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?
I kept seeing flashes of The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza — it was sneaking up on me in my peripheral vision. I noticed it had sold a million copies but initially I resisted buying & reading it because every thriller seems to be “THE GIRL….” these days.
Boy, did I wait too long to discover DCI Erika Foster and this series. This is a mesmerising read. Eye-poppingly good.
The characters leap off the page, the deft touches of wry humour from Erika Foster leave you completely glued to the page yet also truly fearful for what will happen to her next. She is such a broken person going in that you know she has that “nothing to lose” factor that will take her to whatever dark and scary places she has to go to find the killer. And that sort of character and writing is extremely brave and utterly gripping. After reading this, I had to go buy book 2 in the series…. I felt a #bookbinge coming on! Maybe it was the #supermoon or maybe it’s the fact my hubby is away for work pretty much all week every week leaving me to solo parent, but I have seriously “hung out” with Rob B this week. And fed my kids whatever was easiest. Baked beans on toast, anyone?
So, the follow up in the DCI Erika Foster thriller series… The Night Stalker.
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.
The victims are all single men, with very private lives. Why are their pasts shrouded in secrecy? And what links them to the killer?
As a heat wave descends upon London, Erika will do everything to stop the Night Stalker before the body count rises, even if it means risking her job. But the victims might not be the only ones being watched… Erika’s own life could be on the line.
I read this second installment in 36 hours – it’s so well written you just have to keep reading.
Bryndza isn’t afraid to go into the dark corners of the human heart. Erika Foster moves us almost to tears in this book because she recognises how damaged she is – and in The Night Stalker the serial killer Erika chases calls her out on how much she holds onto the past. It gets Shakespearean, which is riveting without being heavy handed.
In police procedures, the detective might be a flawed anti-hero, but with Erika we have a seriously self-sabotaging maverick and the fact that she’s a woman makes her all the more interesting. She’s like the fantastic detective in the Danish TV series The Killing. Except Slovakian and a widow.
What I loved was the heart-racing cliffhangers to each chapter that kept me turning pages… how we get into each character’s innermost fears and weaknesses… how we build up to unpredictable twists that make disturbing sense… how everyone is a suspect and everyone is put through the wringer. We’re all taught to do that in writing courses but this author is really a master of it.
It’s also so hard to write book 2 after a phenomenally successful book 1 and I think Bryndza really nailed it here. He gave us a very different adversary, extended the personal stories for the main detective characters, gave us a different slice of London’s multi-layered society, gave us a heatwave instead of January’s bitter cold. It again tackles problems in the UK — as my 93-year-old dad lives in London and has been in & out of hospitals a lot, I found the scenes of a nurse caring for the elderly truly terrifying.
I’ve started book #3, Dark Water, and already can see he takes us in a different direction there and I can’t wait to keep reading. There goes parenting for the next 36 hours…
What’s also wonderful is that RB writes romantic comedies. I have Miss Wrong and Mr Right to read after Dark Water. They look laugh-out-loud funny so if scares aren’t your thing then you can still enjoy this talented author.
After 16 years in Paris, and living in 6 other countries prior, Lizzie Harwood has now moved to Sweden with her French husband, two girls, and angora stray, Goldie. When she isn’t escorting her wayward children to further their education (and asking them to please stop meowing on the subway due to their claim to be ‘part cat’)… she writes memoir, women’s fiction, and psychological suspense. She is also an editor/writing coach to some incredible peeps around the world. Visit editordeluxe.com and lizzieharwoodbooks.com for more.