#BookReview Robert Bryndza - Nine Elms (Kate Marshall #1)

Kate Marshall was a promising young police detective when she caught the notorious Nine Elms serial killer. But her greatest victory suddenly turned into a nightmare. Traumatized, betrayed, and publicly vilified for the shocking circumstances surrounding the cannibal murder case, Kate could only watch as her career ended in scandal.
Fifteen years after those catastrophic events, Kate is still haunted by the unquiet ghosts of her troubled past. Now a lecturer at a small coastal English university, she finally has a chance to face them. A copycat killer has taken up the Nine Elms mantle, continuing the ghastly work of his idol.
Enlisting her brilliant research assistant, Tristan Harper, Kate draws on her prodigious and long-neglected skills as an investigator to catch a new monster. Success promises redemption, but there’s much more on the line: Kate was the original killer’s intended fifth victim…and his successor means to finish the job.

My review.

What a brilliant start to a new crime series that's already proving to be very addictive. In Kate Marshall we meet a new, powerful female lead. She's a heroine with faults. She's courageous and strong. And even though she has her demons, past and present, even though she has massive trauma in her past, she never acts, feels or is depicted as a victim. Add her assistant Tristan as her "side kick", and we have a wonderful crime solving duo with an effortless dynamic between them.

I'm very much looking forward to getting to know Tristan's character better, as his storyline isn't really explored yet in this first instalment of the series.

Both the original killer in this story and his copycat commit gruesome acts of violence and abuse. But even though it shocks and disgusts you as an audience to read certain elements of this, the violence is never written in a salacious way - which is a constant in Robert Bryndza's writing.

In 'Nine Elms' we get haunting insights into these killers' minds, another signature of Robert Bryndza's brilliant crime novels. Whether the chapter reveals another terrible crime, a cold case, a missing person's case, a throwback to Kate's past,... there isn't a dull moment in this book. You won't be able to put it down. It was almost as if I'd held my breath until finally closing that final chapter. 

What a read. 


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