Friday, 18 March 2016

Book Review: The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza

'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?'

I read The Girl in the Ice as part of the 2016 Eclectic Reader Challenge, for which I needed to read a 'serial killer thriller.' I chose this particular novel because it is set in South-East London, where I live, and because the book had so many glowing reviews.

The Girl in the Ice is a typical crime novel, so fans of the genre will likely enjoy the story. Although some reviewers have questioned the accuracy of the police procedures in the book, that wasn't an issue for me. Die-hard crime novel fans might feel that stretching artistic license when it comes to describing police investigations is a no-no, but I was able to suspend disbelief and just go along for the ride. As you can tell, I'm not a die-hard crime novel fan. I don't often choose to read crime novels, but when a reading challenge calls for it I always manage to find one that I enjoy.

The best part of reading The Girl in the Ice, for me, was its setting. Reading a story set in places that are so familiar to me really made the story come alive. It was easy for me to imagine the action and picture the characters in their surroundings. This made the story much more realistic for me and really allowed me to engage with the characters' actions.

I especially liked the main character, Detective Erika Foster. In the opening chapters it is clear she's a woman who stands her ground and commands authority. It's refreshing to read a strong female character who holds her own among her male colleagues. But there is also a vulnerability to Erika Foster, which she tries to keep hidden. She's dealing with a personal tragedy that makes her behaviour a little erratic. I notice some reviewers said this was unrealistic, but for me I enjoyed that side of Foster as it made her a more rounded character. We all have our flaws, even strong police officers aren't perfect.

I enjoyed The Girl in the Ice. It was a fast-paced and engaging read. I didn't know who the killer was so I found the last few chapters especially exciting as the hunt for the killer intensified. The writing was good and I liked the way the author used the snowy and rainy weather to create a haunting atmosphere. There were some minor errors in the book though; mainly editing issues, things being forgotten etc. Overall, an easy read that entertained me.    

 

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