FRIDAY FORECAST: LETHAL VENGEANCE By Robert Bryndza (8 February 2024)
Each week, or so, I am going to try and forecast a forthcoming novel that I have read and enjoyed.
I am going to start off with Lethal Vengeance (Raven Street Publishing, 8 February 2024) by Robert Bryndza.
Robert Bryndza first gained attention with his series of books about London detective Erika Foster, before shifting his attention in recent years to a new lead character in the form of former police detective Kate Marshall, who is eking out an existence as a PI and lecturer at a small coastal English university. I tend to prefer the Kate Marshall books over those featuring Erika Foster, but I was quite taken with the last Foster book, Fatal Witness.
With Lethal Vengeance Bryndza turns once more to Erika Foster, in what turns out to be a very entertaining tale.
In order to avoid an awkward moment at a restaurant, Erika takes charge at a recently established murder scene. What she discovers shocks her. Prominent, notorious politician Neville Lomas is found naked and hog-tied, with some incriminating photographs, in his own bed in an exclusive residential apartment. Erika’s skittish seniors, and some shadowy civil servant types, quickly move to take Erika off the case and arrange for the death to be classified as being from natural causes. The case is closed, until two months later when a star footballer is found murdered and tied with the same knots in his apartment, and there is also a link to another recent death. Erika is pulled back onto the case, and as her team investigate, things take a strange turn when CCTV footage turns up five female suspects, and they’re all identical.
Amid rumours of a vigilante sex worker with an incriminating file of evidence against prominent figures, including policemen, Erika has to battle her senior officers and angered family members of the victims in order to unmask the killer before they can strike again.
This is a well plotted and very enjoyable detective novel. The pacing is good and Erika is a very engaging character who has grown and matured with the series, and is now a leading figure in the British crime fiction scene. Her private life is complex, but it does not interfere too much with the flow of the story, and Erika ably guides the reader through the various twists and turns. The other characters are also well crafted and credible, particularly the killer, and add good depth to the story. The story goes down some interesting avenues, and builds to a spurt of bloody excitement at a lonely farm. The tension wanes a little in the end, but not enough to undermine what is a very good crime thriller.
This is a good crime book to start the year off with. It also has a really good distinctive cover, which has become a trademark of Bryndza’s books in recent times.
Lethal Vengeance is released in the United Kingdom on 8 February 2024 in Hardback, and on Kindle for a very small amount. It is also available in Australia at the same time on Kindle and from the UK, but does not seem to be released locally.
Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for an advanced copy of the book for review.