Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Audiobook Review: The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza

Publisher: Bookouture
Pub. Date: June 2nd, 2016
Length: 9 hours and 38 minutes

Series: Detective Erika Foster #2


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.

What Did I Think About the Story?

If you read my review of Robert Bryndza's first novel in the Erika Foster series, The Girl in the Ice, you'll know that I was really excited to read/listen to this next installment in the series. I'm happy to report that The Night Stalker lived up to my expectations and not only advanced Erika's character development but introduced a unique serial killer to the mix.

Everything that I loved from the first installment - the main characters, especially Erika and her "sidekick" Detective Moss, the depth given to showing police procedures and politics, the gritty nature of the murders and the cat and mouse presentation that keeps you turning the pages - are all here again and felt like an excellent and accurate continuation of the series. Adding on a deeper exploration of Erika's personal life (or lack thereof) as well as  her trying to better navigate the politics of her job in the hopes of getting a promotion just made me appreciate her even more. The Erika in this installment is just as determined and unbendable as previously shown, just maybe a little wearier and more inclined to want some sort of life away from the force.

What was most intriguing for me about The Night Stalker was the way the killer's identity was unwound for the reader/listener and the time given to keeping us guessing. Interspersed with Erika's hunt for this newest serial killer are online chat room conversations between the killer and someone they are sharing their actions with. These were particularly creepy as the killer shows no remorse and the person they are chatting with seems to egg them on. We also get little peeks into the killer stalking their victims and then the actual attacks themselves. These do so much to keep the tension building and to create a sense of urgency for the police to find the killer and stop them before they strike again. There's also something particularly unique about this serial killer, but you'll have to read the book to figure out what that is!

Regarding the audiobook version, the narrator is once again Jan Cramer and she did just as great a job with this installment as she did with the last. She does an excellent job of giving the characters unique voices and keeping the tension tight when it needs to be and injecting a bit of humor when that is required as well. I really enjoy her as an audiobook narrator and will look for more from her in the future.

The Night Stalker is a wonderful installment in the Erika Foster detective series. It gave me all the elements I loved in the first installment while advancing the narrative and character development appropriately in this one. The ending leaves off with Erika possibly looking to change some aspects of  her life and I am dying to see if she does so in the upcoming story, Dark Waters!

What Did I Think About the Cover?

I like it, although it doesn't really give much away in regards to the story it's representing. It has an air of mystery and the blue at the bottom might be a certain kind of bag used by the killer during the attacks, but I might be stretching there. Either way I like it!

My Rating: 4.0/5.0

I purchased a copy of The Night Stalker for my own library. All opinions are my own. You can find more information about the book, including links to where you can purchase a copy, on Goodreads HERE.

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