Thursday, 16 June 2016

Book Review: THE NIGHT STALKER by Robert Bryndza

The Night Stalker (DCI Erika Foster, #2)

 The Night Stalker
Author: Robert Bryndza
Publisher: Bookouture
Read: June 2016

Synopsis (Goodreads):

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.

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.

The global bestselling author of The Girl in the Ice is back with a heart-racing, electrifying thriller. If you love Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Karin Slaughter, you’ll be hooked on Robert Bryndza. 

My thoughts:

It’s great when you discover a brand new crime series which promises lots of pleasures yet to come – and the DCI Erika Foster series guarantees just that. I absolutely loved “The Girl in the Ice” and was quick to grab a copy of “The Night Stalker” as soon as it was available. And it did not disappoint! Erika continues to keep me intrigued – with exactly the right mix of personal tragedy in her past and a strong personality which keeps her determined to solve difficult murder cases, this is one protagonist who can really drive a storyline. I also love Erika’s different cultural background, which gives her even more depth and explains some of her difficulties to accept the restraints placed on her by workplace politics and often see her go out on a limb and defy the rules for the sake of finding justice.

In The Night Stalker, Erika is confronted with a ruthless killer who murders victims by drugging them and then suffocating them by placing a plastic bag over their head. Whilst one murder can be written off as an isolated attack, it soon becomes clear that this killer will not stop at one. But what is driving this person to keep on killing? And how does he choose his victims? Erika will have to confront her own personal demons as she is trying to get into this killer’s mind, only to discover that they may have more things in common than she would like to admit. I take my hat off to Brynda’s skill as a writer that I even managed to feel a little bit of sympathy for this troubled serial killer – I often find that knowing the identity of the murderer spoils the thrill for me, but this was definitely not the case here.

After the ending of this novel (no spoilers) I am very intrigued as to what Bryndza has in store for Erika in future novels. Will she go on defying the rules or be forced to play “by the book” in order to keep her job? Will she finally be able to forgive herself for her husband’s death? Bryndza’s skill in carefully revealing little tidbits of background information one bit at a time ensures that there will be a lot more to discover about Erika in future novels – I am hoping that the next instalment is not too far away. 

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