The Night Stalker

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.

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This is another cracking crime story from Robert Bryndza.

I loved his first crime novel,  The Girl in the Ice  and was very happy when I got the opportunity to review the second book in the Erika Foster series. It’s another great story with several threads and a couple of red herrings.

DCI Erika Foster is back and has been called to a murder schene. She is good at solving cases (although she often follows her own rules) and is also hoping to be considered for a promotion. It’s not long until there is a second murder and it looks like they may be hunting for a serial killer. The first two victims don’t appear to have much in common except for the method used kill them. Senior officers seem to think it could be related to “gay-bashing” but Erika doesn’t agree. and being a bit of a maverick continues to investigate following her instincts. There is a major upset when her team encroach on an undercover operation that is almost at an end and one of the characters under surveillance is arrested by one of Erika’s colleagues.

When the killer strikes for a third time, Erika learns of the death from a friend who found the victim and phoned Erika before phoning 999. Erika goes to scene but another officer is put in charge and her friend is taken into custody and later charged with the murder. She doesn’t believe her friend committed the crime. Because of her personal involvement with suspect she is ordered not to get involved and is told to take a holiday.

Of course, being Erika, she still manages to continue her investigations on an unofficial basis and ropes in another colleague.

The ‘twist’ in this book is that we  know who the killer is quite early on but the killer’s reasons for the murders are revealed along the way. The killer starts off quite patient and stalks the victims over time, before striking., leaving very little forensic evidence at the crime scenes.

For me, this story was quite different. I found myself in the strange situation that while not liking the serial killer I did have some sympathy for them. That doesn’t usually happen.

Erika seems to be having a hard time in this book. It’s the two year anniversary of her husband’s death and she doesn’t always get along with colleagues.  She’s still at odds with Assistant Commissioner Oakley.  She doesn’t always play the game; if she thinks she’s right, she can’t help but follow her instincts even when she’s told to step back a bit.

I’ve given this book 5 stars. I found it well written and entertaining. I like Robert Bryndza’s writing style (don’t ask me to analyse it!) and I really enjoyed the book.

Is there going to be a third?  Please!

The Night Stalker is due to be published on 2 June 2016 (Bookouture) and can be pre-ordered.

Author’s website:    robertbryndza.com/

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Filed under crime thriller, serial killer

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