ABOUT THE BOOK
The old police station’s deep basement holds many secrets. Ghosts lurk among the cold case files down there – victims whose stories have never reached their ending – silent screams waiting to penetrate the mind of a lone visitor and invade the imagination.
When teenager Poppy Hunt disappeared on her way home from school in the summer of 2008 detectives were left baffled, the girl had vanished into thin air.
Missing Persons cases are never closed, but after several months with no new leads the enquiry team was disbanded. Ultimately, the file made its way down to the lower levels and became yet another cold case.
Annie Shephard, Poppy’s favourite classmate, now herself a teacher, never forgot her special pal, but memories of those fun filled days were slowly fading. Almost eleven years had gone by when a young face in the midst of her new pupils stopped her in her tracks and threw her back in time.
Livewire private genealogy specialist and self-professed DNA detective, Madeleine Scott, didn’t want to step on detectives’ toes, but knew she’d hit on a clue to the girl’s disappearance.
Detective Sergeant Eve Brenan’s scepticism about Scott turns into jaw-dropping incredulity as the pieces of a terrifying jigsaw slot into place. The spotlight is swung back onto the Poppy Hunt case after eleven long years and it’s soon clear that there’s more than one awful puzzle to investigate.
The world of family tree research joins forces with high-tech forensics and good old-fashioned detective work in an investigation which becomes more chilling with each day.
Stress and anger levels peak as police infighting and ego trips threaten to destroy progress. True to life characters act out their parts as edge of the seat action combines with humour and the possibility of a romance.
An accumulation of horrendous facts bring the story to an action packed and mind jarring conclusion.
This is the first book of this author that I have read and what an awesome story it has been. I think that cold cases must be the hardest thing that a police officer has to walk away from and that is where this story begins. I really loved the different approach to re-opening the case of missing schoolgirl Poppy Hunt, who had disappeared in 2008. It took a number of things to come together which reignited the investigation to at least finding some answers and giving a smidgen of hope that she may still be alive.
Genealogy is quite fascinating and can find the smallest trace of DNA between two people, it is the obtaining of the DNA that can cause a problem. Madeleine Scott, a renowned genealogy researcher had been the one that had linked the past to present and so became a new member of the team determined to find Poppy. DS Eve Brenan is willing to use whatever methods possible and investigate every lead. She has a keen eye and gets in amongst the thick of it. Super character!
The unusual investigation made this book into a page-turner, as the author’s personal experience in years as a police officer made it feel very authentic. I really liked how good and bad policing was woven into the story and loved how much the public was involved for their help. The story was one that turned my legs to jelly and strain to listen for noises that were only in words, but this is so well written that I heard everyone.
I really can’t recommend this book enough, fresh different and with that wow factor that makes you close the book and punch the air!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hi I’m John Pye, a retired UK Detective born in 1950. Writing has been both my passion and my hobby since retirement and my career as a police officer was without doubt the motivating force behind this. Little did I realise when I joined the force just how much written work was involved and as an eleven plus failure it was a big learning curve.
It wasn’t until I finally came to hang up my handcuffs some 27 years later that I realised that I’d become quite adept at writing and actually enjoyed it. I’ve always had a passion for history and so initially I completed a few articles for a local newspaper supplement – these were published and I realised that I had been bitten by the writing bug!
I started to work on a mostly humorous account of my police service which I eventually published as a kindle book under title ‘The Nick of Time’. I had to go through more of that learning curve in attempting to get my book published via conventional methods. It took a few painful years before the almost insurmountable difficulties of being ‘an unknown’ actually got me to ‘Kindle’. The Nick of Time still surprises me with its regular downloads and great reviews.
I published my first novel (Cathedral of Lies),a crime/thriller, murder mystery on Kindle in 2013 and quickly followed it up with a true, short VAMPIRE story (Vampire of The Villas) later that year.
Field of Lies arrived on Kindle in May 2015 as number 2 in the Detective Inspector Doug Taylor ‘Of Lies’ series. I had not intended writing a series but as the Cathedral of Lies and its characters had been so well received decided to give it a try. It worked and I was soon getting calls for number three in the series.
Guardian of Lies (number 3) was published on kindle in September 2017. All the books thrive on a diet of high powered action, intrigue and peculiar personalities. Much of the inspiration originates from my involvement on several high profile criminal and murder cases and having to rub shoulders with odd characters both inside and outside ‘the job’.
All my stories are inspired by and connected to some real life events and each of the ‘Of Lies’ stories has a code word which gives access to a secret page within my website. The secret page gives the detail along with photos and videos connected to the real story behind the story. Indeed I was stunned to see only a matter of weeks after publishing Guardian of Lies that the Salisbury Novichock attempt on Sergei Skripal’s life became big news – Guardian of Lies is based on a nerve agent threat to the UK and featured Porton Down and Salisbury.
Looking back on my time as a police officer I realise that it was often the black humour and mischievous antics which helped to get us though some tricky and unpleasant events. That rascally mind-set has always stayed with me and often comes to the surface in my writing. An impromptu comedy scene occasionally appears in the midst of a serious setting (this was always so true to life).
During my police service I regularly found myself in all manner of awkward situations engaging with a variety of strange, odd and unpleasant people as well as a plethora of wonderful helpful folk. Consequently I tend to model characters upon former colleagues as well as criminals and casual acquaintances. My choice of names for these individuals stems from a mix of real life names – a jumble of Christian names and surnames. The occasional scan through the phone directory can also provide a great ‘handle’ for a new character. I feel however, that it is important to try to stay close to the real world – it might seem like a good idea at the time to give your main ‘action man or woman’ a flashy name but it can be a turn off for the reader if it’s too improbable.
My latest book ‘Where the Silent Screams are Loudest’ came out in October 2020 and was complete change for me. Whilst the genre, again is crime fiction this story is set in 2019. It required a huge amount of research to get up to speed in areas of modern day policing and I remain stunned at the help that I received from some of the country’s top experts who happily gave me some time from their busy schedules.
I am a big fan of Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus and readily identify with the reality he creates. I also love Frederick Forsyth and Joanne Harris as great authors.
Thank you for reading