The Night Stalker is the second book in the DCI Erika Foster British crime mystery series by Robert Bryndza. He is an author that was completely new to me until someone recommended that I read The Girl In The Ice, which I bought and read – in one big sitting.
Needless to say, as soon as I’ve finished his first book, I hopped onto Netgalley hoping for the second one to be available to request. And thanks to my lucky stars, my wait turned out to be short-lived, because the book was soon added to Netgalley. I’ve requested it, got accepted and stopped everything I was doing so I can read this second book.
And boy I was not disappointed. I loved The Girl In The Ice, but I adored The Night Stalker. The author’s debut novel was a strong entrance to the genre, but his second book really upped the ante. Robert Bryndza is now one of my most favorite British thriller authors along with Angela Marsons, Sharon Bolton, M.J. Arlidge and Mel Sherratt.
The story starts with some strong visuals. A guy is going home expecting a quiet evening with his food and drink. What he finds instead is that he won’t get to live to see the next sunrise. The killer is waiting for him well prepared. He has already entered the house, cut the power and phone lines, put drugs in his drink and now is just waiting. Sure enough, the victim comes home and grabs for the spiked drink. Soon he goes upstairs to bed, but he is unable to defend himself from the imminent attack due to him being already paralyzed by the drug.
The killer knows this so his job is very easy. He has the bag ready and all he needs is to put it on the guy’s head and wait for him to suffocate.
Soon DCI Erika Foster is called to the crime scene and learns that the victim was a well-respected doctor.
While working on this investigation, another body is found, and Erika learns that he was killed with the same MO. Soon she realizes that her team has a serial killer on the loose and the motive might just be homo-sexually related. Or maybe the appearances are deceiving after all?
During the course of the investigation, we are thrown loads of red herrings which we have to wade through along with Erika. Things seem too easy and when the bosses push her for a quick case close, Erika knows that the killer is not yet done.
The story is a roller coaster, just like the author’s first novel. We are sucked into the plot right from the start and the suspense doesn’t let go until even after the surprising reveal which for us readers (but not Erika) happened somewhere in the second part of the book. Even knowing who the killer is we can’t let go of our nail-biting.
The killer is nothing like I expected. However, this is also a killer towards whom I felt just the slightest pang of sympathy especially when the author gave us a few tidbits of what drove that person to kill over and over again.
I really warmed up to Erica’s team and found myself eagerly learning more about the members. Moss and Peterson are great characters. The three of them have a real connection and work really well together. And let’s not forget about Isaac, Erica’s best friend, know gets to tell his own story in the book as well.
We also catch a few more glimpses into Erica’s past and into the tragic death of her husband. We learn more about the reason why she feels guilty and what makes her tick.
Erika is a very complex character, one which the bosses hate, but which her colleagues love. She really intrigues me. A strong-willed character with a straight head who knows what she wants and how to go about getting it, even if her bosses don’t agree with her methods. Her team trusts her and they are very loyal to her.
The writing is top notch and I keep having to remind myself that this is only the author’s second novel.
I’m not sure when book #3 comes out, but I’m eagerly waiting for it and will grab it as soon as it’s published.
Something else that is now intriguing me is the publisher itself. Bookouture is a name that was new to me when I’ve read The Girl In The Ice.
I have meanwhile also read all 4 Angela Marsons’ amazing DI Kim Stone novels which are also published by the same house and – wow – I have to say Bookouture is a publishing house well worth checking out! I am now hooked and keeping an eye on their books, just like with Grand Central Publishing, Kensington and HarperCollins, to say just a few of my favorite ones.
The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza
Series: DCI Erika Foster #2
Published by Bookouture
Genres: British Mystery, Crime Mystery, Thriller
Source: Review Copy
Also by this author: The Girl In The Ice, Dark Water, Last Breath, Cold Blood