128. Cold Blood (Erika Foster Book 5) by Robert Bryndza

Kindle | 354 pages

Published by: Bookouture September 18th 2017

When a battered suitcase containing the dismembered body of a young man washes up on the shore of the river Thames, Detective Erika Foster is shocked. But it’s not the first time she’s seen such a brutal murder…

Two weeks earlier, the body of a young woman was found dumped in an identical suitcase. What connects the two victims? As Erika and her team set to work, they quickly realise they are on the trail of a serial killer who has already made their next move.

Yet just as Erika starts to make headway with the investigation, she is the target of a violent attack. Forced to recover at home, and with her personal life falling apart, everything is stacked against her, but nothing will stop Erika.

As the body count rises, the case takes an even more twisted turn when the twin daughters of Erika’s colleague, Commander Marsh, are suddenly put in terrible jeopardy. The stakes are higher than ever before, but can Erika save the lives of two innocent children before it’s too late? She’s running out of time and about to make a disturbing discovery…there’s more than one killer.

The side-along chapters are darker than the previous books. They fill me with anxiety, dread and mixed curiosity. Like I don’t want to read them but can’t help but read them. I don’t know, I think this particular narrative toes the line on what makes me uncomfortable and what I dislike reading, so it is impacting the way I see the overall story. I started this book yesterday (Nov 11th) and the book is very gripping. It quickly sucked me into the storyline but left me wondering what more could be done to the characters before cracks start to appear.

I had no difficulty in reading this. I read it straight after finishing book 4 and the characters and settings are very familiar to me now. The new characters, story and setting were easy to visualize through character action and narration.

Bloody hell! I’ve paused at the end of chapter 36 because I am filled with anger and disappointment. I’ve mentioned how much I have come to love these characters over the course of reading this series, but I didn’t realise how much of an impact it would leave when the characters took on a path that I wasn’t ready on. I won’t say anything more as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but I am currently starring angrily at my computer screen, willing the anxiety to disappear.

Poor Erika, each book she seems to reach new limits on what she can be put through. She always seems to rise above it, but I often wonder how much she has left in her and when she’s going to stumble and fall.

I was irritated with the move of Peterson’s character in this book, I felt that it didn’t measure up to his character. His actions felt too far-fetched to me and I didn’t feel that the actions he took had much to back them up.

It was easy to visualize this as I already have a good working image of the world Erika lives in and interacts with.

I get very frustrated with how characters interact with Erika and how she is constantly on the out, removed from cases, told to stand down, isn’t wanted etc. I thought we had got over that when Commander Oakley was written out, but it seemed to come back in full force during the lead up to the climatic ending and it infuriated me to no end. I’m not sure how I feel about where Erika’s character is now, I know I’m not happy, but I have such a mix of emotions that I can’t quite make out which is more dominant.

I’ve spent a lot of time with Erika this year and I have come to love all parts of her character. I still think there is much of her character to explore, I am just uncertain as to whether the path chosen for her will be a path that I will enjoy.

For the most part, I thoroughly enjoyed this. There were moments that aggravated me, which I have mentioned above, but overall, I enjoyed the story and getting to see Erika pushed and faced with yet another demanding case. Her interactions with the more prominent characters did cause me some irritation but I am still invested in seeing where the next story takes her and how her actions will lend more growth to her character.

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