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Cold Blood (Detective Erika Foster 5) by Robert Bryndza @bookouture

September 18, 2017

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.

I am a huge fan of the Erika Foster books. There’s nothing like a fast paced, well plotted book with a female protagonist, to whom the author will always do such awful things, to keep you transfixed on a book.

Poor Erika doesn’t get an easy ride from her author; when not being physically beaten, she is also emotionally battered and bruised. The cast of regular characters is tautly written and always interesting, from her erstwhile boyfriend, D.I. Peterson, recovering from the injuries he sustained in their last case, to Commander Marsh, who plays a central role in this book.

Erika herself is a fearless character. Never afraid to push her point of view with her superiors, she is outspoken and results driven. The path of diplomacy and advancement is not for Erika, she does not mind who she has to step on to close her case and when she sees budgetary constraints or bureaucratic meddling, she is never afraid to speak her mind.

This doesn’t always make her a popular detective with the top brass, but she knows how to fight for her officers and never fails to do so. Her personal life is pretty shredded, but she is prepared to set that aside in her quest to find the killers she is pursuing.

Bryndza has added complications to the police team this time, by implicating one of their own in a nasty and sordid betrayal which leaves some of their previous cases open to question. Quite what the implications of this betrayal will be on the team is left open and we will doubtless hear more of this in future books.

Max is a dangerous drug dealing psychopath; narcissistic and sadistic, he has targeted the young and vulnerable Nina until she is completely under his spell and driven to please him partly through fear and partly because he is the only real human contact she has. Nina’s story is told through her diary extracts and we learn to feel sorry for a young woman whose path in life has not been easy and is about to get a lot harder….

Overall, while I enjoy Robert Bryndza’s characters and writing, and I really love the way his characters thrill me in a heart-pounding ride through London, I didn’t engage with this one quite as much as his other books,I think because of the way the plot involved a somewhat implausible focus on Commander Marsh and his family. That said, he still writes a strong and gutsy book and I’m glad I had a chance to read it.

Cold Blood is  a compelling, gritty read and I will certainly won’t want to miss out on future books in the Erika Foster series.

Cold Blood is published by Bookouture on 20th September 2017


About Robert Bryndza


Robert Bryndza is the author of the international #1 bestseller The Girl in the Ice. The Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller is the first book in the Detective Erika Foster series.

The Night Stalker, Dark Water and Last Breath are the second, third, and fourth books in the series, and the fifth book, Cold Blood is now available to pre-order.

Robert’s books have sold over 2 million copies, and have been translated into 27 languages.

In addition to writing crime fiction, Robert has published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels. He is British and lives in Slovakia.

You can find out more about Robert here.

Follow Robert on Twitter

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