104. The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza

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

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.

Ability to read – I had no difficulty with reading this. The chapters told from Erika’s POV and the chapters from the POV of the killer flow together to create two spellbinding stories. I could clearly understand what was happening in both stories and enjoyed the story I found there.

Characterisation – I am very much ‘team Erika’, when I read this book, it only made me fall further behind Erika’s character and endeared her to me more. I enjoy her attitude and the fact that she never lets anything get in the way of her solving the case. I did find myself getting a little annoyed in this second book, at how the male characters (especially those of a higher rank than her), couldn’t see or wouldn’t see Erika’s potential and pushed her into the box of ‘the woman who cannot take orders’. I think it annoyed me because Erika’s performance as a DCI was exemplary in that she was hard hitting and took every chance to capture those she hunted. Yet it was her personality or her ruthlessness that was always used to push her down and keep her from progressing in her job. Some of her approaches may seem too far but she is constantly being kept out of the loop, has had cases taken from her or her opinion is ignored in favour of taking the opinion of a man instead. Perhaps I am reading too much into things but it really started to bug me.

Moss and Peterson are wonderful characters and compliment Erika quite well. I am looking forward to getting to know them better as the series continues. Marsh and Oakley, well, they’re the source of much of my annoyance in this book. They’d definitely mansplain to Erika if they got the chance. I guess the characters portray as old-school and don’t recognise the level of skill Erika has in the cases she takes on. They just see this woman who strives so hard and never backs down. They see a woman whose past actions caused the death of her team, a woman who acts rashly and a woman who never stops. I think both Marsh and Oakley see Erika as a woman first and a DCI second and that’s what really annoys me.

Visualisation – I had no difficulty visualising this. Everything was easy to understand and I was able to create a good working image of what was happening.

Enjoyment – I did enjoy this installment. Obviously I had issue with some points as I’ve just rambled them above, but for the most part, I thought the killer was inventive, the motives chilling and the driving force of Erika was the adrenaline thumping in my heart and pushing me onwards with reading. I liked the overall direction that this book took, though some of the decisions towards the end did annoy the hell out of me. I’m still invested enough to read the third installment and hopeful that Erika will finally get what she deserves.

Star Rating – ★★★★

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