Saturday, July 22, 2017

The girl in the ice by Robert Bryndza

Detective Chief Inspector Erika Foster is still recovering, physically and emotionally, from a raid gone wrong when she is called in to be the lead on the case of a missing London socialite.  The missing person is young, beautiful, and rich, the daughter of a Lord who is not afraid to use his connections to get what he wants.  The case takes an immediate turn for the worse when the missing girls body is discovered, submerged in a frozen lake, on the same morning that Erika joins the team.  With the intense media interest, and pressure from the family to find the killer quickly it is all Erika can do to try and put the brakes on the investigation so that they investigate thoroughly without rushing to conclusions. 

When she finds herself on the wrong side of the victims family it soon becomes clear that Erika and her team are not looking for the while truth - the family wants a quick and tidy closure to the case that doesn't expose their dirty little secrets.  Determined to do the best job possible Erika continues to dig into the case, despite the mounting personal cost.  Blocked from access to the family she looks for answers to the questions that no one seems to want her to answer, and that puts her squarely in the cross hairs of the killer.  Erika has a reputation for getting the job done, but this time she might be fighting a losing battle.  The stakes have never been higher, because if she can't unravel the case the next victim might be Erika herself.

I have found books in the crime/thriller genres can be very hit and miss, especially when it comes to books set in the United Kingdom.  There are some brilliant authors out there writing British crime drama, and then there are some that I just can't get into - luckily The girl in the ice was one of the better ones.  There are some parts of the book that didn't flow as well as others, or seemed a touch too convenient, but it was a story that kept up the tension from start to finish and kept you guessing about who the killer was and why.  It is unusual for an author to be able to keep the pool of potential suspects so large right up until the end, and Bryndza kept the tension at just the right pace to keep you hooked and caring about what happened to the characters.  Apart from Erika the other characters are not particularly well defined, but that works for me, you discover more about the characters as you read the story which makes it more palatable and believable than if you get their full biographies at the start.

Like a lot of modern crime authors Bryndza has kept his chapters short and to the point, using chapters to move the action along without chopping and changing perspective constantly within the same chapter.  This was not the most polished read, but most authors in this genre take a few books to really polish their style, and there is a lot about the characters to like which means you don't really notice until you start comparing it to other reads.  A twisted and well thought out read that was well worth the time - especially the last 100 pages or so when the action and tension really ramps up as Erika closes in on the killer (and they close in on her).

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Reviewed by Brilla

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