Last Breath - Robert Bryndza
Reading Challenge Category: Three books by the same author
He’s your perfect date. You’re his next victim. When the tortured body of a young woman is found in a dumpster, her eyes swollen shut and her clothes soaked with blood, Detective Erika Foster is one of the first at the crime scene. The trouble is, this time, it’s not her case. While she fights to secure her place on the investigation team, Erika can’t help but get involved and quickly finds a link to the unsolved murder of a woman four months earlier. Dumped in a similar location, both women have identical wounds – a fatal incision to their femoral artery. Stalking his victims online, the killer is preying on young pretty women using a fake identity. How will Erika catch a murderer who doesn’t seem to exist? Then another girl is abducted while waiting for a date. Erika and her team must get to her before she becomes another dead victim, and, come face to face with a terrifyingly sadistic individual.
I think this was my least favourite so far of the Erika Foster books. I wasn’t too enamoured by the abundance of overfamiliarity with the ‘bad guy’ it stripped away all of the intrigue from the story. It didn’t leave us with any anticipation or excite us in any way. Everything was laid out for us plain and simple the entire way through the book. I also found the way Erika strong-armed her way onto the investigation at the beginning of the book to be somewhat cumbersome. She was stomping about all over the place until she got her way, and it felt a bit shoehorned and forced. It didn’t flow. I know she likes to ruffle feathers, but this seemed to go beyond that, it just felt very messy and clumsy. Anyway, moving on from what I didn’t like, the crime itself was gruesome, and the ‘bad guy’ was in a way likeable. You did start to feel sorry for him. We got to know him so intimately that you end up rooting for him. There are lots of gristly and graphic details in this book. I did feel like we had been lured into a false sense of security up until now, and Bryndza was now letting go. It was as if he knew us the reader well enough to be able to tell us a few more of his secrets; we could take it now. We had built up enough of a resistance in the first three books that we could handle it getting a little bit more abominable! The investigation plays a tiny part in the story, and Erika’s life once again does take a staring role. This is definitely leading up to something big happening. She is starting to let her colleagues into her life a little more and more, and I wonder if this is going to end up backfiring on her? Overall, not a terrible read, it just wasn’t my favourite. I have decided to re-read book five again, which is the book I started this series off on back in 2018. I remember only a snippet from the book so to keep the flow of the entire story I will re-read it.