Today I’m delighted to introduce Tony J Forder. I met Tony at Harrogate and on this occasion it was my friend that recruited him for my Five (I have my friends well-trained!) Despite being introduced to two strange women over the course of the weekend, he’s still speaking to us. I will admit to not having heard of Tony’s books prior to meeting him. That has now been rectified and I’ve now bought several which my OH has enjoyed until I get to them.
Tony J Forder is the author of the critically acclaimed crime thriller series featuring detectives Jimmy Bliss and Penny Chandler. The first three books, Bad to the Bone, The Scent of Guilt, and If Fear Wins will be joined by a fourth in the series in 2019.
Tony’s dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, was also published by Bloodhound Books. This is a stand-alone novel. Another book that was written as a stand-alone was Scream Blue Murder. This was published in November 2017, and received praise from many, including fellow authors Mason Cross, Matt Hilton and Anita Waller. Tony subsequently wrote a sequel, and Cold Winter Sun will be published in November 2018.
Tony lives with his wife in Peterborough, UK.
So over to Tony:-
Which 5 pieces of music/songs would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?
The first is an easy one. At a time when both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones seemed to be everyone’s favourites, I took a shine to The Kinks. The first record I ever bought with my own pocket money was Waterloo Sunset, and I love the song to this day.
The next is perhaps another example of my tendency to swim upstream at times. Like many kids my age I was into all the glam-rock bands like Slade, Sweet, Mud and T-Rex. But I also reached out beyond those, and in 1972 I was banging on to my friends about an American band called Steely Dan who were going to be huge. When I first heard Reelin’ In The Years I was absolutely blown away by it. Oddly enough it became one of my dad’s favourites, too, and I chose it for his cremation ceremony a few years ago.
I was a huge fan of English pop band 10CC, and in 1975 they released I’m Not In Love, from ‘The Original Soundtrack’ album. It was a song far ahead of its time in terms of production and technical know how, but it was also a beautiful track about how overuse of the words ‘I love you’ somehow dilute their impact. One of the great ballads.
I can’t do a list like this without including a track from my favourite band, Toto. Although Africa was huge in the early 80s and in recent years has become so again, for me the song Rosanna from the same Toto IV album changed the way I thought about music. Suddenly I was hearing time and rhythm changes, a different structure, clear and musically complex instrumental parts, together with close harmonies. As a musician myself, I learned so much about songwriting from that one track, and it also taught me that you could make a complex song commercial and appealing.
Aware that I have used up 4 songs and I’ve only reached 1982, I’m going to shift a little bit closer to today and choose the track Superman by Five For Fighting. It’s a beautiful song, and the best way to describe it is in the writer’s own words. ‘This song about trying to fit in was written from Superman’s point of view. The superhero is portrayed as misunderstood and not as powerful as people see him: “I’m only a man in a funny red sheet.” Superman may be invincible, but he has feelings too, and while he’s off saving the world he sometimes wonders if anyone thinks about what he is going through.’
Highlight 5 things (apart from family and friends) you’d find it hard to live without.
Books – that’s a given. I read every single day, and have done since I was a little kid who took Ian Fleming’s Thunderball into my infants school as my reading project.
Music – I love listening to music, and although as an amateur and enthusiastic musician the guitar is my main choice of weapon, I have also played bass, keys and drums. I write songs as well, and became lead vocalist of a band by default.
Writing – I can’t think of a time when I didn’t write, whether it was short stories, reports for work, blogs, and now novels. I often live trapped inside my own mind, and if I were unable to exorcise some of what I imagine and put it down on paper or on screen, then I genuinely think the voices inside my head would drive me insane.
Chelsea Football Club – I no longer like the game itself very much, and I no longer get to games, but I followed my club through some very bad times in order to bask in the glory of the better ones that came around in the early noughties. I once described the love someone has for their team as the one that lasts the longest in their entire life – which is often the case.
My computer(s) – having worked in the IT business for 23 years, plus my writing, research, social media access required for the writing, I’m not sure how I would cope. It’s become almost like an appendage. Sadly.
Can you offer 5 pieces of advice you’d give to your younger self?
Believe in yourself more.
Be more patient.
Be more tolerant.
Life is a cycle of peaks and troughs – don’t sweat the small stuff.
Take better care of yourself.
Tell us 5 things that most people don’t know about you.
I taught Business Studies and IT in a secondary school for three terms without being a qualified teacher – I was actually the Network Manager and IT trainer at the time.
My first job was as a commercial artist, and I designed wrappers for both Opal Fruits and Maltesers.
I was also a stonemason for a while, and I loved recreating old and worn pieces of stone such as gargoyles, etc.
It has been my enormous pleasure to have jammed with three great musicians: Dennis D’ell, once of 60’s band The Honeycombs, who had a smash hit called Have I The Right; Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris, when we were both still at school; and the late Alan Murphy, who played for Kate Bush, Level 42 and Go West.
