Book Review: The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza

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The Night Stalker (DCI Erika Foster, #2)

The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza
Release Date: 2nd June 2016
Publisher: Bookouture
Buy: PaperbackKindle
Rating:
5h

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If the Night Stalker is watching, you’re already dead… 

In the dead of a swelteringly hot summer’s night, Detective Erika Foster is called to a murder scene. The victim, a doctor, is found suffocated in bed. His wrists are bound and his eyes bulging through a clear plastic bag tied tight over his head. 

A few days later, another victim is found dead, in exactly the same circumstances. As Erika and her team start digging deeper, they discover a calculated serial killer – stalking their victims before choosing the right moment to strike. 

The victims are all single men, with very private lives. Why are their pasts shrouded in secrecy? And what links them to the killer? 

As a heat wave descends upon London, Erika will do everything to stop the Night Stalker before the body count rises, even if it means risking her job. But the victims might not be the only ones being watched… Erika’s own life could be on the line. 

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When DCI Erika Foster is called in to investigate the murder of Dr Gregory Munro it soon becomes apparent that this isn’t your average brutal murder. Dr Munro had been drugged and suffocated with a ‘suicide bag’, then left naked on his bed with his hands tied together.
The more that Erika and her team start to uncover about the crime scene, the stranger the circumstances appear to be.
Struggling to make any progress with the case, the investigation is thrown into meltdown when another body is found and the victim appears to have been killed in the same way. This time it’s controversial daytime TV host Jack Hart (he presents a Jerry Springer/Jeremy Kyle style show.) There appears to be no link between the two men, other than the circumstances surrounding their murders which seem to have been planned right down to the very last detail. It soon becomes clear that the person behind these killings is very smart and frighteningly methodical and has stalked their victims well in advance before putting their plan into action in order to gain all of the information they need and striking; therefore earning themselves the nickname ‘The Night Stalker’ But who can it be? Who could execute such devious and bizarre murders? And what could possibly be the link between the victims?
But let’s face it – if anyone can get to the bottom of revealing The Night Stalker’s identity then it’s DCI Foster…
However, it’s not long before the investigation looks set to take a whole new turn and this time it’s out of Erika’s capable hands. But anyone who knows Erika knows that she’s not one to sit back and do as she’s told. But might this investigation end up putting her job – and even her life – on the line?

If you have read The Girl in the Ice then you will know exactly where I’m coming from when I say I couldn’t wait to get my sticky mitts on this book. I felt pure excitement and anticipation at the thought of another creepy, tense and addictive adventure from Robert Bryndza. There’s no doubt that the pressure was most definitely on (have you SEEN how many 5* reviews The Girl in the Ice got!?) but I knew that Robert wouldn’t let his readers down. Far, far, far from it – the second instalment in the Erika Foster series completely surpassed my expectations. It was sheer psychological perfection and I loved every nerve wracking, nail biting, tissue shredding word of it.

Robert wastes no time in throwing his readers straight into the story as we are unofficially introduced to The Night Stalker as they prepare to strike. This black-clad, methodical creature is the stuff of nightmares. They have chosen their victim and have left no stone unturned with acting out their terrifying plan. I was literally reading with my fingers covering my face from the first couple of pages onwards. There’s such an overwhelming sense of foreboding and you can’t really shake this off throughout the whole novel.
The Night Stalker intrigued and terrified me in equal measure. I was impressed with exactly how smart they were, but I was also feeling rather jumpy and imagining a creepy figure dressed in black hiding under my bed (Gulp!) I was also fascinated to discover how they had chosen their victims and I was blowed if I could work out both who The Night Stalker was and their reason for targeting their victims. (But thankfully that’s why we have the wonderful Erika Foster; to make sure we’re on the right path…)
The chapters written from The Night Stalkers perspective were both thrilling and terrifying. Then as the story unfolds the pieces of the puzzle start to slot into place and this signals the point where you will NOT be able to stop reading. Honestly, just be prepared. This book was taking up so much of my headspace when I was reading it (if I wasn’t trying to guess the outcome I was analyzing the characters or if I wasn’t doing that I was anxiously looking at the clock to see when I would next be able to get back to the story…And so it goes on…) Any book that can get so inside my head is a sure fire winner, but now I’d like some headspace back please Mr Bryndza (at least until Book #3 comes out…)
DCI Erika Foster is undoubtedly my favourite fictional detective. Since meeting her in The Girl in the Ice I have wanted to discover more about her and I was thrilled that we are given more of Erika’s background in Book #2. Readers will be aware that Erika lost her husband, Mark, during a drugs raid two years ago and she was the officer who was held responsible. Erika is, understandably, still struggling to deal with what happened. She lives a lonely life and throws herself into work. Her personal life is one that will break your heart, but the thing is she’s just so damn good at what she does that it’s hard to remember that she is a widow with few friends and a nonexistent social life.  I wanted her to be happy, but I also wanted her to succeed. She is desperate for a promotion at work and there are times when the odds don’t look in her favour, but she’s such an inspiring, kick-ass woman that you won’t ever find yourself doubting her. I love how she’s snarky, fearless and unafraid to speak her mind. She’s such a complex character and she is so exciting to read about. I just love the woman.

Now as I’m sure regular readers of my blog are aware I LOVED The Girl in the Ice so it’s with massive trepidation that I say this…But…I think I enjoyed The Night Stalker EVEN MORE. I know. I really feel that Robert’s has grown into this genre even more and his writing is just superb. He knows how to set the scene, build tension, craft wonderfully complex characters and create a truly terrifying atmosphere and keep readers guessing. I felt really jumpy when I was reading this and it’s what I was class as a real chiller of a book. Perfectly paced, I guarantee it’ll have you feeling twitchy. It’s also one of those books that throws so many questions at you as it goes along. The biggest question that bothered me for so long was why these victims? I couldn’t see any immediate link and it niggled away at me until I found out. (The other question I had – and one that seems to bother Erika herself  – is Sergeant Woolf always on duty!?)

Since I started blogging I have grown to love thrillers. It was a genre I never really tried before and it’s books like The Night Stalker that remind me why I now love this genre so much. I love the excitement, I love the tension, I love the mystery, I love the intrigue and I love the drama.

A clever, compulsive and brilliantly plotted novel that will knock your socks off. I have developed a serious addiction to DCI Erika Foster and her scary, thrilling and slightly mad-cap world and I don’t know how I am going to wait for more.

A huge thank you to Robert Bryndza for sending me a review copy of The Night Stalker.

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Robert BryndzaOriginally from the UK, Rob lives in Slovakia with his Slovak husband and their two crazy dogs. He originally trained as an actor, but was bitten by the writing bug in his mid-twenties and hasn’t looked back.

His debut novel, The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard became an Amazon bestseller, and has grown to a best selling series of five books.

In addition to his recent number one romantic comedy Miss Wrong and Mr Right, Rob is excited to embrace the darker side of life, and has just signed a three-book deal with Bookouture to write a crime thriller series. The first book, The Girl In The Ice will be released in Spring 2016. Sign up to Robert’s New Release Mailing List here:http://eepurl.com/UITxz

Robert Bryndza |  Website  | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads |

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