Nine Elms by Robert Bryndza

Nine Elms by Robert Bryndza
Kate Marshall Series Book 1
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full length (426 pages)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia

From the breakthrough international bestselling author of The Girl in the Ice, a breathtaking, page-turning novel about a disgraced female detective’s fight for redemption. And survival…

Kate Marshall was a promising young police detective when she caught the notorious Nine Elms serial killer. But her greatest victory suddenly turned into a nightmare. Traumatized, betrayed, and publicly vilified for the shocking circumstances surrounding the cannibal murder case, Kate could only watch as her career ended in scandal.

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Enlisting her brilliant research assistant, Tristan Harper, Kate draws on her prodigious and long-neglected skills as an investigator to catch a new monster. Success promises redemption, but there’s much more on the line: Kate was the original killer’s intended fifth victim…and his successor means to finish the job.

Digging into the past unearths more than Kate bargained for.

Kate is a complicated heroine with an intense past. When she caught the Nine Elms serial killer, it should have been the crowning achievement in her budding career. Instead, certain personal decisions were made public forcing Kate to leave her career as a detective far behind. I do think the combination of events in Kate’s past struck me as a little over the top. I can’t give details without spoiling the plot, but I will say that while none of the things that happen to her are completely implausible, together it did seem to be a bit of a stretch. However, because Kate is such a down to earth character, I was able to put my doubts aside and enjoy the story.

Kate is easy to admire. She is smart, caring, courageous, and has a strong sense of honor. Despite all that has happened to her, she never plays the victim. She doesn’t make excuses for her mistakes nor does she take pleasure in the mistakes of others. There was a moment when she could have easily lashed out at others who were at fault, but Kate chooses to take the high road. In that moment, she more than earned my respect.

As compelling as the plot and characters of Nine Elms are, I could not read this book straight through. Some of the characters and their actions made my skin crawl. The serial killer’s victims are murdered in a particularly disturbing way. As the layers of this mystery are peeled back and connections between various characters are made, the tone becomes even darker. I had to put the book aside periodically because I needed a break before diving back into that world. Despite this issue, I enjoyed getting to know Kate and found the conclusion to be satisfying.

I’m glad I had the opportunity to read Nine Elms. I recommend it to anyone looking for a dark thriller with a compelling heroine.

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