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Beneath the water the body sank rapidly. She would lie still and undisturbed for many years but above her on dry land, the nightmare was just beginning.

When Detective Erika Foster receives a tip-off that key evidence for a major narcotics case was stashed in a disused quarry on the outskirts of London, she orders for it to be searched. From the thick sludge the drugs are recovered, but so is the skeleton of a young child.

The remains are quickly identified as seven-year-old Jessica Collins. The missing girl who made headline news twenty-six years ago.

As Erika tries to piece together new evidence with the old, she must dig deeper and find out more about the fractured Collins family and the original detective, Amanda Baker. A woman plagued by her failure to find Jessica. Erika soon realises this is going to be one of the most complex and demanding cases she has ever taken on.

Is the suspect someone close to home? Someone is keeping secrets. Someone who doesn’t want this case solved. And they’ll do anything to stop Erika from finding the truth.

From the million-copy bestselling author of The Girl in the Ice and The Night Stalker, comes the third heart-stopping book in the Detective Erika Foster series.

624 pages, Kindle Edition

First published October 20, 2016

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About the author

Robert Bryndza

28 books5,943 followers
Robert Bryndza is an international bestselling author, best known for his page-turning crime and thriller novels, which have sold over five million copies.

His crime debut, The Girl in the Ice was released in February 2016, introducing Detective Chief Inspector Erika Foster. Within five months it sold one million copies, reaching number one in the Amazon UK, USA and Australian charts. To date, The Girl in the Ice has sold over 1.5 million copies in the English language and has been sold into translation in 29 countries. It was nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Mystery & Thriller (2016), the Grand prix des lectrices de Elle in France (2018), and it won two reader voted awards, The Thrillzone Awards best debut thriller in The Netherlands (2018) and The Dead Good Papercut Award for best page turner at the Harrogate Crime Festival (2016).

Robert has released a further six novels in the Erika Foster series, The Night Stalker, Dark Water, Last Breath, Cold Blood and Deadly Secrets, all of which have been global bestsellers, and in 2017 Last Breath was a Goodreads Choice Award nominee for Mystery and Thriller. Fatal Witness, is the seventh Erika Foster novel.

Most recently, Robert created a new crime thriller series based around the central character Kate Marshall, a police officer turned private detective. The first book, Nine Elms, was an Amazon USA #1 bestseller and an Amazon UK top five bestseller, and the series has been sold into translation in 18 countries. The second book in the series is the global bestselling, Shadow Sands, the third book is, Darkness Falls and the fourth, Devil’s Way has just been published.

Robert was born in Lowestoft, on the east coast of England. He studied at Aberystwyth University, and the Guildford School of Acting, and was an actor for several years, but didn’t find success until he took a play he’d written to the Edinburgh Festival. This led to the decision to change career and start writing. He self-published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels, before switching to writing crime. Robert lives with his husband in Slovakia, and is lucky enough to write full-time.

You can find out more about Robert and his books at www.robertbryndza.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,668 reviews
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,439 reviews78.1k followers
December 27, 2016
Once again folks, Robert Bryndza has created another zinger with his surly DCI Erika Foster series! I swear each book continues to top the previous one, and I can see myself being invested in these characters for many books to come. I’m not quite sure how he does it, but Rob somehow creates characters who are realistic, flawed, and unlikable in the most likable way. Erika is not someone I could ever see myself connecting with in real life; she is battered, dark, and rude, yet in these books I simply cannot get enough of her. While each mystery is well done in the series, the real test on how compulsively readable these novels are is the complex web of relationships weaved between the multitude of characters. And speaking of characters…

