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review 2017-10-11 17:37
Erika Foster-A Flawed Detective With Empathy
The Girl in the Ice: A gripping serial killer thriller (Detective Erika Foster crime thriller novel) (Volume 1) - Robert Bryndza

A Review of the Audio Version:

 

I enjoyed listening to this book, the writing, and the dialogue was realistic and the voice was perfect for the story. Erika Foster isn't another pretty faced, tough, woman detective. She's a real person with many flaws some of which in fact makes her very empathetic to the victim and the witnesses she must interview. The hard-headed detective follows her gut, not always making easy work of things, but seems it's the only way she can work. The shadows that haunt her personally do get in the way at times just like it does for real people. The plot was good, the twists and challenges many, and the final scenes dramatic. This is a good hard-boiled detective story, good procedural story, and best a suspense thriller that will keep the reader listening for more. I think reading the book would be just as satisfying.

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review 2017-10-02 16:49
Adrenaline rush
Cold Blood: A gripping serial killer thriller that will take your breath away (Detective Erika Foster Book 5) - Robert Bryndza

A suitcase is dragged from the Thames and on opening the body of a man is discovered, head, arms, legs all severed and placed carefully within the confines of the case...."They paused, all staring at the battered naked body, at how neatly the pieces had been packed inside: a leg each side of the torso; the knee joints folded into the top right and bottom left corner; arms crossed over the chest and the decapitated head tucked neatly underneath."..... What a wonderful, gruesome start and introduction to the charismatic, headstrong Detective Chief Inspector Erika Foster. So with the help of her close associate Detective Inspector Kate Moss (not that Kate Moss!) the two police officers need to discover the perpetrator of this gruesome murder made all the more grisly when a second body is discovered in similar circumstances. At the same time a young Nina Hargreaves falls under the charismatic influence of the psychotic Max Kirkham as they embark on a murderous journey

 

Although I loved this fast paced thriller I did find that the characters of Max and Nina reminded me so much of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley ( both are mentioned twice in the novel) First we have the adulation of a young girl influence by her boyfriend and eager to please him whatever the cost. Hindley was infatuated by Brady on first meeting this lonely odd looking young man at Millward's Merchandise Gorton.  Mention is made of Max's love of books.."It took five car loads to get all the books into the flat.."  Ian Brady regarded himself as well read the  Russian writer Dostoevsky, with his explorations of human psychology, was a particular favourite,he highly regarded Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. The use of a van to transport innocent children lured to their destiny by false kindness of an attractive woman, this occurs later in the story. Nina Hargreaves also kept a diary including much detail about their crimes,  Ian Brady infamously kept notes, pictures and even maps of the Moors in his private collection. By referring to this in my review I am not in any way criticizing the author, merely making an assumption based on my reading.

 

To me the mark of a good book is the author's ability to create and project strong characters that have a lasting impact on me the reader. Erika Foster is a wonderful, passionate driven individual with a questionable personal life. Her boyfriend Inspector James Peterson's is on sick leave recovering from a knife wound that Erika feels is entirely her fault...."The blue and green light cast by the television played over his skinny face. His high cheekbones jutted out, and she could see the outline of the bones under his forehead.".....  Superintendent Melanie Hudson is her immediate superior "a tough cookie" but keen to support her officers when asked. Naturally there is an assortment of career minded police officers, Commander Paul Marsh (Erika has a secret admiration for him) and the unapproachable Superintendent Paris worried about the affect of Erika's actions on his political ambitions.

 

This is the type of crime novel that is eminently readable, with a fast driven theme and lively dialogue. It is perhaps not wise to read a series out of order but I am looking forward to reading the first four Erika Forster books in the very near future. Many thanks to the good people at netgalley for a gratis copy in exchange for an honest review and that is what I have written.

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review 2017-09-21 16:15
Cold Blood
Cold Blood: A gripping serial killer thriller that will take your breath away (Detective Erika Foster Book 5) - Robert Bryndza

A suitcase has been found washed up on the shore of the river Thames. When Detective Erika Foster opens it she sees that it contains the dismembered body of a young man. This is identical to another suitcase that was found two weeks ago only that one held the body of a woman. Erika realizes she's looking for a serial killer but when she begins to dig into the case she is brutally attacked. She has no choice but to take time off but her mind is still on the case. When she learns that the twin daughters of her colleague have been kidnapped, she will stop at nothing to get those girls back home safe and sound.

