FORECAST FRIDAY: DEVIL’S WAY BY Robert Bryndza (Raven Street, 12 January 2023)
With all of the big crime fiction releases for 2022 already on the bookshop shelves, it is time to start looking forward to early 2023.
One of the first major releases for 2023 is going to be Robert Bryndza’s latest Kate Marshall mystery Devil’s Way, (Raven Street, 12 January 2023).
Robert Bryndza first gained attention with his series of books about London police detective Erika Foster. The series had a strong serial killer theme to it and attracted a strong following, especially in the United Kingdom. In 2019 Bryndza shifted to a new character, former police detective Kate Marshall who was eking out an existence as a lecturer at a small coastal English university and trying to forget the traumas of her past. Containing hints of Silence Of The Lambs, Nine Elms was a significant step-up for Bryndza and was a gripping tale that held attention till the end.
Devil’s Way is the fourth book in the Kate Marshall series and once again Bryndza has produced a
well-crafted tale that entertains and surprises. After a brief prologue, the story opens with Kate, who is now a private eye, being rushed to hospital after being pulled into a riptide current in the sea off the southern coast of England. The near-death experience leaves her shaken. During her recovery in hospital, she befriends Jean, an elderly lady on the same ward. Jean tells the harrowing story of how her three-year-old grandson, Charlie, went missing eleven years ago during a camping trip to Dartmoor and was never found. By the time Kate is well enough to go home, she has agreed to take on the case to find out what happened to Charlie.
Still suffering from the effects of her near-drowning Kate, and her trusty sidekick Tristan, start to look into the events of that fateful night and find that things were not quite how Jean remembered them. As they peel back the layers of deception they find a connection to another horrific event around the time of Charlie’s disappearance. Suddenly their investigation takes a nasty turn and the pair find themselves caught up in a series of tragic events reaching back eleven years.
I really enjoy Bryndza’s Kate Marshall series. The characters are finely and convincingly drawn, the locations are very evocative and the plotting is credible and interesting. In Devil’s Way the after-effects of Kate’s accident mean that Tristan has to step up more, which brings a new dynamic to the series and creates some tension within their relationship. The story flows along at a good pace and moves through some good twists and turns before arriving at the thoughtful conclusion.
As always, the strength of the book lies in the cast of interesting characters, even the minor ones are finely tuned, and the great sense of place, especially the creepiness of the Dartmoor, that Bryndza creates. Some of the outcome is not difficult to guess, a telling clue is dropped early in the piece, but there are plenty of unexpected developments along the way. A very enjoyable read.
A solid four to four and a half stars out of five!
Devil’s Way will be released in Australia and the United Kingdom on 12 January 2023. Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for an advanced copy of the book.
Here is a link to my review of Bryndza’s previous book, Fatal Witness: https://murdermayhemandlongdogs.com/british-suspense-the-family-remains-by-lisa-jewell-and-fatal-witness-by-robert-bryndza/