I’ll be honest, I had a slight heart attack when the book led off with no mention of Moss or Peterson. I wanted to raise my fist and scream “How could you Bryndza?!”; alas, I was a bit premature and they came along to the rescue. After I calmed down a bit I was able to realize how immaculately the author can bring minor characters in and out of the storyline. We were able to briefly meet Erika’s sister Lenka in The Night Stalker and continued to acquaint ourselves with her little family in Dark Water. As an only child, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Erika and Lenka’s ups and downs via sibling spats and make up sessions. Also, I have a confession to make- my favorite character is a minor one, but I’m always pleased to see Isaac Strong make an appearance! Seriously, where is the Isaac to my Erika? I’m accepting applications currently. I realize he had a huge role in the previous novel, so I can accept he had to take a backseat to others and wait his turn, but more Isaac please. *Pretty Please Pretty Please Pretty Please*

The mystery kept me befuddled until the very end; I had suspicions about certain characters but didn’t put the pieces together which was a nice twist! There were quite a few smaller shocks, along with larger ones, and I loved how in the end all the seemingly unrelated pieces tied together nicely. I appreciated the furthering of Peterson and Foster’s relationship and was pleased with how the book ended to set things up for #4. Overall, an excellent read that was fast paced and kept my interest engaged throughout. If you have been putting this series off I highly suggest you pick up The Girl In The Ice as quickly as possible and catch up. Once again, Bookouture has found a winning author with a growing fan base that will follow him anywhere. Well done, and I cannot wait for the next adventure involving Erika and her gang (most importantly-ISAAC!)

“If I should go tomorrow
It would never be goodbye,
For I have left my heart with you,
So don’t you ever cry.
The love that’s deep within me,
Shall reach you from the stars,
You’ll feel it from the heavens,
And it will heal the scars.”

*Many thanks to the author and publisher for providing my copy via NetGalley; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.
Profile Image for Paromjit.
2,602 reviews24.8k followers
October 9, 2016
This is the third in this gritty series featuring the driven DCI Erika Foster. Erika is no longer with the Murder Investigation Team and is now based at Bromley Police Station with the Projects Team that is intent on countering serious organised crime. Following a lead from the wife of a suspect, the team are searching for a large stash of drugs in a quarry in an effort to bring down a well known drug dealer, Jason Taylor. The drugs are found but there is a more macabre discovery of the remains of a young 7 year old girl that went missing, Jessica Collins.

Erika takes on this demanding cold case from 26 years ago in 1990, and it is set to test her and her team to the core. The lack of leads drive Erika to despair. Nothing is as it seems. She looks into the broken and traumatised Collins family and ex DCI Amanda Baker, the lead investigator of the original case, whose life fell apart along with many other threads. The police team are being observed for the sole purpose of ensuring that the truth never comes out. In a trail that includes a web of lies and deceit, intrigue, and more, the team get to the truth of a case that cost several lives.

This case exacts a heavy toll from Erika. She is more abrasive than usual but never less than determined to get results. She is still haunted by the death of her husband and we get a greater glimpse into her personal life and dysfunctional family. The author has delivered a truly compelling and gripping story that draws in the reader almost immediately. There is a complex and intricate plot with oodles of suspense and tension. Highly recommended brilliant read. Many thanks to Bookouture for an ARC.
Profile Image for Christine on hiatus, see “About me”.
589 reviews1,139 followers
April 6, 2017
I wish to thank Mr. Robert Bryndza, Bookouture, and Net Galley for gifting me an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an unbiased review.

I thought Mr. Bryndza, previously known as a great chick lit writer, showed real potential with his debut thriller, The Girl in the Ice, starring DCI Erika Foster. I was impressed when book #2 in the series, The Night Stalker, was even better. The author continues to grow with book #3, Dark Water, which is another police procedural and a very strong piece of writing. Mr. Bryndza’s prose isn’t frilly, but he sure knows how to tell a story! The more I get to know Erika Foster, the more I like her. She has become one of my favorite protagonists. She is tough and driven and can be quite prickly, yet has softness around the edges--my preferred type of leading character. I think the other characters in the novel are well done though I would like to have a better view inside the heads of Moss and Peterson; we do get a bit deeper look at Erika’s boss, Commander Paul Marsh. There are often too many players in the books I read, making it hard to remember who is who. This novel has just the right number, which really helps keep the story moving well.

