Shadow Sands by Robert Bryndza #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the second book in Robert Bryndza’s Kate Marshall series, Shadow Sands.

Shadow Sands: The heart-racing new Kate Marshall thriller by [Robert Bryndza]

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When Kate Marshall finds the body of a young man floating in the Shadow Sands reservoir, the authorities label it a tragic accident.

But the details don’t add up: why was he there in the middle of the night? If he was such a strong swimmer, how did he drown? As Kate and her assistant Tristan Harper follow the evidence, they make a far darker discovery . . .

This is only the latest victim in a series of bloody murders dating back decades. A mythic serial killer is said to hide in the rolling fog, abducting his victims like a phantom. And when another woman is taken, Kate and Tristan have a matter of days to save her from meeting the same fate.

MY THOUGHTS

Shadow Sands is the second book in Robert Bryndza’s Kate Marshall series, and once again, Robert has written a cracking thriller. Kate Marshall is a fantastic new character in the crime fiction genre. I really grew to like her in the first book in the series, Nine Elms, and I can’t wait to see where Robert takes the series next. It’s going to be really interesting, seeing how things will unfold for Kate beyond this book’s events.

Kate Marshall is a former police detective, having once worked with the Metropolitan Police in London. But her career in the police came to an end after she caught a notorious serial killer in the 1990s. Now, more than a decade later, she finds herself being pushed back into that world. During a dive with her son, Jake, her son makes a grisly discovery. The body of a young man is discovered under the water, and it is clear that he has been brutally attacked.

I really liked Kate’s relationship with her work partner, Tristan, in this book. He is going through some personal issues, which really made me feel for him. I was also glad that he had Kate as a friend, particularly when he was having difficulties with his sister. I think they’ll make a great team.

Kate doesn’t want to get involved in the investigation after her son makes discovers the body. It is only when the victim’s mother approaches her, and begs her to investigate further, does she decide to help her. It soon becomes apparent to Kate that the police have ignored abductions and potential murders which have taken place in the local area for decades. And it seems as though the police want to wrap up the current investigation. Kate is concerned that a police officer may be involved in what’s going on.

Robert Bryndza also explores Kate’s personal story further in this book. There are some chilling scenes in this section of the book. I was racing through the chapters to find out how things were going to pan out for Kate and her son. You don’t have to have read the first book in the series to understand more about what she’s gone through. But I would highly recommend that you do.

This is a very addictive crime thriller, and I really enjoyed reading it. Robert Bryndza is one of my favourite crime fiction authors, and I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.  

Publisher: Sphere

Publication date: 3rd November 2020

Print length: 317 pages

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Deadly Secrets by Robert Bryndza Blog Blitz @RobertBryndza @bookouture

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To commit the perfect murder, you need the perfect cover.
On an icy morning, a mother wakes to find her daughter’s blood-soaked body frozen to the road. Who would carry out such a killing on the victim’s doorstep?

Straight off her last harrowing case, Detective Erika Foster is feeling fragile but determined to lead the investigation. As she sets to work, she finds reports of assaults in the same quiet South London suburb where the woman was killed. One chilling detail links them to the murder victim – they were all attacked by a figure in black wearing a gas mask.

Erika is on the hunt for a killer with a terrifying calling card. The case gets more complicated when she uncovers a tangled web of secrets surrounding the death of the beautiful young woman.

Yet just as Erika begins to piece the clues together, she is forced to confront painful memories of her past. Erika must dig deep, stay focused and find the killer. Only this time, one of her own is in terrible danger…

From the global million-copy bestselling author comes a totally heart-racing, hold-your-breath read that will keep you hooked until the very last page.

MY THOUGHTS

Whenever there is a new DCI Erika Foster novel out, it always shoots straight to the top of my reading pile. If you’ve been following my blog recently, you’ll know I am a huge, huge fan of this series. Erika is a fantastic protagonist, and I hope that Robert still has plenty of ideas for her up his sleeve.

A young woman, who has been brutally murdered, is discovered on her front doorstep by her mother on Christmas Day. DCI Erika Foster attends the scene, and a sordid picture of the young woman’s life begins to emerge as she investigates. But what is disturbing to Erika and her team is the eerily similar circumstances to recent attacks on men and women in London. These attacks have been carried out by a suspect wearing a military gas mask who is a terrifying individual. The suspect has never been apprehended by the police. And it is soon clear that he isn’t finished.

Deadly Secrets makes for another one-sitting read in the Erika Foster series. As Erika begins to untangle the life of the victim, unsavoury details about the victim’s character are uncovered, and there are a pool of suspects to investigate.

There are plenty of intriguing aspects to this investigation, I wanted to find out if the suspect in the previous attacks was responsible and why they were committing these acts. How could someone commit such heinous crimes? Robert also brings several of his background characters to the front, and there is some great character development, particularly in Moss who takes charge of the case when Erika is called away after her father-in-law is injured at his home in Manchester. It always makes me smile whenever a joke is made about her name. She has a very different personality to Erika, and I really like her humour. We also explore Erika’s character further, and we begin to learn a lot more about her past before she transferred to London. Although we know what happened to her husband Mark, it is only in this book that we are starting to find out more about their relationship.

