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.
Cold Blood is number 5 in the Detective Erika Foster series and it’s another cracking thriller from Robert Bryndza.
This time a man’s mutilated and dismembered body is found in a suitcase washed up on shore of the River Thames. There is no identification with the body but Erika manages to link the case to a young woman’s body that had been washed up in an identical suitcase two weeks earlier. It appears the gruesome murders could be drug related and also that there may be at least two killers involved.
There are lots of things I like about Robert’s crime writing.
I love the way we are straight into a crime scene almost on the first page – no beating about the bush.
I like that we get to know fairly quickly who has ‘done the deed’ and we see events unfold from the perpetrators’ point of view as well as Police investigations. This doesn’t spoil the story; that’s when it becomes a gripping psychological thriller – how Erika and her colleagues work to solve the crime and try to catch the criminals. Robert is a very good storyteller. You also see the killers’ relationship change throughout the book. What starts off as something that might be considered an infatuation quickly develops into something more sinister and manipulative and then something very violent, brutal and shocking.
I like the fact that it’s a series, that characters have a bit of depth and there is some continuity although they may have a principal supporting role in one book and in another a more minor role. Equally important, each book can be read as a stand alone although I would recommend reading them in order. I really like Robert’s writing style and the way the words flow easily.
I’ve read all the Erika Foster books and travelled with her on her ‘journey’. She has definitely moved on from the first book/s. She seems more mature, mellow. She began by fighting against her superiors frequently – not always to Erika’s advantage. If she believes she is right she will argue her case and then do what she feels she has to do. She is still disagreeing with her superiors but I get the feeling she’s a bit less abrasive and argumentative. Even if she’s taken off a case, she’s more than likely to find another way of continuing her investigation.
In the last couple of books I feel she’s been more reflective, wondering what path she should take. She’s now a widow in her 40s (approaching 50) with no children. She’s turned down a promotion because she couldn’t see herself as a pen pusher stuck in an office most of the time.
There are some pretty gruesome bits to this book. The horrific murders, a shocking betrayal by a colleague, a brutal assault on Erika herself, the kidnap of Commander Marsh’s two young daughters, a race against the clock to find the little girls all leading to a shocking climax.
I would definitely recommend this book to those who like crime thrillers. In fact I recommend all five books in the series so far. They can all be read as stand alone but are best read from the start of the series. Here are links to my previous reviews.
[My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher Bookouture for providing an advance copy]