A former Customs and Police Officer, Andrew Hill is just putting the finishing touches to the first book in a crime series set in the New Forest, where he lived for 30 years. An avid reader across the crime genre and regular at Crimefest, he now lives in West Sussex and works in property.
Robert Bryndza plunges the reader straight into a murder and then interrupts DCI Erika Foster’s less than cozy dinner party to bring her to the scene.
Weave into this our protagonist making a pitch for promotion, her friend being a suspect and a pregnant sister with a partner who’s a wrong ‘un. An antagonist for whom you have some sympathy, but at the same time is clearly damaged beyond repair. This killer is busy ticking off a list of people that have in some way contributed to her being in that damaged state and this makes for an engrossing read that canters along at a fair old clip. That the killer appears to know each victim’s routine and lays in wait for them, just adds a generous dash of spice to the tale.
Foster is a complicated but intuitive lady. Of Slovakian heritage, she’s not hidebound by the rules or liked by her superiors. She’s still guilt-ridden by the death of colleagues and her husband, a fellow police officer, in a raid she was in charge of that went badly awry. But this has left her unswervingly driven and with no life, other than her work.
But the book isn’t hung up in the usual ‘maverick cop’ oeuvre. The author explores violence against women, suicide, survivor guilt, the dark web, exploitation of people by the media and even violence in literature. Read this and you’ll be checking your doors, windows and especially under your bed.