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Detective Erika Foster Book #3
By: Robert Bryndza
Publication Date: 10/20/2016
My Rating: 4 Stars
From Robert Bryndza, the author of The Girl In The Ice and The Night Stalker, comes the third in the gripping suspense series DARK WATER featuring the tenacious DCI Erika Foster.
“Death lies on her, like an untimely frost. Upon the sweetest flower of all the field.” – William Shakespeare, Romeo, and Juliet
As the novel opens, a mysterious Prologue, Autumn 1990. A body dumped in a quarry. Someone was watching but they were unaware. 3am. Darkness thick and clammy.
What the two figures did not know, was that a reclusive old man lived by the quarry squatting in an old abandoned cottage which had almost been reclaimed by the undergrowth.
A body dropped into the water. It sank. She would lie still for years. But above her on dry land, the nightmare was only just beginning.
The man did not want trouble. He had spent his entire life trying to avoid it. He had to sneeze. They saw him. He turned to run and tripped.
Jump forward to October 2016, Detective Chief Inspector Erika Foster—they were looking for ten kilos of heroin packed into a waterproof container; worth four million pounds. They had someone in custody, Jason Tyler a low- level drug dealer.
Now a drive team. Something packed in under the mud. Thirty feet down in the quarry. They found something else. A child’s skeleton. Who would dump a small child in the quarry? Gang related?
Erika was shaken to the core. She felt a pang of regret she was no longer in her old job on the Murder Investigation Team at Lewisham Row.
She was now working in conjunction with the Projects Team, fighting organized crime. It would be another officer’s job to find out how the small skeleton ended up thirty feet down in the freezing blackness.
During her time in the force, she had spent several years heading up anti-drug squads, but no matter the name or title, the war on drugs rumbled on and it would never be won. The minute one supplier was taken out there would be another to take its place.
Murderers, however, were different. You could catch them and lock them up.
With further investigation, the skeleton is confirmed that of a seven- year -old girl, Jessica Collins. The dental records and an autopsy with a small amount of bone marrow confirmed that of a girl who went missing August 7, of 1990.
What happened to Jessica Marie Collins, born April 11, 1983?
The girl had left her parent’s house to go to her school friend’s birthday party on the next street and never arrived. They never found her.
On August 25 of the same year, Trevor Marksman, a local sex offender was arrested but released four days later without charge. He had a cast-iron alibi, after being released from prison and living in a halfway house. The police inquiries continued for the next two years. No further arrests were made.
The case was unresolved. Until now. The Forensic Pathologist was keeping her in the loop. Appears the Hayes Quarry was less than two miles from where Jessica had gone missing.
Erika is more than interested in the case, even though they don’t deal with kidnap or murder. They deal with proactive contracts to kill, major drugs suppliers, multi-dimensional crime groups, including ethnically-composed gangs, and serious large-scale firearms trafficking.
She wants to solve the case since it landed in their territory. She has unique skills which would benefit a historical murder case (past books).
The original female on the case, ex DCI Amanda Baker. She was the first to be assigned to a high profile case and her work was questionable. Months leading up to the investigation, the woman had been seeing a therapist. However, unlike Baker, Erika will not crack under pressure.
A twenty-six-year-old cold case. She was someone’s daughter and Erika will not rest until she brings justice. She wants her family to be able to move on and grieve. She is assigned as the Senior Investigating Officer on the Jessica Collins Case. Her first assignment: to meet with the parents to break the news.
Plus the challenge now is greater with social media, blogs, and online forums. They were opening a Pandora’s box. However, nothing is as it appears.
Layers of complications. Something is fishy. A cover up? Was she kidnapped? Her family and the entire MET investigation. It was time to visit Amanda Baker. An affair. Erika soon learns the secrets seem to run deeper the more she looks, into this complex case.
Will Amanda with her sordid history be able to help her with a breakthrough she needs? Was this an accident? Who is all in danger of the truth coming out? Could Erika and Amanda, both targeted?
From the past to present, a web of deceit and lies, secrets, fear and desperation---slowly unraveled before reaching the final gripping conclusion. Three dead bodies and a suicide all to cover up the death of one innocent little girl.
Fans of Erika Forster and Robert Bryndza are assured to enjoy the suspenseful and intriguing ride! I also listened to the audiobook as well, narrated by Jan Cramer.
A special thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.