107. Dark Water by Robert Bryndza

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

Beneath the water the body sank rapidly. She would lie still and undisturbed for many years but above her on dry land, the nightmare was just beginning.

When Detective Erika Foster receives a tip-off that key evidence for a major narcotics case was stashed in a disused quarry on the outskirts of London, she orders for it to be searched. From the thick sludge the drugs are recovered, but so is the skeleton of a young child.

The remains are quickly identified as seven-year-old Jessica Collins. The missing girl who made headline news twenty-six years ago.

As Erika tries to piece together new evidence with the old, she must dig deeper and find out more about the fractured Collins family and the original detective, Amanda Baker. A woman plagued by her failure to find Jessica. Erika soon realises this is going to be one of the most complex and demanding cases she has ever taken on.

Is the suspect someone close to home? Someone is keeping secrets. Someone who doesn’t want this case solved. And they’ll do anything to stop Erika from finding the truth.

Ability to read – I read this straight of the back of reading ‘The Night Stalker’, the second in the series, so the characters and settings were fresh in my mind. I had no difficulty with reading this, everything was straightforward and I didn’t have any difficulty with understanding anything.

Characterisation – Thank the lords Commander Oakley has left the building! I found that I could breathe again while reading about Erika’s journey. The new Commander is female, and while she has a no nonsense attitude, I feel her character will benefit Erika’s more and not keep her boxed in. I enjoyed this book because I felt like I was seeing more of Erika’s character and a warmer side to her personality. Seeing her interact with her sister and nephews/nieces was warming because a lot of the time she appears closed off and hardened by what has happened to her. The developing relations between Erika and Moss/Peterson were back in strong force here, I especially like the way the latter is developing but won’t say any more on that matter.

Visualisation – As with reading this off the back of the second in the series, all the scenes and characters remained fresh in my mind. I only had to tweak a couple of points and allow new characters to join, to be able to create a clear image of what was happening in the book.

Enjoyment – I enjoyed this better than I did the second book. I was frustrated with the second that Erika seemed to be thought of as a woman first and a man second and that her ideas and the way she worked weren’t given the recognition they deserved. I felt that Erika gained back some of her respect and independence with this third book. I saw her in a brighter light and liked that she was placed in a setting where she was in control again. The insight into her emotional capabilities has been slow through the series but I felt that with this book especially, I was given a better insight into her life and her feelings. I saw this as a positive installment and one that saw Erika’s character growth and push her in an exciting new area.

Star Rating – ★★★★★

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