Blog Tour for Robert Bryndza’s new book Nine Elms. Published January 9th 2020 by Sphere
It’s my stop on the blog tour today and I am delighted to share with you my review. Thanks to Francesca Banks of Little Brown for my stop on the tour. The copy I read was one I picked up from Theakston Crime Festival back in July.
Kate Marshall was a promising young police detective when she caught the notorious Nine Elms serial killer. But her greatest victory suddenly became a nightmare.
Fifteen years after those catastrophic, career-ending events, a copycat killer has taken up the Nine Elms mantle, continuing the ghastly work of his idol.
Enlisting her brilliant research assistant, Tristan Harper, Kate draws on her prodigious and long-neglected skills as an investigator to catch a new monster. But there’s much more than her reputation on the line: Kate was the original killer’s intended fifth victim . . . and his successor means to finish the job.
This is the first book featuring a new main character, Kate Marshall, and the first Robert Bryndza book I’ve read.
The premise for the book is very clever; Kate was the police officer who caught a serial killer at great personal cost, she’s had to leave the police and is now a lecturer at a South Coast university using her own infamous case as a lecture. Now she has been asked to investigate a possible earlier death by still-grieving parents at the same time an apparent copycat killer is re-enacting the original murders.
As the book progresses we learn more about what happened to Kate after the initial investigation – the book starts with the harrowing identification of the killer – and how it still impacts each day. Kate’s reluctance to get involved given her history and her subsequent growing obsession with both the unsolved murder and the copycat case are well written, as is the development of the character of her academic assistant, Tristan, from a distant administrative support to trusted confidant and investigative partner.
The story crosses over with the official police investigation of the copycat, simultaneously there are those who trust Kate because of her experience in the original case while others distrust and are suspicious of her being drawn into the current crimes. This seems real. At the same time the developing private investigation of Kate and Tristan into the earlier disappearance is well written, with the parents drawn sympathetically and the link to the original murders painstakingly revealed.
Running through the story is the malevolence of the original killer and the madness of the copycat Both characters are drawn without sympathy, the developing reasons for the copycat and the pace of the killings draws the story along. It’s clear before the end who the copycat is and why he is following but the suspense of bringing the story to a conclusion is maintained to the very end.
Check out this link to the first chapter of the book on the Crime Vault website;
Bryndza is the author of the #1 bestselling Detective Erica Foster series which I will now have to check out!
Here is the link for where you can buy the book; https://www.littlebrown.co.uk/titles/robert-bryndza/nine-elms/9780751572704/
Links to Robert Bryndza social media: