The Scent of Guilt by Tony J Forder
20th September 2020. 5 stars.
Having read and enjoyed Bad to the Bone, the first book in the series, I was keen to see what DI Bliss would face in this second outing. Having left Peterborough twelve years ago, he’s back and immediately thrust into a serial killer investigation. Needless to say, his return isn’t welcomed by all, least of all by his new boss. Her animosity and unreasonable demands pile on the pressure as he investigates a highly complex and unusual series of murders.
When the killings are linked to some separate rapes, being investigated by his friend and former colleague, DS Chandler, the case takes an unexpected twist that ultimately leads them to California before the truth is unravelled.
And it takes some unravelling.
I was pleased to find that the twelve year absence seems to have reduced the complicated backstory and history that burdened Bliss in the first story, resulting in more pace and balance this time.
As a result this became an enthralling and compelling investigation that delivered on every level – strong, believable characters and relationships, a dogged determination to get to the truth, an intricate and delightful plot that will last long in my memory and quality writing to bring it all alive.
In short, this is one of the best and most memorable crime stories I’ve read for some time.
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…
Tags: Crime fiction, Murder mystery, Police procedural, Thriller