Book of the Day

Dark Water by Robert Bryndza / Reviewed by Danny Lindsey

Dark Water

By Robert Bryndza

ISBN 978-1786810694
Published 10/20/2016

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Killer Nashville Reader’s Choice Award

Dark Water

Killer Nashville review by Danny Lindsey

Dark Water (Bookouture, an imprint of StoryFire Ltd. United Kingdom, 2017) is the third Erica Foster crime thriller novel by Robert Bryndza. Set in the UK, complete with foggy nights, cold temperatures and short days, the weather helps set the mood for the book’s plot. Had the “dark and stormy night” phrase not already been taken, it would act as an apt descriptor for the setting.

DCI Erica Foster has a checkered career, not because of anything she’s done wrong or failed to do properly, but because the word “tact” is absent from her vocabulary. Although her reputation is that of someone who has solved the most difficult of crimes, she has managed to cloak herself in the persona of a loner, a sometimes renegade, and one who displays a flagrant disregard of propriety and of protocol. Nevertheless, she persists.

The 26-year-old case of a missing young girl is moved from retired to cold case status when Foster’s divers find not only the drug cache they were searching for but also a small skeleton, wrapped in tarps and chains, at the bottom of a lake. DCI Foster jumps her chain of command and manages to be placed in charge of the revived murder investigation. Clues are few and witnesses non-existent, but she doggedly pushes forward and discovers that someone is actively working to keep the case unsolved.

A surprise ending actually does take the reader by surprise, and the plot twist is as unpredictable as can be. Bryndza has acquired quite a following in the UK, and Dark Water is a good example why.

A warning to American English readers. Unlike Lee Child and J.K.Rowling, Bryndza’s works have not been “Americanized.” British English, spelling, word usage and idioms are sometimes obvious, other times amusing, and occasionally off-putting.

Danny Lindsey keeps trying to retire. After a 20-year Army career and a 25-year second one in the private sector, he’s finally settled down. His current gig is as the Veteran Employment Services Manager for a Huntsville, A.L.  based non-profit, Still Serving Veterans. Both full careers were characterized by numerous writing assignments, from war plans to operating policies and procedures, then on to white papers, analyses of alternatives and competitive contract and grant proposals. Now his writing consists of blogs for the website, podcasts for the local NPR affiliate, and a half dozen Pulitzer-worthy, albeit unpublished novels.