Where the Silent Screams are Loudest by John Pye

Where the Silent Screams are Loudest by John Pye

When a story grabs you from the first page and refuses to loosen its grip until the last, you know you’ve read something special. This is a police procedural with a difference. Written by a former detective, everything about it has an authentic ring. You feel you are there in the briefing room, or in pursuit of the killer.

The level of detail makes all the difference. Nothing is skimped as DS Brennan is tasked with finding whether missing Poppy Hunt is still alive. The review of the case is prompted by eight year old Jason, who bears a striking resemblance to her. He was abandoned as a baby, only a few days old.

Enter Madeleine Scott, a genealogist, who can plot complex family trees and identify siblings and close relatives from a worldwide public DNA database. She confirms the link between Poppy and Jason and is soon seconded into the police team searching to identify and find the person who abducted Poppy.

The investigation is revealed in great and fascinating detail as it grows from a simple missing persons case to a hunt for a deadly serial killer. The characters are sharply drawn and believable, the banter between officers feels spot on, and their dedication and determination to find Poppy reveals the emotional strain and stress they are under.

The story moves along at a good pace, slowly expanding as more details about the killer are discovered. With a healthy mix of local knowledge, attention to detail, DNA and shoe leather, the net closes around the killer until he is identified. The tension mounts as officers race to apprehend him before he kills once more, ending in a nail-biting climax.

I take my hat off to the author for producing one of the most original, imaginative, detailed and addictive police procedural stories I’ve read.


Missing person cases are never closed. After a decade down in the police station basement, the file on missing schoolgirl, Poppy Hunt, comes back under the spotlight. Eight year Jason Fitzgerald bears a striking resemblance to the girl. A look into Jason’s past reveals he was a foundling baby apparently abandoned by his mother when just days old.

Livewire family tree and DNA researcher Madelaine Scott joins forces with Detective Sergeant Eve Brenan to slot in the pieces of a horrific jigsaw puzzle that stretches back twenty years. Ties to an unreported violent rape and the undetected cold case murders of three prostitutes become firmly connected by DNA.

Gripping, nerve-wracking action feeds the narrative as secret police surveillance starts to close in on the offender only to reveal more horrendous crimes. But is Poppy Hunt still alive after all these years and if so will police activity sign her death warrant?

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