When I was in my early 20s, the owner of a local café I frequented in Walthamstow, east-London, was so convinced that I was the actor Ray Winstone, that in the end I gave in, told her I was, and I then got my breakfasts for free!
What are the first 5 things you’d have on your bucket list?
I would only have 5 in total:
Play the first solo of Rosanna live on stage with Toto.
Have a number 1 best-selling book.
See the Northern Lights.
Attend my daughter’s wedding in Hawaii.
Spend my last day at Pinecrest in California.
Thank you so much for taking part Tony. Given your music choices I suspect we are of an age. I love your Five things people don’t know – I do know that worryingly I remember The Honeycombs as I loved that record. It has also served me well in pub quizzes over the years courtesy of their having a female drummer. I love that I know the man who designed the wrapper for my favourite Maltesers! Not sure how I’d feel about being mistaken for Ray Winstone, but hey – free breakfasts! As you only have a total of five things on your bucket list I sincerely hope you get to achieve some of them – playing with Toto might be the hard one, but never say never.
(Click on book cover for non-affiliated buying link)
A missing man. A determined hunter. A deadly case.
When Mike Lynch is contacted by his ex-wife about the missing nephew of her new husband, he offers to help find the young man with the help of his friend Terry Cochran.
Arriving in LA to try and track down the young man, the pair are immediately torn away when the missing man’s car shows up, abandoned on the side of a deserted road in New Mexico.
When two fake police officers cross their path, Terry and Mike know there is more to the case than meets the eye, and soon they find themselves asking exactly who it is they are really looking for…
Mike Lynch is going through hard times. But things get much worse when he witnesses a murder in a lay-by. Snatching the victim’s car in order to get away, Mike soon makes a shocking discovery – the victim’s young daughter and her nanny are hiding in the rear footwell. This is when the real trouble begins.
Mike wants to go to the police, but the nanny, Melissa, wants to delay until the daughter, Charlie, is somewhere safe. Mike agrees to this request before finding out the seriousness of the situation, and just how much danger they are really in.
Who exactly was the man he saw murdered? And who is the man he saw pulling the trigger?
In a situation where nothing is what it seems, Mike will have to fight for his life to protect a woman and a child he doesn’t know. And when the death count rises, he will discover what kind of man he really is.
When you can’t identify the victim, how can you find the killer?
Pre-teen girls are being abducted from their homes and their families murdered. When Frank Rogers, once a DI with the Met and now running his own debt collection agency, is told that his own daughter is missing, his son murdered, he naturally wants to become involved with the case.
Soon Frank’s face is all over the news. In an unexpected turn of events, the killer contacts the police and says he is willing to talk, but only to Frank.
When the body of the first abducted girl is discovered, Frank realises it is a race against time to save his daughter.
In order to solve the case, Frank must work out how the killer is picking his victims.
But how do you catch a murderer who is hiding in plain sight? And can Frank unravel the mystery, when he has so much to lose.
The DI Bliss Series
When a torched body is found in a country lane, DI Bliss and Chandler are called in to investigate.
The detectives are drawn towards recent missing person reports and believe their victim will prove to be one of them. Bliss thinks he knows which, and fears the outcome if he is proven right.
Soon the body is identified, and Bliss and Chandler discover evidence suggesting this murder might be a terrorist attack.
Meanwhile, someone from Bliss’s past needs his help, and soon he is juggling his personal life with the demanding case. To make matters more complicated, MI5 and the Counter-Terrorist Unit are called in to help solve the case. But are they on the right track?
Bliss and Chandler soon find themselves in a race against time, and this might just be their most challenging case yet…
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…
Bad to the Bone (DI Bliss 1)
A skeletal body is unearthed in a wooded area of Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. DI James Bliss, together with DC Penny Chandler, investigate the case and discover that the young, female victim had been relocated from its original burial site.
A witness is convinced that a young female was struck by a vehicle back in the summer of 1990, and that police attended the scene. However, no record exists of either the accident or the reported victim. As the case develops, two retired police officers are murdered. The two are linked with others who were on duty at the time a road accident was reported.
As Bliss and Chandler delve deeper into the investigation, they start to question whether senior officers may have been involved in the murder of the young women who was buried in the woods.
As each link in the chain is put under duress, so is Bliss who clashes with superiors and the media.
When his team receives targeted warnings, Bliss will need to decide whether to drop the case or to pursue those responsible.
Will Bliss walk away in order to keep his career intact or will he fight no matter what the cost?
And is it possible the killer is much closer than they imagined?
You can keep up to date with Tony via
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TonyJForder @TonyJForder
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/tony+j+forder?_requestid=248936
Bloodhound Books: http://www.bloodhoundbooks.com/tony-forder