“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 eleven-year-old Jessica Collins. The missing girl who made headline news when she vanished twenty-six years ago.
As Erika tries to piece together new evidence with the old, she discovers a family harbouring secrets, a detective plagued by her failure to find Jessica, and the mysterious death of a man living by the quarry.
Is the suspect someone close to home? Someone doesn’t want this case solved. And they’ll do anything to stop Erika from finding the truth.”
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Surely Emma has got this wrong. Surely she meant to include the title, cover and blurb of Deadly Secrets, book 6 in the Erika Foster series and the most recent release. Surely she can’t mean Dark Water, the third book in the series, can she? Being the dedicated, up-to-date crime fiction blogger she is, she MUST have read Dark Water AGES ago”. I’m right, aren’t I? That’s exactly what you’re thinking. No? Well, truth be told, I am deeply ashamed to admit that I have fallen (significantly) behind in some of my favourite series; Robert Bryndza’s Erika Foster series being one of them (there are many, MANY more!).
I came up with a brilliant idea the other month whilst staring at my burgeoning NetGalley shelf and wondering what the heck I was going to read next. I decided to pass the buck and get someone else to decide for me by running a poll. Dark Water was the winner, closely followed by another Bookouture author and, erm…another Robert Bryndza book! And I am so glad you chose Dark Water for me to read, thank you! I’ve missed Erika a lot.
It’s been nearly TWO YEARS (oh gosh *hangs head in shame*) since I last caught up with my favourite Slovakian detective. You can read my review of The Girl in the Ice (book #1) by clicking HERE and my review of The Night Stalker (book #2) by clicking HERE. I was a little concerned as I started to read. Worried that I wouldn’t remember enough of Erika’s history, worried that I’d forgotten the dynamics of her working relationships and, my immediate ‘main’ concern, why all of a sudden she was based in Bromley?! I needn’t have worried (although I am still trying to figure out the move to Bromley!). Within a few chapters I was reminded exactly why I love this tough, determined and dedicated DCI as much as I do.
Erika Foster and her new team unwittingly find themselves in the middle of a heart wrenching cold case investigation. In the dead of night, Erika and the Met Police Marine Recovery team are searching Hayes Quarry for ten kilos of heroin with a street value of four million pounds. What they find is worth so much more than four million pounds to one family. The grisly discovery of Jessica Collins’ remains rewinds the clock by twenty-six years. A high profile missing child case which was never solved and destroyed not only a family but the career of the Senior Investigating Officer, DCI Amanda Baker.
Of course, that doesn’t stop Erika from wanting to jump into the driving seat of the case now it’s been reopened. And now that’s it’s become about a young girl’s murder, Erika is determined to bring justice for Jessica. But, just as DCI Amanda Baker failed all those years ago, it seems Erika might be destined to fail on this one too…
I love Erika Foster. I was also very happy to see, despite the move to Bromley, that Erika was able to recruit the DIs she worked with in South London; DI Moss and DI Peterson (two very familiar characters who I feel I know well, yay!). Bryndza’s characters are always so real and very memorable. Other characters in the book also stood out for me. I found myself loving the Collins family which may surprise some people. I felt there was something the family unit was hiding; something….not quite right and I loved them for that. It’s always the darker characters, the secretive ones that grab my attention!
I’m afraid I managed to guess one of the major twists in the story fairly early on, but that certainly didn’t put me off and there was a lot more to come! Plus, I was keen to see what Erika was going to do and how she was going to solve the case. I wanted to know what her break would be and how Bryndza would tie up the threads of the story. That was more important to me than anything else.
Would I recommend this book? Oh definitely. I adore Robert Bryndza’s writing and I absolutely love Erika Foster (it’s true, I still have my #girlcrush on her!). Beautifully detailed, devilishly good and a book that’s hard to put down. I promise to make a start on Last Breath (book #4 in the series) soon. I DEFINITELY won’t leave it so long this time!
Four out of five stars.
I chose to read and review an eARC of Dark Water. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
Dark Water by Robert Bryndza was published in the UK by Bookouture on 20th October 2016 and is available in paperback, eBook and audio formats (please note, the following links are affiliate links): | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Book Depository |
Robert Bryndza is the author of the international #1 bestseller The Girl in the Ice, which is the first in his Detective Erika Foster series.
The Night Stalker, Dark Water, Last Breath and Cold Blood are the second, third, fourth and fifth books in the series. The sixth book, Deadly Secrets is now available to purchase.
Robert’s books have sold over 2 million copies and have been translated into 27 languages.
In addition to writing crime fiction, Robert has published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels. He is British and lives in Slovakia.
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