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Last Breath by Robert Bryndza (DCI Erika Foster #4)

Last Breath by Robert BryndzaErika Foster, the tough as nails detective in Robert Brynzda’s thriller series, is back once again. This time, however, she is not working murder cases because she’s out.

She has been away from her team for a while now, ever since she left the Murder Investigation Team when she got, once again, passed over for promotion. But the itch to solve cases remained with her ever since.

When she is called to a gruesome crime scene, she can no longer deny her calling. She has to solve this case even if she has to grovel for her place back on the team.

After lots of begging and chasing after her nemesis and boss, Erika finds herself once again working along with her colleagues and friends, Peterson, Moss, Crane, Isaac and John McGorry.

A young woman has been murdered and left in a dumpster. She has been horribly tortured and mutilated and the scene moves Erika deeply. She has to find the killer because she feels in her gut that this is just the beginning and soon he will strike again.

We learn early on about the killer’s identity and his method of getting his victims. Finding out the ‘why’ is what takes the most time, and this allows the serial killer to start a cat and mouse game with the police.

Soon the team learns that the killer is using social media to lure the victims into meeting him. Unmasking him, however, is another story.

While working on the case Erika manages to annoy her bosses over and over again, but by now we are used to her rough way of handling things, especially since she has a knack for solving even the toughest cases. And this current case is not a walk in the park.

The plot moves along at a fast, almost breathless pace, and towards the end, it’s just a racing of how long you can hold your breath before releasing. And the ending … explosive as always.

Along with the story, we got to see another side of Erika. A more human, vulnerable side. I never thought she’d actually grovel, but groveling and begging she did in order to get back working murder cases. She would have never done that in earlier books. Her intentions are always pure, she doesn’t care about politics, fame or glitter. All she cares about is justice for the victims.

I also enjoyed her budding romance with Peterson. A few snags along the way, especially since Erika is still not used to letting down her guard or her shields, but things seem to be moving along nicely.

And then let’s not forget Peterson and Moss. Both have revealed a bit more of themselves and Moss is often funny to boot.  You find yourself really caring for these people.

While the book is a whodunit, it is not so much the case that is important, but the people behind solving it. And I think this fourth book really brings to shine the three-dimensional aspect of the characters we’ve learned to love.

This is one reason why I urge everyone to start the series with the first book, The Girl In The Ice and work their way up to the latest Erika Foster novel.  You get to appreciate the multi-layered complexity of the main and secondary characters.

And now do I really need to wait one more year until a new Erika Foster book is released?

Last Breath by Robert Bryndza
Series: DCI Erika Foster #4
Published by Bookouture
Published 2017
Genres: British Mystery, Crime Mystery, Thriller
Source: Review Copy
Also by this author: The Girl In The IceThe Night StalkerDark WaterCold Blood

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