The Girl in the Ice is a brilliant crime thriller. It is definitely one of those I couldn’t put down. (I would have liked to have read it all night until I got to the end but I was just too exhausted so I didn’t finish it until the next day). I got involved in the story right from the start and it held my attention all the way through.
This really is a “gripping serial killer thriller” as it states on the cover but it’s not obvious at the start that there is a serial killer. The body of a young woman with horrendous injuries is found under thick ice. She is identified as the missing daughter of a prominent and influential politician, Lord Douglas-Brown.
DCI Erika Foster has returned to service after an absence following the death of her husband. She expected to be put on administrative duties for a period but instead was put in immediate charge of the murder case because of her experience.
DCI Sparks who was leading the case when it was a missing person is not happy that Erika Foster has been put in charge of the murder case.
The victim’s father is putting on the pressure to get results and arrest someone. However the family don’t seem to want to answer Erika’s awkward questions about their daughter and her lifestyle.
Erika eventually seems to make a breakthrough and finds someone who may have seen the victim talking to a man and woman in a pub near the place where her body was found. The pub was also suspected of placing illegal immigrants in work and being involved in prostitution.
As Erika’s enquiries continue it becomes clear that certain information about other similar cases that she has learned of has been withheld but it’s not clear why or by whom.
When one of her potential witnesses is found murdered and the other one long disappeared, Erika is suspended. Erika suspects the murders might be linked but her superiors seem to have a different agenda.
Of course, Erika continues to investigate unofficially with the help of some colleagues and when an arrest is made she believes they have arrested the wrong person.
I loved all the sub-plots and red herrings but the writing is so good the plot is easy to follow.
You have a powerful, wealthy family whose daughter has been murdered. The father is an influential politician with many business interests. The mother, originally from Slovakia, runs a society florist business. There is a younger son who is a university student and an older, daughter who seems just a little bit strange at times. There is also a fiancé,an ex-boyfriend, possibly illegal immigrants from Eastern Europe, Senior police officers, the Press.
I liked the characters. I liked the writing style. The story is complex enough to hold the reader’s attention but never so complicated that you lose the thread. DCI Erika Foster is strong and feisty character, an experienced police officer, but also vulnerable given the circumstances of her husband’s death. She doesn’t always stick to the rules. I like her.
I wholeheartedly give this book 5 stars and look forward to the next one in the series.
[I received a review copy of this via NetGalley]
Publication date: 12 February 2016
Author website: http://robertbryndza.com/the-girl-in-the-ice/