I received The Night Stalker in exchange for an honest review
Releasing a follow-up to a successful series debut can be tricky, but with The Night Stalker Robert Bryndza has proven he’s on a roll. I said after reading The Girl In The Ice that it was one of the best of that genre I’d read in years, and this one is perhaps even better. A fantastic, gripping serial killer thriller.
We rejoin DCI Erika Foster as the Night Stalker strikes for the first time, preying on Dr Gregory Munro as he arrives home after a hard day’s work. He won’t be the last.
The serial killer in this second instalment is altogether more well-rounded; they don’t fit the usual profile and actually elicits sympathy, making the murders all the more chilling. This killer murders with purpose, seeking out the victims, getting to know their routines and preying on them in their own homes. The murders are well thought-out, they’re original and they’re brutal – the victims are found naked in their beds, suffocated using a ‘suicide bag’.
Returning to Erika felt like returning to an old friend; Bryndza has crafted his troubled detective well and, while the second anniversary of her husband’s death looms, she carries a sense of strength and steely determination for the case. She’s a brilliant character to build a series around, and she’s building stronger relationships with her team in this instalment.
Erika and her team’s investigation is interspersed with chapters which give us more of an insight into the killer, including mysterious chat room conversations between ‘Night Owl’ and ‘Duke’. The changing narrative really adds another layer to the drama, and I loved following the hunt as the various strands of narrative came together to the final cat-and-mouse chase. A compelling second instalment in what is shaping up to be one of the best crimes series around at the moment.