The Night Stalker is the second book in Robert Bryndza‘s DCI Erika Foster series. Although the central plot of The Night Stalker is very different from The Girl in the Ice there are several common elements between the two books. First among these is Erika herself, of course. There are multiple other characters that reappear as well.
I don’t really have a problem that Erika is an intriguingly damaged character (her husband was also a police officer and he was killed in the line of duty on a drug raid that Erika was leading). The main problem I have with Erika is that she’s literally a vigilante and she doesn’t respect the chain of authority of the British Constabulary. This was my main drawback of the first book because I believed that it strained credulity to believe someone as “half-cocked” as Erika would still have a job as a police officer.
But in the second book, again Erika gets suspended from the investigation that she was leading by her boss and ignores direct orders not to continue specific theories of the case in her investigation. But she does this even though the perpetrator contacts her directly, violates her personal space and threatens her life. In both books, Erika downplays the seriousness of these events and eventually ends up in a 1-on-1 dangerous confrontation with a multiple murderer. This situation is a direct result of her unwillingness to follow orders and her eagerness to solve the case “by whatever means necessary.” The fact that it happened twice in the first two books greatly diminishes the verisimilitude of these books as police procedurals, in my humble opinion.
But, overall, I enjoyed this book and the series as a whole. I love Erika's sidekicks, DI Moss (pudgy lesbian with a tart sense of humor), DI Peterson (handsome straight Black guy with excellent interpersonal skills) and Dr. Strong (openly gay, tall white forensic pathologist). I look forwarding to reading the next books in the series and hope that Bryndza switches things up so Erika becomes more professional.
Title: The Night Stalker.
Author: Robert Bryndza.
Paperback: 382 pages.
Date Published: June 2, 2016.
Date Read: May 30, 2018.
GOODREADS RATING: ★★★½☆ (3.5/5.0).
OVERALL GRADE: A- (3.4/4.0).