Last Breath by Robert Bryndza

Last Breath def

What’s it about?

He’s your perfect date. You’re his next victim.

When the tortured body of a young woman is found in a dumpster, her eyes swollen shut and her clothes soaked with blood, Detective Erika Foster is one of the first at the crime scene. The trouble is, this time, it’s not her case.

While she fights to secure her place on the investigation team, Erika can’t help but get involved and quickly finds a link to the unsolved murder of a woman four months earlier. Dumped in a similar location, both women have identical wounds – a fatal incision to their femoral artery.

Stalking his victims online, the killer is preying on young pretty women using a fake identity. How will Erika catch a murderer who doesn’t seem to exist?

Then another girl is abducted while waiting for a date. Erika and her team must get to her before she becomes another dead victim, and, come face to face with a terrifyingly sadistic individual.

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I’ve eagerly anticipated the next installment in the Erika Foster series – the 4th novel already if you can believe it – and the author’s outdone himself with this one! It really is very strong competition for my favorite one which was, to this day, The Girl In The Ice, his first novel and the one that immediately turned me into one of Erika’s biggest fans. Only now I’m just not all that sure anymore, this one’s got so much going for it and could very well take first place!

Social media is a dangerous place, anybody can pose as another person and this plotline is effectively and thoroughly proving this point. It’s a very actual theme with people being more and more online and on social media platforms so it was an amazing idea to make this a plotline and Mr. Bryndza spins it in such a harrowing way that it really made my blood run cold when thinking of the possibility of this really happening. It’s easier to acquire info on someone than you think apparently. I’m certainly making sure I’m protecting my profile and identity to those I don’t know after finishing this novel!

I felt there was a lot of change in this novel for Erika, both on a personal level and professionally, and I’m pretty sure this adds to the recipe of success that’s making this one another exceptionally good read. Erika’s still the same person as before of course, efficiently bulldozing her way into an investigation that isn’t hers but she’s more the likeable Erika from the first novel again, having shaken off a bit of that previous harshness. Everything is shaping up for her in this novel and I think she’s starting to really feel better with where she is in life. I am pretty sure it’s against police procedure to make certain promises to the parents of victims, but there’s not a single hair on her head that isn’t convinced she won’t succeed in catching this killer. Of course I knew she would succeed but how was unclear and made me scratch my head more than once.

At the beginning I had some doubts about the killer’s identity, it could be either of two characters brought to my attention, but soon enough the killer’s POV took away any doubt. The police are doing great work but the killer stays out of their scope and reach. He’s like a ghost on the internet and he avoids all CCTV cameras so how are they going to find him? Your guess was as good as mine, all I could hope for was that he would slip up and Erika would see this mistake and pound on him.

And then there’s a tension that’s creeping in when you see that someone in his vicinity is developing an infatuation for this person. I wanted to warn her, to shoo her away from him but the heart doesn’t always see what it must. She’s getting in some very dangerous territory there. It was like I was watching a trainwreck waiting to happen. It didn’t help exactly that I could hear what he was thinking, it was very frightening :-).

Last Breath was full of suspense and drama with very well-developed characters, an enjoyable revisiting of my favorite characters and an outstanding plotline with an ending that would definitely have showed a spike in my heartrate if it were measured. Catching a killer is definitely not without danger!

You can read this as a standalone but I recommend starting with the first novel for the introductions to these people, they’ll grow on you even more. Needless to say I think but I look forward to number 5!

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.


21 thoughts on “Last Breath by Robert Bryndza

  1. Glad to see Last Breath making its appearance and that you enjoyed it as much as I did! It’s my favorite Erika Foster book as well, closely followed by The Night Stalker. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I couldn’t miss the opportunity to read this one and even though I had a self-imposed netgalley ban I happily broke it for this one (and for Secrets of The Dead by Carol Wyer which I already know you loved even more than the first). It’s great to see we all have our own personal favorites in the series!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love it when you love a book! 🙂 This one does sound supergood and Erika sounds like a force of a woman, but without faults when thinking of the danger right under her nose?
    The plot sounds brilliant… The whole danger lurking in social media thing is just so relevant! Great review, Inge! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Brilliant review there! This series is starting to climb up my priority list with each book coming out. I like the sound of the whole social media twist and emphasis in the plotline, it seems to have been brilliantly integrated. I’m really glad to see how much you enjoyed this one too! Gives me hope that this is a series not worth missing out on! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a review!!! At the author’s rhythm, I’ll never catch up, hahaha! As for current themes in books, it has to be well-handled for me to appreciate it, but I have no doubt Robert did it perfectly! I’m also very intrigued by Erika, I’ve heard bits about her and I just can’t wait to meet her!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Erika is serious competition for Ruby (Caroline Mitchell) and I’m wondering which one you’ll like most. I think Ruby is a bit more sympathetic but Erika is jumping right in and really going for it. She’s Slovakian too, like Robert, which is a rather nice touch ;-). You’ll catch up sooner or later, one Bryndza month and you’re done :-). Thanks little waffle!


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