Where the Silent Screams are Loudest

By John Pye (Kindle ed.)

Teenager Poppy Hunt disappeared on her way home from school in the summer of 2008 and detectives were left baffled, as she seemed to have disappeared into thin air. Missing Persons cases are never closed, but after several months with no new leads the enquiry team was disbanded, and the file made its way down to the lower levels and became another cold case.

Eleven years later, a young face in the midst of Poppy’s best friend Annie Shepherd’s new pupils causes her to report her suspicions. Private genealogy specialist and self-professed DNA detective, Madeleine Scott, doesn’t want to step on detectives’ toes, but knows she’s 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 Poppy Hunt case is given centre-stage once again 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 passing day. True to life characters from different walks of life act out their parts as edge of the seat action combines with humour and even the possibility of a romance. Eventually an accumulation of appalling facts bring the story to an action packed and disturbing conclusion.

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.

John Pye is an ex-policeman living in the Stoke-on-Trent area so it’s no wonder he uses his knowledge of policework and the area as a setting for his compelling crime novel. His attention to detail is awe-inspiring but doesn’t detract from the story which had me reading into the night. While I was anxious to discover the outcome I was also sorry to say good-bye to the characters I had come to bond with.

Where the Silent Screams are Loudest is an excellent, well-written story. John has written other novels and after enjoying this one I am definitely going to look them out and indulge my enjoyment of crime.

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