It seems like forever since I read The Night Stalker by the lovely Robert Bryndza and I have been a really good CrimeBookJunkie waiting patiently to post my review.
EEEEEEEK! *and breathe* – just had to get that out!
My fantastic Guest Reviewer, Claire and I, are hosting one of three stops on the Blog Tour today so make sure you also check out the most awesome Kate Moloney of Bibliophile Book Club and Debbie Johnston of Brooks Cottage Books.
If the Night Stalker is watching, you’re already dead…
In the dead of a swelteringly hot summer’s night, Detective Erika Foster is called to a murder scene. The victim, a doctor, is found suffocated in bed. His wrists are bound and his eyes bulging through a clear plastic bag tied tight over his head.
A few days later, another victim is found dead, in exactly the same circumstances. As Erika and her team start digging deeper, they discover a calculated serial killer – stalking their victims before choosing the right moment to strike.
The victims are all single men, with very private lives. Why are their pasts shrouded in secrecy? And what links them to the killer?
As a heat wave descends upon London, Erika will do everything to stop the Night Stalker before the body count rises, even if it means risking her job. But the victims might not be the only ones being watched… Erika’s own life could be on the line.
My Rating and Claire’s Rating: Not surprisingly, we both give it a whopping 5/5!
I received a copy of this book from Bookouture via Netgalley. A big *Thank you* as always!
I am always a little nervous when I love a book so much and the second in the series is published. For me, The Girl In The Ice was one of those books that stays with you — could the author deliver another great read in Book 2?! You bet your sweet ass he can…and did…and will probably do it again! Woohoo!!
I love a good #SerialKillerThriller and The Night Stalker had all the right components to keep my interest piqued from the start. You could feel the tension building as each chapter revealed another piece of the puzzle in the story-line.
The killer was revealed fairly early on -intentionally I believe- although I had sussed it out not too far from when it was revealed. By doing this, I think the reader becomes a part of the story as we work alongside Detective Erika Foster to solve the case.
I loved the fact that Erika Foster has developed as a character/person more from her first appearance in The Girl In The Ice. Her strength, determination and desire to grow is clearly demonstrated in this book. She is fast becoming a favourite female main character for me.
Duke and Simone were also great characters and integral to the story-line. You are drawn to them both because they are drawn to each other. But their relationship leads the reader to question a lot of things — and you begin to wonder where your loyalties should lie.
But what I loved even more was that Dr Isaac Strong had a bigger part to play in this story. I mentioned in my last review how much I was really drawn to this character. There is just a vulnerability about him that really captured my heart. I was pleasantly surprised to find he had a huge part to play and again, my heart was captured! No spoilers though — I hope to see more of this character in future books!
Loss, Self-Loathing, Abandonment, Revenge and a wee bit of Twisted Justice can all be found woven in the plot line and give the reader something tangible to grab on to as we follow along. Female leads are fast becoming the norm these days and Robert Bryndza is certainly in good company alongside #BookoutureBabes Angela Marsons and Caroline Mitchell!
I definitely recommend anyone interested in strong female leads, a good police procedural and crime fiction to grab themselves a copy of this series. The Night Stalker can certainly be read as a stand-alone, in my opinion, but why not spoil yourself and grab The Girl In The Ice while you are there!
“I’ve got a bad feeling about this, Erika”
The Night Stalker is set a year or so after The Girl In The Ice and Erika is a much better and stable frame of mind that she was in her previous outing. That doesn’t mean she’s any less brash or blunt in her investigation. She’s still the head strong, instinct-following detective she was in Robert Bryndza’s first in the series. It’s not often a male writer can pull off a strong female lead but Robert Bryndza does it with bells and whistles. Bravo! And what an investigation Erika has this time! Is it suicide or murder?!
The book has four threads to follow: Erika and the team’s investigation, the Night Stalker’s nocturnal activities, private chat room discussions between Night Owl and Duke and then there’s Simone, a healthcare worker looking after Mary. This latter pair threw up so many questions as I read. Who is Simone? Is she a victim to be? Or will it be Mary? Who is Night Owl? Why is there this list of people who deserve?? Who is Duke, feeding Night Owl’s urges… I had a theory but that got totally blown out the water half way through!
I devoured the book over 3 days which is no mean feat with two kids and other family commitments. I felt so engrossed in the story to the extent that when Erika hears a song on the radio that evokes so much emotion, I trotted off to iTunes and promptly downloaded it.
“You’re not going to get away with this. I’m coming to get you.”
There is no grand reveal of our culprit at the end, but there is a definite climax in the investigation as the end comes into view. This is more of a game of cat and mouse – at points Erika is the mouse, taunted by the elusive Night Stalker but as the story progresses, the tables spin back and forth. Erika hunting the Night Stalker; the Night Stalker tracking Erika. The question is will Erika get to her arrest?
Another cracking crime novel from the folks at Bookouture. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Bookouture seem to have the knack of unearthing brilliant authors!
Massive thank you to Bookouture and Netgalley for giving me this ebook in exchange for my honest review and a huge bear hug to Noelle for asking me to join her at the CrimeBookJunkie stop on the Night Stalker blog tour.