The plotline, which revolves around a 26-year-old cold case of a murdered child is a goody. Mr. Bryndza throws in a number of nifty stunners along the way with a couple of high voltage shockers towards the end. I had no inkling as to how this was going to play out. As the story wound down, all I could think of was what a tragic series of events. The denouement is unique and just plain brilliant.

If I had to compare Mr. Bryndza with anyone, it would be to my beloved Angela Marsons--a big compliment. Their styles have a number of similarities though I must give the edge to Ms. Marsons when it comes to characterization. Bottom line is that if you are a Marsons fan, you will almost certainly be a Bryndza fan. I recommend Mr. Bryndza’s Erika Foster series to every thriller/crime fiction fan. I for one will be reading each new installment as soon as it becomes available.
Profile Image for Sandysbookaday is (reluctantly) on hiatus.
1,971 reviews2,041 followers
June 28, 2022
EXCERPT: Autumn 1990

It was a cold night in late autumn when they dumped the body in the disused quarry. They knew it was an isolated spot, and the water was very deep. What they didn't know was that they were being watched.

ABOUT 'DARK WATER': Beneath the water the body sank rapidly. She would lie still and undisturbed for many years but above her on dry land, the nightmare was just beginning.

When Detective Erika Foster receives a tip-off that key evidence for a major narcotics case was stashed in a disused quarry on the outskirts of London, she orders for it to be searched. From the thick sludge the drugs are recovered, but so is the skeleton of a young child.

The remains are quickly identified as seven-year-old Jessica Collins. The missing girl who made headline news twenty-six years ago.

As Erika tries to piece together new evidence with the old, she must dig deeper and find out more about the fractured Collins family and the original detective, Amanda Baker. A woman plagued by her failure to find Jessica. Erika soon realises this is going to be one of the most complex and demanding cases she has ever taken on.

Is the suspect someone close to home? Someone is keeping secrets. Someone who doesn’t want this case solved. And they’ll do anything to stop Erika from finding the truth.

MY THOUGHTS: I love this series and Dark Water is an earlier book that I somehow missed reading when it was published.. It's a great addition to the series and I absolutely flew through this. It's fast paced and gripping.

Erika is one of those characters that isn't always easy to warm to. She can be rude and arrogant. But she is thorough and stands up for what she believes in and those workmates who deserve her loyalty. She can be quick tempered - with everyone, including her sister Lenka. Yet despite all this, I can't get enough of her.

Moss and Peterson continue with their supporting roles, as does gay pathologist, Isaac Strong. The original detective on the case, Amanda Baker is also an excellent character. Beaten down by her failure in the case, she has become an alcoholic recluse until Erika visits her to get her take on the case.

The Collins family, the family of the missing child, are hard to fathom. If you didn't know that they were a family, you would think that they were a group of strangers thrown together.

I had no idea, until it was revealed, just who had abducted and killed Jessica Collins. My jaw dropped. I really didn't expect that. And yet, it was just perfect.

Although this is book #3 of a series, the author provides enough background for Dark Water to be read as a stand-alone.

Dark Water is fast paced, gripping, absorbing and exciting!


#DarkWater #NetGalley

I: @robertbryndza @bookouture

T: @RobertBryndza @Bookouture

#detectivefiction #familydrama #mystery #policeprocedural #series #thriller

THE AUTHOR: Robert Bryndza was born in the UK and lived in America and Canada before settling in Slovakia with his Slovak husband Ján.

When he's not writing Rob is learning Slovak, trying to train two crazy dogs, or watching Grand Designs all in the hope that hell be able to understand his mother-in-law, build his dream house, and get the dogs to listen.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Dark Water by Robert Bryndza for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review is also published on Twitter, Amazon,Instagram and my webpage https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...
Profile Image for Maureen .
1,380 reviews7,088 followers
October 16, 2016
Oh my goodness, Robert Bryndza knows how to reel the reader in as easy as a little itsy bitsy fish, - hook line and sinker!

