Any regular visitors to my blog will probably be aware that Tony Forder is one of my favourite authors. I am always eager to read any of his new books, but more so when it is the start of a new series. So I am delighted to join with other Book Bloggers to open the Blog tour and to share my review.
The Huntsmen is the first book in the DS Royston Chase series and what a start to a series this one is!!!
ABOUT THE BOOK…
The Huntsmen, by Tony J Forder, is the first book in a new UK crime series, based in Wiltshire.
The opener introduces the reader to DS Royston Chase and his new partner, DC Claire Laney. Chase is a family man and good at his job, but his lack of filter when speaking (caused by a brain injury sustained on the job) can cause problems. Laney is winding down towards her retirement, is bitter about having risen to the rank of DI only to see herself demoted back down again. She presents as a copper who no longer cares, but we find out otherwise. The two are supported by PCSO Alison May, who is ambitious and keen to join the force as a PC or preferably a DC.
Multiple deaths following a road collision are hard enough to deal with. That the man responsible was the ex-Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police and a Knight of the Realm is worse still for those tasked to investigate the incident. But the real question they have to answer is: who was the now deceased naked female minor alongside him at the time?
DS Royston Chase is living life as an outcast in a small Wiltshire village, and is called to the scene. Paired with the bold and strident DC Claire Laney, Chase is given the task of closing the case quickly and quietly.
But when the minor’s DNA provides a familial link to a girl who vanished from her home twenty years earlier at the age of eight, Chase and Laney refuse to accept the coincidence. The pair start looking harder at the ex-cop’s life, at which point they encounter serious opposition. Perhaps deadly serious.
Because the establishment looks after its own, and soon it’s not only their bosses getting in the way of a thorough investigation. Chase and Laney find themselves seemingly at odds with everyone, fighting to save their own reputations as well as the case. But neither will rest until they identify their young victim, no matter what the cost…
So when one of my favourite authors decides to write a new police procedural series, I automatically want to read it. I was nervous because I wondered if I would like DS Royston Chase as much as I do the character of DI Jimmy Bliss. I have to say right from the off that I do like this character and he is very different.
When DS Chase is called to attend a road accident, it is unusual. This is not the usual and the accident is not one anyone would want to attend. As the synopsis suggests the accident is just the start of a complex case. A case that reaches far, further than Chase would ever have believed.
Chase is a DS, he has been pushed sideways, into a rural station, he runs the show with help from PCSO May. As he is first on the scene as far as detectives go, and that he has already started the ball rolling by starting interviewing, his superiors decide that he will lead. This is not something they are too happy about, as a compromise they give him a partner.
Oh my days, DC Claire Laney has Chase wondering what planet she has just arrived from. Talk about opposites, bolshy, loud, blunt, borderline obnoxious or what! This first meeting of two people who are supposed to work together is not, well, is not how first meetings should go. This is a fabulous meeting that had me absolutely stunned and highly amused. Making an entrance or an impact is definitely what happened here. It is actually also quite clever because even though it should be a bit of a volatile combination, it really becomes an ice-breaker.
As for the case they are about to start out on, well they and I for that matter never imagined for one moment what the author had in store for us. This story is brutal, it is dark and it shows human depravity and how people think they have a right to do what they want. It was like going down a rabbit hole, the further I went the darker it got, and believe me there is no wonderland at the bottom of this rabbit hole.
I know the author can go into dark places with his writing, but this one takes it to a whole other level. The story introduces various characters, on the whole, they are not the nicest bunch, some are rich, powerful or successful and therefore believe they are above the likes of Chase and Laney and their investigation. Calling in expensive solicitors, trying to dodge questions or name dropping. This does not stop the investigation, it may hinder them, but Chase and Laney are too involved to let this get away from them. It seems they have more obstacles and doors closing in from of them, but tenacity and sheer bloody-mindedness from both of them keep it going forward.
Given that the case is one that is very hard reading at times, and also one that is heartbreaking and emotional, the author has managed to find a balance with some well-timed humour. It doesn’t detract from the case but does give the reader a chance for a pause, before getting right back into it.
This is a hard story, it is brutal and it is also very well written. Addictive and well-paced. If you are looking for a new crime series to start that is definitely on the darker side then this is one you really need to consider. A brilliant start to a new police procedural series and one that I am very excited about. It is definitely recommended.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR…
Tony J Forder is the author of the bestselling DI Bliss crime thriller series. The first seven books, Bad to the Bone, The Scent of Guilt, If Fear Wins, The Reach of Shadows, The Death of Justice, Endless Silent Scream, and Slow Slicing, were joined in December 2020 by a prequel novella, Bliss Uncovered. The series continued with The Autumn Tree in May 2021.
Tony’s other early series – two action-adventure novels featuring Mike Lynch – comprises both Scream Blue Murder and Cold Winter Sun. These books were republished in April 2021, and will be joined in 2022 by The Dark Division.
In addition, Tony has written two standalone novels: a dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, and a suspense thriller set in California, called Fifteen Coffins.
The Huntsmen, released on 4 October 2022, is the first book in a new crime series, set in Wiltshire. It features DS Royston Chase, DC Claire Laney, and PCSO Alison May.
Tony lives with his wife in Peterborough, UK, and is now a full-time author. He is currently working on the first book of an intended new crime series, whose working title is The Huntsmen.
All of Tony’s links can be found on Linktree
Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx