When the body of a young woman is found, severely tortured, in a residential area dumpster, Detective Erika Foster is one of the first officers on the scene. Horrified by what she has seen, her need to solve the case is hindered by one major fact – it’s not her case to solve. Desperate to get involved, Erika unearths a link to the unsolved murder of another woman some months before. When a tragedy occurs at the station, she gets her wish and is soon trying to trace a killer who targets his prey on dating apps. With another woman missing, Erika knows time is running out before a third body is found.
Last Breath is the fourth of Robert Bryndza’s ‘Erika Foster’ books and we are now seeing a different side to the detective. Known primarily for her doggedness and her refusal to back down, there is now a vulnerability about her as she embarks on her first relationship since the death of her husband. While this does not affect her work, it is clear that she is suffering from a lot of internal conflict – should she allow herself to be happy or will this besmirch the memory of her much-loved husband?
The killer is a particularly brutal one, keeping his victims captive for several days, torturing them until he finally administers the fatal blow. Like many books of this genre, in some chapters we get to see the events from the point of view of the perpetrator. He undoubtedly had a horrible start to his life, but I found it hard to empathise due to the barbaric nature of his crimes. It certainly makes you think about how social media sites such as Facebook can be used for improper means and is another stark reminder of how people should be wary about how much information they share online.
Robert Bryndza’s books just keep getting better and, even though I’ve thoroughly enjoyed them all, I might have to stick my neck out and say this is my favourite so far! I read this one in a couple of sittings as I was unable to put it down! Hopefully book 5 is in the pipeline!
With thanks to Bookouture and Net Galley for the ARC.