This is the third outing for DCI Erika Foster, and we find her working in the Organised Crime team, but she'd much rather be back with the Murder Investigation Team.

The opening chapter has her team searching a water filled, disused quarry, where a notorious local drug dealer is known to have dumped a large stash of heroin. The drugs are soon found, but their search also reveals the skeletal remains of 7 year old Jessica Collins. Jessica went missing 26 years ago - simply vanished into mid air.

Erika begs her superiors for the chance to take the lead on this cold case, but it won't be easy, a large amount of resources went into the initial investigation, and although they had a suspect, there was never enough evidence to convict him.

This time around, Jessica's dysfunctional family come under intense scrutiny, and what a crazy mixed up group of individuals they are, you don't know who or what to believe, but there are some real shocks to come.

Boy, this is another compelling read, with our protagonist even more abrasive than usual, but DCI Foster is like a Rottweiler with a bone, she just doesn't let go, not even when her tenacity brings her before her superiors.

I have to say, I had many suspects along the way, but I never would have guessed at the outcome - it took me completely by surprise ( but isn't that exactly what a good novel should do? )

Another winner for Robert Bryndza, he never lets his readers down, and I SO look forward to the next in the series.

*Thank you to Netgalley , Bookouture, & Robert Bryndza for my ARC for which I have given a fair and honest review*
Profile Image for Linda.
1,227 reviews1,276 followers
March 26, 2017
I received a copy of Dark Water by Robert Bryndza through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Bookouture and to Robert Bryndza for the opportunity.

According to DCI Erika Foster: "We've got everything and nothing."

Erika Foster is feeling the tilt of the uneven ground. She is no longer on the Murder Investigation Team in Lewishham Row. She's been transferred to the Bromley Police Station working in the CID Division fighting organized crime. A potential opportunity to put a notorious drug dealer away has her new team searching the bottom of a dark and dank quarry for kilos of heroin. Instead, the divers bring up the skeletal remains of a long missing 7 year old girl.

What transpires here out is the rapid fire pinball game that will eventually take DCI Foster into some shady situations. Nothing is what it appears to be in this one. Foster manages to get herself assigned to resurrect this unsolved mystery from 1990. The previous detectives ran into deadends. And Foster seems to be dangling on the edge of despair as well. But Foster dogs a case like no other. Although her private life is at a standstill, it provides her the impetus to forge ahead relentlessly.
Nothing and no one waiting for her at the home fires.

Robert Bryndza does it again. He presents his main character of DCI Erika Foster as quick-witted and determined as ever. The police procedures are well-executed and planned. The finale will certainly leap at you from a completely different direction.

Bryndza has developed quite the talent for molding and sculpting his characters with each book that he turns out. They become more fine-tuned within the human element. He allows us to see layer upon layer beneath the surface. And because of that, we are privy to the depth of Erika Foster's inner core. Fascinating, indeed. I'm sure that the talented Bryndza has quite the tale to tell lifting stone upon stone with each book. And we will be locked in tight for each exciting ride. Bring it, Bryndza!
Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,574 reviews5,905 followers
February 6, 2017
I've been a mystery/thriller fan since way back in the day and it's always been one of my go to genre's. The thing is..sometimes they get hyped up and they are a total suckfest. You know who did the deed and then the authors throw in everything but the kitchen sink.
 photo Blues_Clues_Season_3_Theme_Blues_Big_Mystery_zpsmd2rgc8r.gif

Or a train..or a "Girl" in the title and think that's enough hard work.

This series by Robert Bryndza is actually one of the better one's that I've picked up over the last few years. He has a somewhat likeable female main character. (She isn't even perfect-and I like her even more for it.) He throws in enough to keep the reader interested without jumping onto the every-loving bandwagon that others have.

