Book Review: Nine Elms by Robert Bryndza

Nine Elms by Robert Bryndza
Release Date: 9th January 2020 (Hardback)
Publisher: Sphere
Buy: Hardback | Kindle

Kate Marshall was a promising young police detective when she caught the notorious Nine Elms serial killer. But her greatest victory suddenly became a nightmare.
Fifteen years after those catastrophic, career-ending events, 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. But there's much more than her reputation on the line: Kate was the original killer's intended fifth victim . . . and his successor means to finish the job.

Nine Elms introduces us to Detective Constable Kate Marshall. Taking us back in time to 1995 when Kate was an up-and-coming detective working on The Nine Elms Cannibal case (or 'Operation Hemlock' to give it it's official title.) The case takes on a shocking turn for Kate when she cracks it and her life as she knows it will never be the same again.
We then fast forward fifteen years and Kate is now working as a college lecturer of Criminology and has put the past behind her as much as she can. However, when she receives an email from parents whose teenage daughter went missing thirty years ago and who believe their daughter was a victim of the Nine Elms Cannibal, Kate finds her thoughts wondering to the past. This coinsides with some pretty scary news; there is a copycat killer on the loose. Someone has picked up where the Nine Elms Cannibal left off - which is particularly worrying news for Kate as she herself was meant to be one of the victims...
Working with her research assistant, Tristan, Kate begins piecing together the case off the record and makes some shocking discoveries along the way. But can they catch this copycat killer in time and just how far are they willing to go?

Being the avid reader that I am I like to think I have read A LOT of books throughout the thirty years I have spent on this planet. I have accumulated a lot of favourite authors throughout this time but I can safely say that Robert Bryndza is my FAVOURITE (Along with my Queen Sophie Kinsella). This is a hugely bold claim but one that I fully stand by. A new Robert Bryndza novel is like every Christmas and Birthday rolled into one and presented in book form for me. Whether it's crime, humour or women's fiction, I just adore whatever Robert writes and Nine Elms is certainly no exception because I was OBSESSED with this novel. Robert firmly reminded me why he is my favourite author-in-the-whole-world-ever with this thrilling criminal masterpiece of a novel.

I was massively excited when I learnt that Robert had written a new crime series. As a huge fan of Robert's other lead female characters Erika Foster and OF COURSE the legendary Coco Pinchard I was really looking forward to meeting Kate Marshall. And she certainly didn't disappoint.
Kate was smart, ballsy and extremely likeable. She was understandably still effected by events of the past but I really admired how strong she was, especially when she believed that the murders taking place were the work of a copycat and the detectives on the case were reluctant to believe her.
I really liked the dynamics of the relationship between Kate and her assistant Tristan. There was no hint of romance between the two which was really refreshing. They just shared a strong friendship and successful working relationship. Their qualities really complimented one another and I'm looking forward to watching their relationship develop further.

Robert has such an incredible knack of drawing you into his story from the off and he did this brilliantly with the opening chapters of Nine Elms. There was SO MUCH ACTION within the first four chapters of this novel, there is no way you won't find yourself hooked. And it's a rollercoaster of thrills, shocks and nail-biting moments throughout that make Nine Elms almost physically impossible to put down. The story is fast-paced and full of twists and turns that will have you frantically turning the pages in order to find out who is behind these murders.
 There are also some pretty horrific scenes in this novel that you will be reading from behind your hands. Some of the characters will stay with you long after reading, others will make you jumpy and have you constantly checking over your shoulder (thanks for that, Robert...Eeeek!) I found reading about life inside Great Barwell Psychiatric Hospital fascinating (and some of the inmates downright scary, Peter Conway being the scariest of all...*gulp*)

This was the first book of 2020 I have read and I genuinely think that I have found my favourite book of the year already. It's certainly going to take some beating. I just loved everything about this book; the characters, the tension, the way in which the story unfolds, trying to solve who was behind the murders myself and THAT edge-of-your-seat ending!
 I am so excited about book number two in this series. In fact, excited may be an understatement. I just CANNOT WAIT. I'm so looking forward to becoming reacquainted with Kate and Tristan and joining them on their next adventure.

A huge thank you to Francesca at Little Brown Book Group for the opportunity to take part in the Nine Elms blog tour.

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