Shadow Sands - Robert Bryndza

Reading Challenge Category: Free ARC from NetGalley

Official Blurb:

When Kate Marshall finds the bloated body of a young man floating in the Shadow Sands reservoir, the authorities label it a tragic accident.
But the details don't add up: why was he there, in the middle of the night? If he was such a strong swimmer, how did he drown? As Kate and her assistant Tristan Harper follow the evidence, they make a far darker discovery . . .
This is only the latest victim in a series of bloody murders dating back decades. A mythic serial killer is said to hide in the rolling fog, abducting his victims like a phantom. And when another woman is taken, Kate and Tristan have a matter of days to save her from meeting the same fate.

My Thoughts:

I was very disappointed with this book. I have read all of the Erika Foster books and the first in this series and loved them all. So I was very excited to get an advanced copy of this to read as it was very much anticipated. However, I just didn’t enjoy it; I don’t think it had the same standard of writing that I’d become accustomed to from Bryndza. The writing felt lazy, the story was just ok, and the ending was very amateurish.
It didn’t get off to a good start when the word ‘crustaceans’ was used four times in two paragraphs. Then later, Magdalena is feeling along a ‘sticky’ wall and then touches a ‘sticky’ wall. For goodness sake, use a thesaurus and give us a different description! These are just the two examples I remember, but throughout I felt as if the author hadn’t remembered or even read over what he had written previously. The writing just had an overall lethargic feel to it as if there’d been no care and attention to the manuscript.
The story itself just plodded on; nothing major was happening with Kate and Tristan’s investigation. Other than her demands at the end (which I actually laughed out loud when she said “I’m going to shout loudly about this”). I’m not really sure what they contributed to the case, they had no jurisdiction or powers to be probing into people’s lives, yet they stomped about as if they did.
The ending felt very rushed and not well thought out. It was very anti-climactic (although there’d not been that much suspense, to begin with, to even build up to a climax!) I’m just grateful for the Magdalena parts and the insights into the killer’s mind. These small snippets saved the book from being only two stars. I wanted to keep going back to them to find out what was happening. Kate and Tristan running around doing not a lot, on the other hand, wasn’t that interesting. The parts that covered them as people was very much needed and this developed on from the first book in the series.
I was glad that you could almost read this as a stand-alone book. There is enough of a recap as to what happened to Kate in the past without you feeling as if you’d missed too much. I had contemplated re-reading the first book in preparation but decided against it due to a lack of time. I needn’t have worried as the detail from the first isn’t required.
So, I know I am in the minority with my opinion on this by looking at the other reviews this book has had so far. Maybe if I’d read this book as the very first one by Robert Bryndza, I would feel differently. Perhaps I just had too high hopes and standards based on the quality of his other books, but I’m afraid this one fell short. Would I read any more in this series? I’m not sure I would!

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Shadow Sands
by Robert Bryndza
Date Started
14th October 2020
Date Finished
16th October 2020
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