When I find out another Erika Foster book is coming out I feel like I have to read it. I know it's going to be the same as the ones before it - Erika goes through hell and then saves the day. I know the descriptions of people are going to drive me nuts again (horse-faced girl, jowly face with several chins), and there's going to be so many convenient things that will happen to make the story fit together. But I still find myself turning the pages quickly and when the book is finished I'm happy I read it. I'm also happy that Erika is not in a relationship. I'd like the focus to be on her job. I want her to be an independent woman! 

Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for a copy of this book.

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review 2017-09-17 03:43
Cold Blood: A gripping serial killer thriller that will take your breath away (Detective Erika Foster Book 5) - Robert Bryndza

With thanks to Netgalley and Bookoutre for this ARC in exchange for an open and honest review.

 

I love the Erica Foster series and I am so glad I was given the opportunity to read this book before the official release on 20/09/17.

 

I have read all five books in this series and I think Cold Blood is the best book yet.  Detective.Chief Inspector Foster and her friend/colleague Detective Inspector Kate Moss are called to the River Thames where the dead body of a man was found on the beach.  The man had been dismembered and put into a suitcase.  Two weeks later the dismembered body of a female in a suitcase is found further up the shore.  Erica and Kate have to find out if the victims knew each other and why were they murdered.

 

During the investigation Erica is attacked by ruthless drug dealers. She later finds out one of her colleagues was heavily In debt to the dealers, in desperation they provided confidential information to pay off the debt.

 

In between chapters are diary excerpts from 18 year old Nina Hargreaves and her boyfriend Max.  Nina instantly fell in love with Max who is in thirties.   The diary extracts show how Max manipulated Nina until she was cut off from work, friends and family.  The couple definitely had parallels to the infamous child murderers who killed together in the North of England in the sixties.  Max who thinks he is an intellectual who has never been given a break, and Nina who will do anything Max asks.

 

I am sorry Erica's friend Isaac Strong only appeared in the background of the story.  I hope he will appear more in the next book.

 

Cold Blood was utterly

 

compelling.  The tension was so high I read the last 60 % of the story In one sitting.  Congratulations Robert you deserve your success.

 

 

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review 2017-08-04 00:34
The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza
The Night Stalker: A chilling serial killer thriller (Detective Erika Foster Book 2) - Robert Bryndza

The Night Stalker is the Book 2 in Robert Bryndza’s Detective Erika Foster series.

A shadowy figure creeps upon a house in London seeking retribution against the man within.  We bear witness to Dr. Gregory Munro’s killer in action.  Four days later his mother enters the house and find’s her son’s dead body with a plastic bag over his head.  

 

Detective Erika Foster is called to the murder scene, a scene that appears to be a sex crime.  When another just like it follows, indications are that there is a cold-blooded serial killer on the loose and Erika and her team must figure out what these murders have in common. 

      

Erika is a tough, uncompromising detective who will get the killer at any cost and her determined doggedness doesn’t always go over well with her boss or her peers.  She is once again put on notice about not doing thing’s the department’s way.  Despite rubbing people the wrong way, she will continue to lay both her job and her life on the line to catch the killer. 

 

When we first met Erika in the first book, she was freshly grieving over the death of her husband Mark and just returning to work.  Erika’s grief for Mark is still very present and she agonizes over it in more detail, all the while still blaming herself.  This also enables us to get more of a glimpse into her past and how Mark’s killing went down. 

 

Robert Bryndza is such a good writer and he is definitely making a name for himself with this series.  The twists and turns don’t let up and keep you guessing to the end.  He has also done some nice work on the character development here.  In the end the characters are what makes or breaks a series.  We learn a bit more about Crane, Moss, Peterson, Marsh, Stark, and Isaac Strong.  Erika is getting to know each of them and so are we.  She is beginning to foster friendship, loyalty, respect, and of course some antagonism.  Each of the afore-mentioned supporting characters is sketched in further and one of them even becomes a prime suspect in the killings. 

 

I want to thank the publisher (Bookouture) for providing me with the ARC through NetGalley for an honest review. 

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