In this book Erika Foster starts off by finding the drugs that a bad guy had hidden, it isn't her calling in life but the woman has a hard time following the rules and this is where she has ended up. Then along with the drugs they find a 26 year old set of bones. Buried under water.
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They are identified as Jessica Collins, the young girl that had gone missing that many years ago.
Then the twisty turny stuff starts. You have a former police woman that was given leave because she took matters into her own hands after she failed to solve the case, a whacked out grieving family..and a bad guy that you get just enough tid-bits of that you NEED to find out his story.

Pretty decent. I'm liking these books.
Keep it up Bryndza.

Booksource: Netgalley in exchange for review.
Profile Image for Arah-Lynda.
337 reviews524 followers
December 14, 2016
This is the third book in Bryndza’s British police procedural featuring DCI Erika Foster.

This time as the story opens Erika is not working with murder investigators but rather with a projects team focusing on a major narcotics case.  Based on a tip she has ordered the search of an unused quarry hoping to find copious amounts of heroin, which ultimately the team does recover, however a more macabre find surfaces as well; the skeletal remains of what appears to be a small child.

Subsequent investigation of the remains reveals that the bones belong to Jessica Collins, a seven year old girl who has been missing for twenty six years.  Unable to easily dismiss thoughts of how a mere child could have succumbed to such a fate; left all alone, wrapped in plastic, weighed down with chains, mired in the sludge and forgotten beneath all that water, Erika refuses to turn her back on her as well, so with her signature, dogged determination she seeks the assistance of her former boss to be assigned as the lead investigator of this cold case.

The problem of course is just that, this case has gone cold and there are few if any leads left to follow.  Jessica’s family have long since fractured and once Erika is successful in bringing them together for an interview it becomes painfully clear that they do not play nice together.  

As her team dissects all the old case files Erika seeks out the investigator that was in charge of the case all those years ago.  Amanda Baker has become a dismal shadow of her former self.  Plagued by her inability to solve the case and find justice for Jessica, Amanda has turned to drink for solace.  Still, discussing these events with Erika has ignited an old spark within the former detective.  Now if she can only resist the pull of the bottle, perhaps, just maybe, she can be of some help.  

I really liked this one.  Erika seems to have matured and even though she can still be quite abrasive and demanding, her approach reads as less reactive, more restrained, than the previous offerings.  Bryndza peppers the narrative with enough clever leads and false turns to ensure there is never a dull moment and you will soon find yourself immersed in the mire, clinging to the hope that there will be justice for Jessica.

Have no doubt, I will drop in again some time to see what DCI Erika Foster is up to.  

My thanks to Bookouture, NetGalley and Robert Bryndza for the opportunity to read an advance copy.

Profile Image for Mary Beth .
382 reviews1,654 followers
December 27, 2016

This is the third book of the DCI Erica Foster Series. I just couldn't wait to read this book because I just loved the book cover. The books just get better and better. This one I feel was the best. The character development has gotten better also. DCI Erica Foster is becoming a good friend. She is a gutsy kick ass chic. She reminds me a lot of Kate Burkholder in Linda Castillo's series. There is also a relationship that is brewing and can't wait to find out what happens with it in the next book.

This book takes place in London, and DCI Erica Foster and her team are looking for a stash of drugs in a quarry, and they find it along with a skeleton of a seven year old body of a girl. Erica and her team unravels the mystery and finds out that this body was a girl who was known missing 26 years ago. The careers and lives of some police officers are ended also.

I always have fun to try to solve a good mystery. I tried and tried to figure this one out. I was so wrong in my first guess and then guessed again and was so wrong that time. I ended up guessing it before the end but felt all the clues were there right before it was mentioned.

Is the suspect someone close to home? Someone is keeping secrets. Someone who doesn’t want this case solved. And they’ll do anything to stop Erika from finding the truth.
Profile Image for Norma.
551 reviews12.2k followers
December 27, 2016
Merry Christmas to all of my Goodreads friends! A Christmas wish to you all as I thought it was fitting to wish everyone a Happy Holiday as I finished this on Christmas Day!

