This review is written with thanks to Bookouture and Netgalley for my copy of Last Breath.
Last Breath is the fourth novel in Bryndza's DCI Erika Foster series, where Erika follows her colleague, Peterson, to the discovery of a body in a dumpster in South London. Her colleagues have a suspect, but Erika believes there is more to this case than meets the eye, and has noticed similarities between this case and the case of missing person, Janelle Robinson. She is placed in charge of the investigation, but can she find the perpetrator before he claims more victims?
I read Dark Water, the third instalment in this series, in October 2016 and enjoyed it so much that I was thrilled to be approved by Bookouture to read Last Breath. I was really excited to be reunited with Erika and her team, and was not disappointed. It is clear that Bryndza cares about his characters, particularly his detectives, and I was intrigued to see how they would develop over the course of this novel. The time and effort he spends creating the central characters really pays off, because as a reader I am also compelled to care about them in the same way. I like the way that behind the confident police persona, each detective has their own personal story which renders them vulnerable, and it is this "human" element which allowed me to connect with them and will them to succeed. I am yet to read the first two instalments in this series, but they are high on my "to read" list. Occasionally, Bryndza does refer back to the previous novels, and this can be confusing in places, but I do aim to put this right as soon as possible!
Bryndza's writing is full of beautiful descriptions, and I loved the way in which he can make even the most gloomy of surroundings sound picturesque. This makes Last Breath incredibly atmospheric, and I found that for two days, I inhabited the world of the novel and was gripped with every page.
Like every good police procedural novel, Last Breath has plenty of twists and turns. There are red herrings and misidentified suspects, but although I knew these were coming, they still surprised me and drew me in further. The chapters are short. and the scenes change frequently between the investigation and the actions of the killer, and this made the tension palpable. I wanted the perpetrator brought to justice and I didn't want to put the book down until they'd been apprehended!
Last Breath is an exciting instalment in the DCI Erika Foster series and I am eagerly awaiting the fifth novel in the series!
Last Breath is released on 12th April and available from Amazon.