The Girl in the Ice
Detective Erika Foster, Book #1
By Robert Bryndza
Author’s Website: http://www.robertbryndza.com
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Omar
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“Compelling at every turn! The Girl in the Ice grabs us from the first page and simply won’t let go.” –Jeffery Deaver, #1 internationally bestselling author
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 prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound and dumped in 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 to him before he strikes again?
“A riveting page-turner. An astonishingly good plot with perfectly drawn characters and sharp, detailed writing. The Girl in the Ice is a winner.” –Robert Dugoni, #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author
The Girl in the Ice starts as its name says. On a cold late night, on the first days of January, Andrea Douglas-Brown walked up the hill of a lonely and dark street, she was drunk and stormed out of a pub after a fight with somebody. As she is trying to find a place to get a signal for her phone, a car rides next to her. Andrea knows the driver, but she starts to fear the driver and runs to the woods of the park next to the street, she stumbles, and her phone and purse are lost in the dark. The figure in the car catches up to her and drags her back to the car, where he binds her legs and arms. Andrea knows her attacker and tries to fight back, but at the end her life is taken away when she is strangled in the car. A week later, Andrea Douglas-Brown’s body is found in a frozen lake as her fingers are poking through the ice. Given that Andrea is the daughter of Lord and Lady Douglas-Brown, the media and police starts a witch hunt for her killer and are trying to find him very fast. In their quest to find the killer, the police set Erika Foster, Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) as the main Senior Chief Inspector (SCI) on the case.
Erika’s job is to find the killer as fast as she can without making many waves for the influential Douglas-Brown family. Erika has a different idea; her main priority is to find the killer and bring justice to Andrea’s death. But the road to finding the killer is filled with obstacles, she gets stalked once the killer becomes interested in the person leading the case, and higher ups start to mess up her investigation trying to preserve the image of the Douglas-Brown family.
The time starts to run out and a connection is made with previous women who were found dead in the same circumstances that Andrea was found with the only difference that Andrea was rich and from an influential family. Now Erika has a bigger case on her hands, she needs to stop the killer before he hurts anybody else and bring him to justice for her own safety.
I liked this story, I’m a fan of mystery and for that I like the adventure of finding who the killer is and the reason of why he does things. I liked when the story presents the reader more than one potential killer and the reader is solving the mystery as the main characters solves it.
The story of the Girl in the Ice is a story of privilege and discrimination, a mirror to a major aspect of our society. Andrea grew up privileged, her family was wealthy and spent ridiculous amounts of money on her and her siblings when they got in trouble or just to buy them things. This type of upbringing caused them to turn into awful people that expected the world to stop for their whims. Because Simon Douglas-Brown is a lord, the police system tries to bend the investigation to keep the dirty secrets of his family, and he even hides information that would help to find his own daughter’s killer.
Unlike the privilege that the Douglas-Brown family has, the rest of the characters (in the lower class) are discriminated against and they even treat each other bad among themselves. Male officers are not happy that Erika was given the job of head investigator for the case and at every chance they get to make her job even harder, they do. Later on, we learn that in the previous months there had been other women missing and appearing dead the same way that Andrea did, but the police and the media didn’t take their cases seriously because they were poor and foreign women, instead they painted them as prostitutes and forgot about them. The author did a great job describing a problem that we have in our current society and creating a character such as Erika Foster to help fight the injustice of the world even when she knew that she could lose her job and career.
The Girl in the Ice is not just about the murder mystery that has occurred, we also experience the life of Erika Foster as she works her way with life and job after being on leave for some time. Erika is having trouble being by herself, previous to the events in the book Erika lost her husband, who was also a detective, and her team during a stakeout. This incident caused her to be blacklisted by her old police station team at Manchester. Now in London, Erika is struggling to live her life without her husband and the career that she used to have, she now second guesses all her actions and is not sure how to navigate a new station and team.
There was one aspect of the author’s writing that I liked and at the same time I found irritating. There were times when Robert Bryndza, the author, would write in a great detail what is happening in a scene, the surrounding area, and describing what the characters are feeling at that moment; I found that in most cases this helps a lot to paint a visual image for the reader and explain better the idea of what is going on in the scene, I liked these scenes and what he wrote. But at the same time, there were some occasions where I think that this method didn’t fit with the narrative of the story and slowed down the scene, making it go around in circles. It could be me that felt that way, but I think that once the story started to pick up its pace this method stops helping, and in a scene in the last chapter it took too long to reach the point.
I liked the characters in The Girl in Ice, Erika was a great main character and her team members were a great fit for her. I liked the forensic CSI Strong… of the team and the two detectives, Moss and Peterson that helped Erika when others gave her the cold shoulder. I think I have a love/hate relationship with Chief Superintendent Marsh, at first, I liked him but later on he was annoying and then likeable again.
This is the first book in the Erika Foster series and I’m interested to read what the author has prepared for Erika and her team for future cases. If the next book is as mysterious as this one, then I’ll try to read it.
If you are a fan of Robert Bryndza and his work, then I recommend you read The Girl in the Ice. In this story, we follow the case of a woman found dead one could stormy day in January, her case would open doors and reveal secrets that many want to keep buried. Erika Foster has taken the lead in this investigation and once she finds the killer, heads are going to roll, let’s just hope it’s not hers.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*