I have been reading the Robert Brynza books in order for his DCI Erika Foster series from the very first book, The Girl in the Ice, and I was looking forward to pick up his latest novel, Cold Blood as well. After clearing my backlog on books to read and review, I finally managed to pick it up as my 4th book to read in 2018.
In Cold Blood, we meet Erika once again, this time dealing with a ruthless killer who, after murdering his victims, cuts them into pieces and stuffs them in big suitcases, leaving them in various outdoor areas of London.
After the second victim is found, Erica’s boss wants to take the case away from her and give it to another department, however, a third killing seals the deal: Erika and her team have free reigns on finding the killer and bringing him to justice. But how to find him (or her), when there seems to be no common thread among the victims?
Once a link is eventually found, Erika knows that they are dealing with a serial killer. And when the killer is as bold as kidnap Commander Marsh’s children, Erika knows that finding the abductor and killer is a race against the time if they all want to see the kids back safe and sound.
The story was gripping right from the start. As usual with Robert Bryndza’s books, once you begin reading, you know that you’ll have to put aside some time because you won’t be able to stop. The action is fast-paced and we got to see not only Erika’s point of view but also that of the criminals. Initially, there are seemingly two storylines that the chapters switch to back and forth, but at some point, the reader understands what is going on. When for me the light bulb went on, I found I enjoyed the book even more because now I could follow the plot lines and think ahead.
I loved learning more about Erika, and this book had an interesting twist regarding her character. I didn’t see that coming, but I did see the awkward encounters that followed the particular incident. I would definitely not want to be in Erika’s shoes when such things happen (being a bit vague here as there are spoilers I want to avoid).
Some readers seem to have issues with the alternate plot (the Nina/Max arc), but I really enjoyed reading that point of view as well. It made the story much more than a simple crime novel, as it went deeper into what makes a psychopath’s mind tick and what his ultimate drives are.
There were a few funny bits in the otherwise dark book when various people would comment on the dimensions of suitcases the bodies were found in, since these days manufacturers don’t even make them so big given the strict rules on the luggage that can be taken on planes (unless you want to pay an ungodly amount of money for extra weight). The comments themselves weren’t all that funny, but the way everyone around Erika mentioned the luggage limitations made for some chuckling moments that lightened up the otherwise dark mood surrounding the case.
I read the book in one sitting, and now I’m left to wait one year until a new Erika Foster novel is out. How is life that unfair?
Cold Blood by Robert Bryndza
Series: DCI Erika Foster
Published by Bookouture
Genres: British Mystery, Crime Mystery, Thriller
Also by this author: The Girl In The Ice, The Night Stalker, Dark Water, Last Breath