This is another excellent addition to the Erika Foster series, if you haven’t yet read any of these novels, I highly recommend that you read them all.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 13th April 2018

Print length: 328 pages

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Cold Blood by Robert Bryndza Book Review

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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.

Brilliantly gripping, Cold Blood will have you hooked from the first page and holding your breath to the heart-stopping and shocking ending.

MY THOUGHTS 

Every time I finish an Erika Foster novel, I think, surely Robert can’t do any better than that, but I’m always proved wrong. Cold Blood is his best yet, but I know I’ll be saying the same when I finish the next one. A terrific plot, excellent characters and fantastic writing. All the ingredients that you need for a great thriller.

When the dismembered bodies of a man and a woman are found in a suitcase after it is pulled from the bed of the Thames, Erika and her team have their work cut out in trying to identify the victims and their killer. But as the investigation progresses, it becomes clear that this isn’t the only time the killer has killed. Is the killer working alone? How many more have they murdered and will Erika and her team find them before they are too late?

What I love about Robert’s writing is his ability to hook me right from the start. With each new case, I am always rooting for Erika and her team to get the results. As the series has progressed, we get to learn more and more about Erika, particularly in the last two books, Robert has revealed more about her family in Slovakia. In Last Breath, we were introduced to Erika’s sister and her two children, but in the latest instalment, we meet the rest of her family when she travels back to her home town.

There was one particular scene in this book, which really had me on tenterhooks. Robert Bryndza is a master of tension when it comes to putting his characters in a sticky situation. I was glued to the page. I don’t want to say anything about what happens as I don’t want to spoil the story, but you’ll know the scene I mean when you read it. Another example of brilliant writing.

The Erika Foster series just keeps getting better and better, I can’t wait until the next one is released and I’m sure I’ll be the first in the queue to read it.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 18th September 2017

Print length: 354 pages

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Dark Water by Robert Bryndza Book Review

Dark Water: A totally gripping thriller with a killer twist (Detective Erika Foster Book 3) by [Bryndza, Robert]

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Beneath the water the body sank rapidly.  She would lie still and undisturbed for many years but above her on dry land, the nightmare was just beginning.

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 eleven-year-old Jessica Collins.  The missing girl who made headline news when she vanished twenty-six years ago.

As Erika tries to piece together new evidence with the old, she discovers a family harbouring secrets, a detective plagued by her failure to find Jessica, and the mysterious death of a man living by the quarry.

Is the suspect someone close to home? Someone doesn’t want this case solved. And they’ll do anything to stop Erika from finding the truth.

MY THOUGHTS

I’ve become a massive fan of Robert Bryndza’s Erika Foster novels. And Dark Water is the best book in the series yet.

Twenty-six years ago, seven-year-old Jessica Collins was abducted on her way to a friend’s birthday party. An extensive police investigation uncovered very few leads, and the case was eventually shelved. In the present day, Erika Foster and her team are examining an old quarry (now filled with water) after they receive a tip-off that drugs worth millions of pounds were dumped there. But they are shocked when their investigation in the quarry leads to the discovery of the remains of Jessica Collins and the mood of the team takes on a more somber mood. Erika is determined to make sure that Jessica’s killer is brought to justice, she makes it her mission to lead the case and bring closure to Jessica’s family, and she fights to be given the chance to do so.

Erika Foster is a character who I’m sure will keep readers coming back for more. This is the third book in Robert Bryndza’s gritty crime series, and Erika continues to intrigue and impress me. What I liked about this instalment is that we get to know a little bit more about her family back in Slovakia. Robert introduces us to her sister, Lenka and her two children who arrive on Erika’s doorstep out of the blue looking for a place to stay.

Robert draws us into the story with the opening prologue. Dark Water is one of those books when at the end of each chapter, the book demands that you read one more even when it’s late at night. We see the dumping of Jessica Collins’ remains in the quarry by a curious onlooker. He is scared to involve himself and slips away into the shadows, and it seems that Jessica Collins’ killers will get away with it.

We also meet Amanda Baker, who was the original lead on the investigation. Amanda has been haunted by the disappearance of Jessica Collins and her failure to solve the case has lead to her having a breakdown. She is another interesting character in this book, and it was interesting to read about her career working in the police force before Jessica’s case lead to her ultimate defeat. But like Erika, she is still determined to see justice done and is hopeful she will make the breakthrough the case desperately needs. But there are people out there who want to keep the secrets to this case buried and they are determined to keep it that way at all costs.

Robert delivers a shocking twist in this book that I didn’t see coming. It really tugs at the heartstrings. The Erika Foster series just keeps getting better and better. I need to hurry up now and read the next book in the series. Bravo on another excellent book, Robert, I can’t wait to read the next one!

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 20th October 2016

Print length: 368 pages

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