store for Jimmy Bliss next. 

Slow Slicing is independently published 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 six books, Bad to the Bone, The Scent of Guilt, If Fear Wins, The Reach of Shadows, The Death of Justice, and Endless Silent Scream, will be joined on 10 August 2020 by Slow Slicing, and in December by the DI Bliss prequel novella, Bliss Uncovered.

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.

In November, Tony will release a new standalone suspense thriller set in California, called Fifteen Coffins.

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.


  1. Thanks so much for being part of the blog tour today Karen x


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