First Published: 12 February 2016
Format: ARC E-Book (Netgalley)
Genre: Mystery, Crime, Suspense
*Disclaimer: I received this ARC in return for an honest review. A huge thank you to Bookouture and Netgalley for this ARC.*
Hard-ass detective runs own investigation
Her eyes are wide open. Her lips parted as if to speak. Her dead body frozen in the ice…She is not the only one.
When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation.
The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound and dumped in water around London.
What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding?
As Erika inches closer to uncovering the truth, the killer is closing in on Erika.
I was afraid when I started reading this book – the main MC seemed like a total b. It’s so hard to create a strong female character without having her seem like a total hardheaded pain-in-the-a. Thankfully, my first impression was wrong and Robert Bryndza exceeded my expectations with the MC. She turned out to be much more personable than she seems when she first enters the station so, for those of you as sensitive as me, there is hope – keep reading. 🙂
“This isn’t about you, DCI Foster. You should be pleased,” said Marsh, moving round and sinking into his chair.
“Sir, I was told, in no uncertain terms, that when I returned to service, I’d be pit on administrative tasks for six months minimum?”
We learn our MC’s back-story, but only enough to get the big picture.
For the purposes of this book, it’s not a big deal that we miss out on the full details as the big picture helps explain her transfer, fears, and why she pushes so hard, but…
I was bummed that we weren’t given enough to capture the true relationship (and loss) between Erika and her beau. It was hard to understand her preference for isolating herself without this information. It was a missed opportunity that I hope is either explored in the next book or provided into a sequel.
“Foster, the one thing you’ve never mastered is the politics of the force. If you’d done that we might be sitting on opposite sides of this conversation right now.”
“Yeah. Well, I have principles,” said Erika giving him a hard stare. There was silence.
“Erika . . . I brought you in because I think you deserve a break. Don’t talk yourself out of the job before you’ve begun.”
“Yes, sir,” said Erika.
I was surprised at how centered on politics this story was. I mean, yes, it was a murder mystery, but it seemed like the main focus of the story was the politics behind the case. I wasn’t a fan of this, but can see how it played into Erika’s character and likely builds up Erika for the future books in the series.
The Murder Mystery:
I went into this book with an assumption about who the killer was not, and I regret it. Because of that, I don’t want to give you any impression on who is or is not the murderer…
What I can say is that the murder mystery didn’t fit the key aspects of my murder mystery checklist:
Do the readers have multiple valid suspects to guess from?
Yes and no. The Girl in the Ice gave the readers the opportunity to guess the killer, but didn’t really provide us with many options or compelling reasons to blame the suspects that came up.
Did I guess who the killer was and was wrong?
Nope. See above… There wasn’t enough reason to guess one person over another. Take that with a grain of salt though – I had a hard time guessing because of my preconceptions.
What it did have was:
Was there a strong lead character?
Ding ding ding! We got this covered albeit a little too well. The add-in of the police politics is a characteristic I am not used to, but interested in exploring.
Do I want to read the next in the series?
Yes! I hate admitting that The Girl in the Ice isn’t as appealing as I would hope, but I am interested in reading the second in the series to see how Erika grows and learn whether my disappointment had more to do with my preconceived thoughts or with the mystery itself.
Overall, this was just a so-so read for me. There was more focus on the politics than the killer and the suspects weren’t built in a way where the reader could guess who was the killer. That said, I look forward to seeing how the series progresses.