Book Review: Cold Blood by Robert Bryndza

What’s it about?

She fell in love with a killer, now she’s one too.

The suitcase was badly rusted, and took Erika several attempts, but it yielded and sagged open as she unzipped it. Nothing could prepare her for what she would find inside…

When a battered suitcase containing the dismembered body of a young man washes up on the shore of the river Thames, Detective Erika Foster is shocked. She’s worked on some terrifying cases but never seen anything like this before. 

As Erika and her team set to work, she makes the link with another victim – the body of a young woman dumped in an identical suitcase two weeks ago. 

Erika quickly realises she’s on the trail of a serial killer who’s already made their next move. Yet just as Erika starts to make headway with the investigation, she is the victim of a brutal attack. 

But nothing will stop Erika. As the body count rises, the twin daughters of her colleague Commander Marsh are abducted, and the stakes are higher than ever before. Can Erika save the lives of two innocent children before it’s too late? She’s running out of time and about to make a disturbing discovery…there’s more than one killer.

My thoughts

I do really enjoy this series so shame on me for leaving it so long to read it because when I did I read it in a few days! The pace of the books in this series is just relentless.

Again, this one can be read as a standalone as the author gives us sufficient information which isn’t re-hashed from the previous, but honestly, it’s so much better to start from the beginning as you’ll get so much more insight into Erika.

You can’t fault the author’s attention to detail with the police procedural either – nothing is spared and because of this you feel totally wrapped up in the investigation and it all feels totally realistic.  I still find Erika somewhat manipulative but she does seem to have calmed down a bit this time even though, in my opinion, she still drinks too much!

I liked the alternating chapters between the investigation and the killer.  I like understanding what motivates ordinary people to do these horrific things, however I don’t like knowing too early who it is.  For me, it then drags a little and becomes a question of time before they’re caught.  You know with Columbo, you know from the first few minutes who’s getting it and who’s doing it, and then it’s all about the little mind games Columbo plays.  I think I prefer knowing straight away or a huge reveal at the very end – imho!! 😉

But this one was the best one so far for me (I think I said that last time too!), just as gritty and perverse as the others and I’m eager to crack on to number 6!  Hopefully Peterson will be back to full duty in the next book and back with Erica and Moss as they make a cracking team and I’d love to see them on the telly! 🙂

Book Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Author links: Website | Twitter

Small print for info
Source: ARC – many thanks!
No of pages: 356
Publisher: Bookouture

Book Review: Dark Water by Robert Bryndza

dark-waterWhat’s it about?

When Detective Erika Foster receives a tip-off that key evidence for a major narcotics case was stashed in a disused quarry on the outskirts of London, she orders for it to be searched. From the thick sludge the drugs are recovered, but so is the skeleton of a young child.

The remains are quickly identified as seven-year-old Jessica Collins. The missing girl who made headline news twenty-six years ago.

As Erika tries to piece together new evidence with the old, she must dig deeper and find out more about the fractured Collins family and the original detective, Amanda Baker. A woman plagued by her failure to find Jessica. Erika soon realises this is going to be one of the most complex and demanding cases she has ever taken on.

My thoughts

I finally got to the third in the series over the Christmas holiday and read it in about 24 hours – yes, it was so good! The opening chapters raised so many questions I just couldn’t put it down – I just find investigations surrounding missing or children to be highly emotive and far more intriguing.

Again this one can be read as a standalone as the author gives us sufficient information which is newly worded and not re-hashed from the previous, so that it can be read alone but honestly it’s so much better to read from the beginning.  I was really pleased that Erika had gotten rid of the bottle and is not quite the lush in her personal life.  I particularly enjoyed the “coffee scene” with the slight injection of humour; her being torn between her guilt and memories over Mark but it made me happy that she is trying to move her life forward.

As far as the police procedural is concerned, you can’t fault the author’s attention to detail.  Nothing is spared and because of this you feel totally wrapped up in the investigation and it all feels totally realistic.  Although I do find Erika somewhat manipulative so she gets what she wants and sees no issue with going over her initial superior’s head – is it just me or is she justified?

The pace of the book is relentless, you just have to keep reading until its gripping and satisfying conclusion.  This one was the best one so far for me and I’m looking forward to number 4!

Book Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Author links: Website | Twitter

Small print for info
Source: ARC – many thanks!
No of pages: 366
Publisher: Bookouture

p.s as a side note which I didn’t want to include in main review as this may well have been corrected or I may have misunderstood, but I think there was a slight error in the ARC timeline.  Jessica was  initially reported as missing at 4.30pm when her parents go to the birthday party to collect her, but later in the book it says that the party host rang her parents at 3.30pm to ask where she was? I can’t be sure if it was an error or intentional to show how witnesses can have contrasting versions.


Talk of the Town

Book Review: The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza

The Night Stalker What’s it about?

If the Night Stalker is watching, you’re already dead…

In the dead of a swelteringly hot summer’s night, Detective Erika Foster is called to a murder scene. The victim, a doctor, is found suffocated in bed. His wrists are bound and his eyes bulging through a clear plastic bag tied tight over his head.

A few days later, another victim is found dead, in exactly the same circumstances. As Erika and her team start digging deeper, they discover a calculated serial killer – stalking their victims before choosing the right moment to strike.

My thoughts

Having read and really enjoyed The Girl in the Ice I was delighted to be auto approved for Bookouture on Netgalley so I could read and review the next DCI Erika Foster installment and it didn’t disappoint.  I’m pretty sure I can’t add anything to the existing praise and love for this series and its characters so I’m gonna be short and sweet.

