Friday, October 21, 2016

Audiobook Review: The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza

Publisher: Bookouture
Pub. Date: February 12th, 2016
Pages/Length: 396/10 hours, 7 minutes


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 page-turning thriller packed with suspense. If you like Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Karin Slaughter, discover Robert Bryndza’s new series today.

What Did I Think About the Story?

I'm not sure about anyone else, but I subscribe to a number of daily emails that come in with ebook sales and deals and have found it just too easy to push the little button to buy books I didn't even know I wanted until the deal was too good to pass up! Add on an audiobook version for just a couple more dollars? Why, yes, that sounds nice, thank you! This is the scenario that led me to purchase and listen to the audiobook version of The Girl in the Ice.   I've found myself gravitating towards British crime dramas and police procedurals in the last few years, especially in regards to TV shows (Happy Valley, anyone?), and thought this sounded twisting and unnerving enough to keep me entertained on my long drive to and from work each day.  I'm so glad I gave it a try as I enjoyed it very much and recently discovered that this is just the first book in an Erika Foster series!

Erika Foster is quite the complicated character. We find out pretty quickly that a wrong move on Erika's part led to the death of her husband, which she's having a tough time recovering from. Jumping into work seems just the ticket to distract her, and her determination not to make mistakes in this newest case goes a long way in giving her the strength to push back against the thick and twisted bureaucracy she encounters due to the power and influence of the father of the victim found in the ice (more victims are to come, but I don't want to give anything away!).  Erika is not a woman to be messed with and I love that she led the investigation with brains, heart, and conviction even when male counterparts tried to undermine her and block her way. I loved her as a character, as well as the main detective working with her, Detective Moss, and really hope the two of them work together in future installments of this new series.

Great characters aside, I think my favorite aspect of the story is the time and detail given to the actual procedures and red tape that goes into police work. There are so many  intricacies and regulations that go into a police procedural, much of which I had no idea about, and the politics layered on top due to the money and power of the family being investigated made it all that much more interesting. I was amazed at all the work that went into discovering our murderer, not just forensically and logistically but on Erika's instinctual level, and I have a new respect for the detectives that solve this sort of crime.

As with any audiobook, the narrator can make or break my overall enjoyment of the story. The narrator of this story (Jan Cramer) did a great job of varying her voice between characters (which can't be easy with as many characters as we find here) and somehow alternating effectively between concrete police procedures and wild and unpredictable violence. She kept a good pace, depending on what was happening at any given point in the story, and I'm excited to see that she'll be narrating the next book in the series, The Night Stalker.

I will warn those that are squeamish that the murder scenes and some descriptions throughout can be kind of graphic, however I think any reader should expect as much given the book synopsis and the genre of novel. I, for one, appreciate this aspect when I'm reading a story such as this as it makes it more realistic and therefore more interesting to me as a whole.

The Girl in the Ice surprised me with its well developed characters and authentic feel.  While I had an idea in which direction our killer was going to come from, I can honestly say I didn't guess the actual murderer correctly and was excited when the killer was finally revealed. I'm definitely going to be reading the next installments in the series as I quite enjoyed Erika Foster as a character and am curious to see what other characters make it in as well. Pure grit and entertainment, it's sure to be a fun ride!   

My Rating 4.0/5.0

I purchased a copy of both the ebook and audiobook of The Girl in the Ice for my own collection and all views expressed are my own. Find more information about the book, including other reviews and purchase links, on Goodreads.

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