Sunday, 28 February 2016

5* review - The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza

Her eyes are wide open. Her lips parted as if to speak. Her dead body frozen in the ice…She is not the only one. 

When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation. 

The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound and dumped in water around London. 

What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding? 

As Erika inches closer to uncovering the truth, the killer is closing in on Erika. 

The last investigation Erika led went badly wrong… resulting in the death of her husband. With her career hanging by a thread, Erika must now battle her own personal demons as well as a killer more deadly than any she’s faced before. But will she get to him before he strikes again? 

After a gripping prologue the book opens with the discovery of a body in a really gruesome manner (I knew it would be perfect from the start!) The young lad that found it was so shaken and traumatised I did want to check as I got further into the book whether he was actually all right! Please let me know that there was no lasting psychological damage, Mr. Bryndza!

DCI Erika Foster was introduced by her old colleague into Lewisham Row station, it was clear there was a tragic past -  it turned out it was an operation that went horrifically wrong in the worst way. She did not endear herself to all her colleagues, nor the victim's family who thought with the father a Labour peer they should be treated differently. Erika seemed not to fear the upper echelon like some of her superiors and seemed to command a mutual respect from many at the station for this.

Erika was determined that as the deaths mounted up the case would not be swept under the carpet and a young man take the blame for a crime he had not committed - especially when it got personal. 

This was a really exceptional book and definitely deserves all the hype surrounding it (imho unlike The Girl on The Train and Gone Girl) it was thrilling, gripping, gory and I found it seemed true to life - however, if you're a member of the justice system there may be flaws. As with all books it's about entertainment and artistic license, but what I read rang true and not ridiculously far fetched.

I loved the characters, I love any book in which the female characters do not need rescuing by a male as they're too busy applying their make-up to see the shadow of the killer approaching...and this book definitely had some kick-ass women in!

I was not expecting the killer to be who they were which always pleases, and I really enjoyed the epilogue which tied Erika's personal side up nicely. I really can not wait for the next in the DCI Foster series!

ARC provided via NetGalley in exchange for an impartial review - many thanks.

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