CAB reviews The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza

This is the first in a series of crime novels. I picked this up because I was intrigued by the cover art and the description on the jacket. Perhaps not the best way to pick a book but there are probably worse ways to go about it.

Here’s the description from Amazon:

“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?”

Let me just put this out there. I liked the book. I’d give it 3 1/2 stars because it held my attention and I was intrigued by the crime. I’ll admit the prologue set the scene really well and I was sucked right in. That doesn’t mean there weren’t issues.

When we’re introduced to Erika Foster and you know “something” is going on. The other police officers are more disrespectful than I would think if it were just because she’s a woman. There is also an edge to Erika that seems odd. So much so that I immediately felt like I was missing a huge back story, which prompted me to put the book down and do a quick search to make sure I hadn’t missed a prior book. I’ve done that before and in this instance it felt like I was missing some vital piece of information about the main character. Turns out you are, and although you get bits and pieces throughout the story it never fully resolves. If I’m honest, I wish THAT story had been the 1st in the series.

Then there is this weird dynamic between Erika and her boss, Chief Superintendent Marsh. He brings her onto the case and it seems they are friends and yet they don’t seem to respect each other. That and every chance she gets, Erika is disobeying orders. Funny enough, I found it pretty easy to gloss over this relationship as inconsequential and focus on the crime solving.

Finally, there is the POV. I was good with the writing the POV except when we see the murderer, the POV changes and I felt like there was this weird voice over happening. For example the author writes “The figure edged closer, amongst the packed-in crowd… ” Then anytime we are seeing the murder, “The figure” is referenced. Oddly, of all the things that could bother me, that one stuck out like a sore thumb.

Would I read the next in the series? When I was 3/4 of the way through this book, I would have said yes. At the end of this book they gave us a snippet of what’s to come with Erika Foster and I don’t know. It looks like it might be more of the same. That said, go ahead, read this one. Some of the language alone was entertaining.

You can download a sample or purchase The Girl in the Ice by clicking here.

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