ARC REVIEW: Deadly Secrets – by Robert Bryndza @bookouture @RobertBryndza

Title: Deadly Secrets
(DCI Erika Foster #6)
Author: Robert Bryndza
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: April 13th 2018
Publisher: Bookouture
Finished reading: March 23rd 2018
Pages: 270

“Are you kidding me? How many times have you put yourself in danger? You’ve been beaten up more times that Jackie Chan. You’re like the bionic woman!”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Bookouture in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the DCI Erika Foster series and I have been following her adventures closely ever since I read the first book back in 2016. Of course I had this newest book Deadly Secrets on my list of most-anticipated releases and I’m pretty sure I squeeled when my request was approved. Talk about a perfect (late) birthday present! I literally dropped everything as soon as my copy appeared on my kindle just so I could start reading Deadly Secrets straight away. And this newest installment has exactly the same high quality of writing, plot development, twists and the healthy dose of suspense and action I have become used to with this series. I found myself hooked right from the very first page as there is just something about the writing that draws you right in. And what a way to start this thriller! Deadly Secrets can be read as a standalone since the case itself is easy to follow on its own, but you do miss background information about the main characters. And the other books are so good, you will definitely be missing out by not reading them in the first place! Erika Foster is a character I’ve come to love and her investigations are always intense with lots of twists and turns. In Deadly Secrets, she is not as present as in previous books due to circumstances I can’t reveal because of spoilers, but I like the direction the story takes. The case itself seems to be rather straightforward at first glance, and I even thought I had it all figured out at some points, but trust me, you will be wrong. Misleading plot twists to the win! The ending was definitely a surprise and rather intense… And I’m definitely curious about what will happen in the future. Fast-paced, suspenseful, intense and highly entertaining: Deadly Secrets and the DCI Erika Foster series in general is a must-read for detective thriller fans!

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WARNING: Possible spoilers! Please don’t read this summary if you haven’t read the first five books of this series yet. I’ll keep the summary super short but it’s impossible to keep it completely spoiler-free…

After a mother wakes up to find her daughter’s blood-soaked body frozen on her doorstep, DCI Erika Foster stumbles upon the murder scene on her way to a Christmas lunch. She quickly steps in and takes over the lead of the case, determined to find out who is behind the murder. They have a lot of suspects, but not so many solid leads. And what looks like a pretty straightforward case, soon becomes more complicated as they uncover more and more secrets and lies…

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I had high expectations for this newest DCI Erika Foster story and I’m happy to say those expectations were more than met. I enjoyed every single minute of Deadly Secrets! Book number six takes a bit of a different direction and Erika Foster is not as present as normal, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of action and a very interesting police investigation to follow. This case is another disturbing one that will lead to many misleading twists as the team is trying to untangle the lies and secrets that surround the life of the victim. Very much recommended for fans of the genre!


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WWW Wednesdays 169 – March 28th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I started reading one my pending ARCs The Good Twin by Marti Green yesterday evening, and although it’s still early days, I’m having high hopes for this one. I’m also about to finally pick up Ready Player One by Ernest Cline… I’ve been saying this for ages, but now the time has finally come! Definitely looking forward to it.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Deadly Secrets by Robert Bryndza (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 30/03
I had high expectations for this newest DCI Erika Foster story and I’m happy to say those expectations were more than met. I enjoyed every single minute of Deadly Secrets! Book number six takes a bit of a different direction and Erika Foster is not as present as normal, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of action and a very interesting police investigation to follow. This case is another disturbing one that will lead to many misleading twists as the team is trying to untangle the lies and secrets that surround the life of the victim. Very much recommended for fans of the genre!

2. Wing Jones by Katherine Webber (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 29/03
Wing Jones is a YA contemporary romance story with a twist. You will find a healthy dose of drama, with the main character Wing’s brother being in a coma after a car accident he was to blame for. There will be romance scenes as well, which can be distracting, but gladly at least did not include a love triangle. But the main element of Wing Jones, besides showing how they have to live with the aftermath of the accident, is running. I just love how important running is in this story and how Wing uses this newly found talent to try to move on and make a life for herself.

3. The Elephant Keeper’s Daughter by Julia Drosten (2,5/5 stars) REVIEW 31/03
I really wanted to like this one and I still think the plot itself has a lot of potential. The worldbuilding and descriptions of the era and setting are thorough and it shows the background of The Elephant Keeper’s Daughter was very well researched. Sadly, I’m still on the fence about this one, as I didn’t manage to enjoy it as much as I thought I would. Part of the problem was the tone and writing style as well as the fact the story didn’t really flow… Which made it hard to properly connect to the story. The setting is fascinating though as well as the time period the story is set in with its consequences of the British invasion.

