I am trying to clear up my backlist, as well as finish some series that I have started. I am enjoying listening to Robert Bryndza’s Detective Erika Foster series. I read the first two and enjoyed them, but I guess I just got sidetracked by other books and recommendations. I am so happy that I got back to Erika and her team. Below, I have reviewed #3 and #4 in this series with three more to enjoy.

Dark Water (Detective Erika Foster #3) by Robert Bryndza, Jan Cramer (Narrator)

Published October 20th 2016 by Bookouture

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Erika Foster is no longer on the Murder Investigation Team in Lewishham Row, as she’s been seconded and transferred to the Bromley Police Station working in the CID Division fighting organized crime. When they get a tip about drugs hidden in a disused quarry, the team heads off to find this evidence to put a notorious drug dealer away. While searching the bottom of the quarry, they find both the drugs and something else. The divers bring up the skeletal remains of a child, who turns out to be the body of a 7 year old girl who has been missing for twenty-six years. Erika begins to investigate the murder and disappearance, but someone doesn’t want this cold case to be solved. Erika seeks out Amanda Baker, the original detective on the case, now retired. What is she hiding?

I am really enjoying getting back into this series. Erika is not easy to like. She is prickly, can be rude and arrogant, likes to be alone and is self-flagellating, blaming herself for the death of her husband. But, in her job, she is a great detective. She is tenacious, thorough, supportive and has great intuition. It was interesting to see her with her sister, Lenka, and Lenka’s children. She loved them, but had a hard time dealing with having them in such close proximity. She gets frustrated easily, but who wouldn’t? Overall, she is a great character, multi-dimensional and one I cheer for. Her team, Moss and Peterson are there as supporting characters as well as Isaac, the pathologist. The introduction of Amanda Baker shows us what happens when police can’t solve that case and it eats at them for years. As the investigation progressed, I just couldn’t wrap my head around this crime and how the family reacted, perhaps it was the only way they could deal with it? The plot of this story was well developed and kept me guessing. I had no idea what had happened and was listening intently to see if there were clues I had missed. This is a police procedural that is well presented, and I enjoyed how this investigation panned out, even though I was surprised by the conclusion. It was fast paced and never lagged, which made the story seem a lot shorter than it really was. I definitely recommend this series and can’t wait to catch up.

The audiobook is narrated by Jan Cramer, one performer who I very much enjoy. She gives voice to the various characters and pulled me right into this story. I hope to continue to listen to this series and this wonderful narrator.

Last Breath (Detective Erika Foster #4) by Robert Bryndza, Jan Cramer (Narrator)

Published April 12th 2017 by Bookouture

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Detective Chief Inspector Erika Foster is still trying to get back on the Murder Investigation Team (MIT) after being removed due to her abrasive behaviour. When a badly battered body of a woman is found in a dumpster, Erika is the first on the scene and wants the case. She is sure it is connected to a body that was found a few months earlier and wants to investigate. Due to bad luck on the part of Superintendent Sparkes, she gets her team back including Peterson, Moss, and Crane and they are on the case. When a third, then fourth woman is grabbed while on a date, the case heats up. All the victims have long dark hair, are attractive, and are planning to meet with someone they met online. A slash of the femoral artery, following a beating, is the cause of death in each case. Erika and the team needs to find answers fast before they have a fourth dead body on their hands.

The story is written in a way that the reader knows who the killer is and what his motivation is as well. The gripping part of this story is whether or not he will be caught before her kills another woman. The story alternates between the police investigation and the killer’s activities. The description of the his step-by-step method of tracking, luring, and torturing his victims ratchets up the tension. The police procedures were also well planned following steps such as cameras (public and private), checking social media, interviews, intuition and a bit of luck. I like that we begin to see a softening to Erika. She is still tenacious and short-tempered, but not quite as abrasive as she had been. A bit or romance might be softening her a bit. This is a fast paced story, that kept me listening most of the day. I like the balance of work and personal, although this investigation kept them working crazy hours as they raced against the clock. Although this crime thriller can be read alone, I recommend you read this series in order to get the full picture of this team and the character development of Erika Foster. I definitely recommend this book and series to those who like detective stories, police procedurals and crime fiction.