Fatal Witness - Robert Bryndza
Reading Challenge Category: Free ARC from NetGalley
How do you find a killer who has destroyed all the evidence? Detective Erika Foster is on a late-night walk near her new house in Blackheath when she stumbles upon the brutal murder of Vicky Clarke, a true-crime podcaster. Erika is assigned to the case and discovers that Vicky had been working on a new podcast episode about a sexual predator who preys on young female students around South London, staking out his victims in their halls of residence before breaking in at the dead of night. When Erika discovers that Vicky's notes and sound recordings were stolen from her flat at the time of her murder, it leads her to believe that Vicky was close to unmasking the attacker, and she was killed to guarantee her silence. The case takes on a disturbing twist when the body of a young Bulgarian student doctor is discovered in the same building, and this makes Erika question everything she thought she knew about Vicky. With very little evidence, the clock is ticking to find the killer before he strikes again.
It’s been over two years since I finished the last Erika Foster book in this series. Before starting this latest instalment, I struggled to remember all of the characters, their connections and everything they had been through. Still, I didn’t want to have to reread all six books, so I went into this expecting to be a little discombobulated. However, this could really be read as a standalone. Erika’s past is referenced, but anything you need to know is reiterated, and the rest remained inconsequential. I had reread my reviews for the other books to try and jog my memory, and I’d said in most of them that Erika’s personal life overshadowed the main story. This is not the case in this book; yes, we get an insight into what is happening, such as her nightmare of a new house and desperately needing a bed, but other than that, it played along with the crime side of things nicely. Even though the crime and murder start off as gruesome, the investigation is relatively tame, and I was left wanting just a bit more grit. It was all quite basic and very similar to a book I read only last month whereby a cold case is being investigated, and all evidence and witnesses start to end up dead. It wasn’t very original. There are a few twists towards the end, but I only had a couple of chapters left before anything was really tied up, so I felt it was rushed. At one point, I wondered if it would be left on a cliffhanger as so much still needed to be answered. However, it was brought to a conclusion, but I kind of blinked and missed it; it was so hurried. I was very disappointed. This book certainly didn’t have the depth I remember the other books having. They had kept me gripped, and I read the last four in the series back to back. I was that hooked. This was just average. It was an easy read, and I kept turning the pages to find out the outcome, but I was left unsatisfied by the book as a whole. If I gave half stars, this would be a 3.5 read; however, I don’t, making the rating challenging to decide. In the end, I leaned on the four-star side as I enjoyed it more than I was let down by it.
- Fatal Witness
- Date Started
- 20th May 2022
- Date Finished
- 23rd May 2022