4. Salt To The Sea by Ruta Sepetys (4/5 stars) REVIEW 08/04
I have a weak spot for WWII historical fiction in general and I hadn’t heard about the Wilhelm Gustloff incident before, so that was a double bonus for me. It truly shows in the little details just how well researched this novel is and the descriptions made it feel as if you were there yourself along with the characters.  I admit it took me a while to get used to the multiple POVs and remembering who is who, which slowed down the pace inicially, but each different character and POV does show a different view on the situation and add something to the story.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I have two pending ARCs lined up next. The first, Jilliand by Clare Gutierrez, I’m super excited about since it’s a historical fiction read about vikings that made me think of the TV show Vikings immediately (which is a good thing, since it’s one of my favorites!). I’m looking forward to A Secondhand Life by Pamela Crane as well since the blurb sounds brilliant. And I’m superhappy to be finally starting with the Kay Hunter series! I will definitely be starting with Scared To Death by Rachel Amphlett ASAP. My latest TBR jar pick is still Summer Of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider.


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WWW Wednesdays #153 – September 6th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m currently reading The Surrogate by Louise Jensen… One of my most anticipated thriller releases and so far it’s GOOD. The only reason I haven’t finished it yet is that I simply haven’t had much time to read in the first place. I’m also starting my reread of This Savage Song to prepare myself for Our Dark Duet. It’s finally happening!!! Although I will be sad to see this duology finished…

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (2,5/5 stars) REVIEW TODAY!!
I’ve tried really hard to like Never Let Me Go, but I’m convinced that this book/author and me simply aren’t a right fit. Especially since this book has received so much praise over the years… I personally really struggled with both the prose, plot and characters and I had a hard time making sense of it all. It’s almost as if the readers are clueless students as well and quite a lot of key information is left out in the beginning. In the end Never Let Me Go wasn’t my cup of tea, but since most people did enjoy it don’t let my review stop you from picking it up.

2. Cold Blood by Robert Bryndza (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 09/09
I’m a big fan of the Erika Foster series and book number 5 was definitely one of my most anticipated releases. The wait was worth it, because Cold Blood was definitely everything I  hoped for and more. Suspenseful, fast-paced, a kickass character, thrilling plot, another serial killer thriller and entertaining read in general. This book has only reconfirmed my love for this series and I’m already waiting impatiently for the next one! Oh yes, I’m seriously addicted to Erika Foster adventures. They simply read like a train. ❤

3. I Am Behind You by John Ajvide Lindqvist (1,5/5 stars) REVIEW 07/09
I was actually really looking forward to this book, but I guess I should have known after reading the blurb. The thing is: I normally like stories that are unconventional. Call me weird, but I find a dose of crazy to be rather refreshing every once in a while… But I wasn’t prepared for I Am Behind You. Because this story will definitely give you an overdose of crazy. The plot is basically absurd and doesn’t make sense and I was clueless even after reaching the final page. I didn’t manage to connect to the characters or writing style and overall unfortunately I had a really hard struggle with it. The fact that it took me about three times as much as normal to just finish it will say enough… Definitely not a story for me.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I’m going to pick up Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab straight after This Savage Song! I also want to read A Different Blue by Amy Harmon soon… I love her books so far and can’t wait to read this one. Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin is also high on my list. My newest TBR jar pick is Flowers For Algéron by Daniel Keyes, a modern classic that I can conveniently use for one of the challenges as well. 😉


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ARC REVIEW: Last Breath – by Robert Bryndza @RobertBryndza @bookouture

Title: Last Breath
(DCI Erika Foster #4)
Author: Robert Bryndza

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: April 12th 2017
Publisher: Bookouture
Finished reading: March 16th 2017
Pages: 281

“ ‘You know, Sparks, you might have been handed your superior rank by brown nosing, but you have to earn authority,’ said Erika, holding his gaze.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Bookouture in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I became a fan of Robert Bryndza‘s detective series right after I read the first book The Girl In The Ice last year and I have been looking forward to another Erika Foster adventure ever since I finished the third book. Last Breath was on my list of most anticipated releases this year: I literally requested a copy the minute it appeared on Netgalley and put all my other reads on hold. It looks like Erika Foster came back stronger than ever! Last Breath is without doubt my new favorite novel of the series… And not just because of the excellent plot and disturbingly creepy killer. I also really liked the interaction between Erika and the other main characters in this one and it is great to see her character evolve over time. The case had me hooked right from the start and the plot and plot twists had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I literally couldn’t put Last Breath down until the final page! In short, this fourth Erika Foster book is fast-paced, full of twists, well written, has an interesting plot, disturbing killer and just the right amount of creepy; what more to ask? I’m already looking forward to book five and this one hasn’t even been published yet.

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WARNING: Possible spoilers! Please don’t read this summary if you haven’t read the first three books of this series yet. I’ll keep the summary super short but it’s impossible to keep it completely spoiler-free…

The body of a young woman is found in a dumpster, and Detective Erika Foster is one of the first on the scene. One problem though: it’s not her case… But after one look at the tortured remains of the woman Erika knows she needs to have this case. She is fighting to be put on the investigation team, and even though she is told not to, she starts investigating the crime. Soon she becomes involved as she finds a link to the unsolved murder of a woman four months earlier. Erika is determined to find the killer before he strikes again, but he seems to be a ghost. Will she be able to stop him on time? The life of another girl might be on the line…

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Like I said before, I have been following this series ever since I finished the first book. I always enjoy a good fast-paced crime thriller and these books simply deliver. Last Breath might just be the best one yet with a chillingly creepy serial killer on the loose and some very shocking plot twists… The prose is just as good as ever and I had a blast reading this fourth book even though my heart almost stopped once or twice. Excellent plot! If you haven’t read the series yet and like the genre, this one should be on your wishlist.


