To commit the perfect murder, you need the perfect cover. On a cold icy morning, a mother wakes to find her daughter’s blood-soaked body frozen to the road. Who would carry out such a horrific killing on the victim’s doorstep? Straight off her last harrowing case, Detective Erika Foster is feeling fragile but determined to lead the investigation. As she sets to work, she finds reports of assaults in the same quiet South London suburb where the woman was killed. One chilling detail links them to the murder victim – they were all attacked by a figure in black wearing a gas mask. Erika is on the hunt for a killer with a terrifying calling card. The case gets more complicated when she uncovers a tangled web of secrets surrounding the death of the beautiful young woman. Yet just as Erika begins to piece the clues together, she is forced to confront painful memories of her past. Erika must dig deep, stay focused and find the killer. Only this time, one of her own is in terrible danger…
Deadly Secrets is a perfect stop-doing-everything-else thriller and, in my opinion, the best Erika Foster novel to date and surely destined to be one of my top books of 2018!
Robert Bryndza is an extremely accomplished writer and with each one of his books you know you’re in for a well-written story and well-structured plot, but – because I always prefer a story where you don’t know whodunit – I found this one to be particularly gripping and raced through it in about 24 hours.
It starts with a really quite unnerving prologue and continues with twists and turns a-go-go throughout, with the plot taking off in unexpected and complex directions. There is nothing predictable about this story and Bryndza is really good at pulling the carpet out from underneath you the minute you start to feel comfortable!
As anticipated, Deadly Secrets is skilfully written and expertly plotted, with believable, sympathetic and fully-formed characters. You flow through the story without even realising that you’re reading: you can see the images playing out as clearly as if it were a film on a screen. It is also very atmospheric, with the snow and the weather in general, and the contrast of Christmas celebrations alongside such a gruesome story.
Gruesomeness aside, there was still a good balance with the regular character interactions and banter and I was pleased to see that my favourite, Moss, was a little more in the limelight this time, as was the equally likeable Isaac.
The ending is shockingly, brilliantly clever and I cannot wait to see what’s next for Erika (and Moss! Do not forget Moss).
Hugest of thanks go to NetGalley and Bookouture for the ARC of Deadly Secrets.
P.S. You can check out how I envisage Erika and Moss (and other kick-ass female leads) in my latest Putting a Face to the Name post, here. 🙂