I think the book can be read as a standalone as there is sufficient background to give you insight into the characters without going over old ground so existing readers aren’t bored, however I always think it’s better to start at the beginning as there’s always little things to be picked up from each one.  For example, it turns out Erika is from Slovakia which I don’t believe was mentioned in the first book which surprised me and also that Peterson is black;  not that this matters to me in any way but does have an impact in the story and these are the little things that you don’t necessarily get by reading one installment – do you get what I mean?

As in The Girl in the Ice, the book moves at a great pace, it never feels like there’s extra words for padding and again I raced through it in a couple of days.  It’s gruesome, dark and dramatic and will have you checking under your bed!!  A must read for crime drama fans!

Book links: Goodreads | Amazon

Author links: Website | Twitter


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Talk of the Town

Book Review: The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza

The Girl in the Ice What’s it about?

Her eyes are wide open. Her lips parted as if to speak. Her dead body frozen in the ice…She is not the only one.

When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation.

The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound and dumped in water around London.

What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding? …

My thoughts

I must confess I requested this book from the publisher via Netgalley as I’d literally seen it everywhere and it’s the book of the moment that’s on every blogger’s radar, so yeah ok, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

So let’s cut to the chase, as there’s so many crime detective novels out there, the author has to set themselves apart from all those others with their characters. You’ve got to believe and invest in these characters otherwise it could be just any old easily forgotten crime story. And I’m pleased to say this book doesn’t disappoint!

From the first few opening pages I knew I was going to like ballsy DCI Erika Foster, and I knew this because she requested a phone with real buttons and not a touch screen. I really wanted to continue with my Blackberry and a proper keyboard but…sigh…’tis no longer! Yep…that’s all it took for me to connect with her and root for her all the way; a phone! Through all the old boy’s network crap, the injustice of office politics and police procedure I just wanted her to have a shot. Then of course, we learn her back story, which made me like her even more. She’s not just an icy bitch on the outside, she is hurting and protecting herself.

I really liked the secondary characters in Detective Moss and Isacc the forensic pathologist and look forward to seeing more of them in future novels.

One teeny weeny isty bitsy niggle, the post mortems were referred to as an autopsy; I thought they were post mortems in the UK but obviously I’m not an expert and stand to be corrected. It may be both terms are used here.  Other than that, everything else was totally believeable and lead me to believe throughly researched in terms of terminology or by someone in the know. Well written and not over-the-top or pretentious, just really good gritty drama culminating a dramatic cat and mouse ending!

Fans of a good crime drama and detective novels will like this, I enjoyed it as much as I have done the two Tony Parsons’ Max Wolfe books. If you’ve not heard of this book where have you been?

Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Connect with the author Robert Bryndza

Website | Twitter

WWW Wednesday (February 17th)

WWW WednesdayThis weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open to all to participate. Why not join in and let us know what’s on your reading list this week…

To join in, just answer the following three questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

 

I’m currently reading…

The Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen

I’d picked this from my TBR jar last month but had to put it aside to dedicate time to my book club reads. I’ve since read 3 other books (naughty me) and now have been guilt-tripped into reading it my daughter. It’s a strange read but rather sweet, I just haven’t quite worked out yet what it’s really about!

The Rabbit Back Literature SocietyThe blurb

Ella Milana is a literature teacher, and the possessor of beautifully curving lips.

But when she starts trying to unearth the truth behind the Society, Ella finds a lot more than she bargained for. What is ‘The Game’? Why are the words inside books rearranging themselves? And what explains the strange disappearance of an author, in a whirlwind of snow?

 


I recently finished

Viral by Helen Fitzgerald

An interesting take on social media and its darker side. Very sexually explicit, and quite hard to read if you have a teenage daughter. Not really ideal for leaving on the coffee table.

ViralThe blurb

When Leah Oliphant-Brotheridge and her adopted sister Su go on holiday together to Magaluf to celebrate their A-levels, only Leah returns home. Her successful, swotty sister remains abroad, humiliated and afraid: there is an online video of her, drunkenly performing a sex act in a nightclub. And everyone has seen it.

Ruth Oliphant-Brotheridge, mother of the girls, successful court judge, is furious. How could this have happened? How can she bring justice to these men who took advantage of her dutiful, virginal daughter? What role has Leah played in all this? And can Ruth find Su and bring her back home when Su doesn’t want to be found?

I’ve also read….

The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza

This book seems to have been on every blogger’s radar over the past weeks and for good reason. A fast-paced police procedural thriller from an author who either has insider knowledge of how a police investigation is carried out or carries out impeccable research; believed every bit.

The Girl in the IceThe blurb

Her eyes are wide open. Her lips parted as if to speak. Her dead body frozen in the ice…She is not the only one.

When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation.

The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound and dumped in water around London.

What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding? …


What’s up next?

A Husband’s Confession by Zoë Miller

This has been on my book shelf for well over a year and is my next pick from my TBR jar.

ahusbandsconfessionThe blurb

When Ali met Max in the summer of 1990, he turned her empty life around and filled it with love. Now, years on, Ali’s greatest fear is that her happiness and contentment might be taken away from her. But just as Max’s star is rising, unsettling incidents at their artisan bakery in Dublin’s creative quarter threaten to damage the reputation of the bakery.

Finn and Jo were running away from heartache when they met in Australia over 20 years ago. But now Finn is in shock after the demise of his gritty role in a popular television crime drama, and Jo fears for him and their marriage. Then an accident on a Saturday night has devastating consequences for both families, tearing their lives apart in ways they never imagined.


Have you read any of this week’s choices or share what books you’re reading?