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WWW Wednesdays #129 – March 22nd

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m finally reading A Conjuring Of Light by V.E. Schwab, and so far I’m loving every single minute of it even though it’s a lot longer than expected. I’m not ready for this story to be over though! I’m going to miss my favorite characters… I’m also still reading The First City by Joe Hart, the final book of The Dominion Trilogy that I put on hold to start ACOL. To be honest, I’m having a hard time with this book so far and the main problem is one of the main characters: Zoe. I seriously can’t stand her and she’s starting to make me feel the same about the story as well. Not good…

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

* I’ve been looking forward to another Erika Foster adventure ever since I finished the third book, and I literally requested a copy the minute it appeared on Netgalley and started reading it soon after. Last Breath is without doubt my new favorite Erika Foster novel! Fast-paced, full of twists, well written, interesting plot, disturbing killer and just the right amount of creepy; what more to ask? I’m already looking forward to book five and this one hasn’t even been published yet. xD
* I then read Bull by David Elliott, a mythology retelling of the classic minotaur story. This SO wasn’t what I was expecting!! I’m still not sure what to make of it, although I can’t deny it was an entertaining read… Bull is a retelling fully written in verse and each character has its own style, which was inventive. The writing style made me laugh more than once, although I’m not sure if the tone is actually appropriate for the story. To get an idea: this is how the story started:

“POSEIDON

Whaddup, bitches?

Am I right or am I right?
That bum Minos deserved what he got.”

Not exactly what you would expect when starting a Theseus and the minotaur retelling right?!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

Next up are three more ARCs… The horror story Silence Under Screams by Collin Henderson has been on my list for way too long already, so I’m hoping to finally read it this week. But I also have the release date of both The Yellow Envelope by Kim Dinan and Rose Petal Graves by Olivia Wildenstein coming up, so I should probably read those first… And I really REALLY want to read History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera some time soon as well.


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You can also find me at Goodreads. Twitter. InstagramBloglovin’.

WWW Wednesdays #128 – March 15th

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

Words cannot describe how excited I am to be reading the newest Erika Foster novel! Last Breath was literally only posted at Netgalley yesterday and I decided to put my other pending ARCs on hold and read this one first shortly after my request was approved. So far it looks like Robert Bryndza has written another winner! 😀 I’ve also started with Bull by David Elliott, but somehow reading on my phone feels a bit awkward… It does sound like an intriguing read though.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

* First up is The Missing Ones by Patricia Gibney, a psychological thriller ARC that is due to be published tomorrow. I had high hopes for this one as I’ve heard a lot of great things about it, and I have now joined the fan-crew. Well written, intriguing and complex plot, interesting characters and some very disturbing details and plot twists! I loved the flashbacks and little Rome bits as well. (Me and the Santa Maria Maggiore have a little history so my heart skipped a beat when it was mentioned!)
* I then read The Last Gods Of Indochine by Samuel Ferrer, a historical fiction ARC that was way overdue. I’m glad I finally had the chance to give it a go, because it was without doubt a very very intriguing story. This novel is set in Cambodia and has two different storylines: one set in the 1920s and one in the 13th century. While it took me a some time to connect to the main character Jacquie, I was instantly charmed by the story of Paaku the Lotus-Born. Well written, great plot and fascinating read in general.
* And just as I thought it couldn’t get better, I decided to pick up Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner. I loved his other novel The Serpent King and this one has been one of my most anticipated releases ever since… And I think I have just found my new favorite Zentner story. Basically, this story took my feelings, put them on the middle of the road and ran them over repeatedly with a bulldozer. It doesn’t happen often that a book managed to make me cry, but Goodbye Days was one of them. Brilliant prose, excellent characters and those feels!! I think Carver just made my heart break a little.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

Next up are two ARCs… I’m still hopelessly behind with them, but I’m slowly getting there. First is The First City by Joe Hart, the final book of a trilogy that is hopefully going to keep improving. I also need to read the horror story Silence Under Screams by Collin Henderson. Which might be a nice change of genre and just what I needed. And remember I was saying I was going to read A Conjuring Of Light next? I guess I was wrong. xD I’ve been dying to read it though, so I might just give myself an (early) birthday present and read it first. I also need to read another pending ARC: Rose Petal Graves by Olivia Wildenstein


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Friday Finds #122 – February 24th

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FRIDAY FINDS showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during the last week and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads. Below a selection of my newest additions; click on the book descriptions to go to its Goodreads page! 😀

My finds:

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