93. The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza

The cover drew me to this book…well the cover and the fact that Amazon kept recommending it to me. I have fallen into a book slump this month, where I actually haven’t wanted to read. And so, on Thursday 15th August, this has become my first read of the month and I totally picked a cracker to read! I loved this. Bring on the rest of the series!

Synopsis (as taken from the Amazon Kindle Store) is as follows:

Her eyes are wide open. Her lips parted as if to speak. Her dead body frozen in the ice…She is not the only one.

When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation.

The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitiutes, all found strangled, hands bound and dumped in the water around London.

What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding?

As Erika inches closer to uncovering the truth, the killer is closing in on Erika.

The last investigation Erika led went badly wrong…resulting in the death of her husband. With her career hanging by a thread, Erika must now battle her own personal demons as well as a killer more deadly than any she’s faced before. But will she get him before he strikes again?

Ability to read – It’s been one of those weeks where stress has been the dominant emotion. The week before was riddled with anxiety and I honestly didn’t think this week could be any more stressful but I was proved wrong. When I chose to read this book, I wanted an escape from reality and something to distract me from an intense migraine and the feeling of running on fumes. I honestly didn’t think the book would be able to grab my attention long enough for my mind to clear, but I can say that it actually did it’s job and more. My reading was a little slower because my eyes are sore and I’m overtired, plus I was reading on a screen, however, I found the language easy enough to understand and the general flow of the book was natural and easy to get into. I found it easy to understand the characters and their surroundings and enjoyed the chapters from the killers POV which were mysterious and vague but still written in a way that was understandable rather than confusing.

Characterization – I first have to acknowledge the character at the beginning of the book who discovered the ‘girl in the ice’ because he wasn’t mentioned beyond that point and yet he was a fully formed character with a backstory and emotions. It showed me what kind of author Robert Bryndza was and what I could expect from the characters in this book. I connected with Erika very early on, a combination of her hard exterior and how annoying DCI Sparks was, cemented me firmly behind Erika’s character. As a Detective I felt that her struggles were very real and that she never compromised her character or shied away from what she thought was right. I did think the opposing characters of Marsh and Sparks were a little biased, I understand their actions in terms of plot development but I thought their behaviour was a little unrealistic in terms of the real world. I am sure there is corruption in Law Enforcement but that line within this book felt a little forced and over used. I suppose I was a little disappointed that that was the route taken by Marsh and Sparks.

I think it also irritated me that Erika was brought on to do a job and then restricted from doing it. It made me question the force and wonder if there were any similarities with the characters here and the real police force.

Moss and Peterson were wonderful additions to Erkia’s cold shoulder and I got the impression that by the end of the book, they were real friends of Erika’s and that she’d formed a team that would work well in the long run.

Visualization – I don’t live in London but I visit often enough that I knew of the places mentioned and could clearly visualize them in my mind. Through Erika I felt that I got a clear picture of what was happening, could clearly see the characters and could understand the interactions going on between the two. I was more invested in seeing the details in this book, so I was more conscious about visualizing the scenes and being able to identify key players.

Uniqueness – I seem to have found my groove with Detective Thrillers. I’m getting more enjoyment out of the books and finding a new style of writing that keeps me in suspense. I have always loved Detective novels but I was getting bored of being able to easily identify the killer long before it was revealed. I am experiencing some excitement again. I don’t know what it is about Detective Thrillers or Psychological Thrillers but there is a level of suspense to them that I just don’t see coming and every time I get to the reveal I have been blown away. (There have been one or two occasions where I have guessed it from the first couple of chapters, but those have been books that I’ve ended up abandoning and not reading in full.)

It seems silly to me to keep exclaiming that the book is unique. You’re probably sat there thinking ‘what is unique Hannah?’, but I’m not sure I could answer in a way that makes sense. I got a rush of excitement. I got addicted to reading this. I was curious to find out what happened. I was obsessed with the reveal of the killer. There wasn’t any part of this where I thought I needed to take a break or where I found a gap in its armor. It will be a game to see if my enjoyment of the series continues over to the next book or if I find it less enjoyable or unique.

Star Rating – ★★★★★

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