Christmas scraps, graphics, animate gif images

This was a 5-star satisfying and excellent read! I thought this was even better than the other two books in this series. How does this author do that? It was an all-around great read from start to finish which was intense and thrilling!

DARK WATER has another tense, gripping and suspenseful storyline written by ROBERT BRYNDZA that grabbed my attention once again from the very first few pages of this book. I found the tangled plot much more appealing this go round and seemed to flow so much better than the first two novels in this series. I thought it was well developed and played out flawlessly, I was totally engrossed in what I was reading as the suspense and tension developed. The title of this book was brilliant and I found the cover quite appealing. All three of the DCI Erika Foster books have awesome titles and covers.

I was a little confused at the beginning of the book as I forgot that Erika left the Murder Investigation Team and I had to re-read the last chapter of NIGHT STALKER to refresh my memory. I have a really short memory! She is now based at the Bromley Police Station with the Projects Team but don't get too disappointed like I did as the recurring characters of the last two books are still in this novel.

I absolutely love DCI Erika Foster as she has mellowed ever so slightly in DARK WATER but is still that extremely likeable, interesting, entertaining, strong character and is just as cutting and determined to get results.

The reveal and details were a total surprise for me as I did not guess correctly who the suspect was and the way that it was delivered by ROBERT BRYNDZA was gripping, filled with lots of suspense and tension.

Thank you so much to Mary Beth, Stephanie, and Kris for including me in your buddy read!

It was an enjoyable, quick and easy fast-paced thriller with a satisfying ending. Would highly recommend!!

Profile Image for Liz.
2,022 reviews2,525 followers
March 26, 2017
4.5 stars, rounded up
Just as tactless as ever, Erika Foster is back in the third book of this series. Now assigned to an organized crime and drug detail in another region, she finds the remains of a seven year old girl who went missing 26 years ago. She fights to lead the case despite no longer being on a murder detail. “Sir, I can solve this case. You know my track record with solving difficult cases…” to which her boss replies “And yet, after all these years you are still a DCI. Have you ever considered why?” That sort of sums her up right there.
I loved the first two books, but this one seems richer somehow. Great, detailed writing; descriptions you wouldn't expect, like “there was an unpleasant smell: stale water, decay and a meaty aroma of bone marrow”.
It's another good storyline, fast moving and engaging. I'm becoming very invested in the characters, not only Erika, but Peterson and Moss. Yes, I had a pretty good idea who the bad guys would turn out to be. But there were still plenty of twists and turns that i never saw coming.
Highly recommend the entire series, which are best read in order. Bryndza is quickly becoming one of my favorite mystery authors. Off to immediately start book four in the series.

Profile Image for Matt.
3,725 reviews12.8k followers
October 5, 2016
First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Robert Bryndza and Bookouture for providing me with a copy of this book, which allows me to provide you with this review.

The latest DCI Erika Foster novel allows Bryndza to return with another stellar piece of work that is sure to keep readers chatting for months to come. After a rocky end during her last major case, DCI Foster has accepted a position with the Projects Team, fighting organised crime and high-value contraband shipments. As they scour a local body of water for a significant stash of heroin, a container with a small skeleton is found lodged in the sand under the depths of murky waters. After the contents are identified, it proves to be the body of Jessica Collins, a seven year-old who has been missing since the summer of 1990. After pleading to be given the case, noting her track record and inability to rest until the crime is solved, Foster is given the chance to head-up the investigation, choosing some of her own team. With little forensic evidence, there are no leads, forcing Foster to return to a paedophile who was arrested early on during the investigation. However, a settlement with the MET makes him off-limits and Foster is grasping at straws. She thinks to approach former DCI Amanda Baker, who headed the original investigation, though a forced retirement coupled with years nursing resentments and the bottle have left this one-time rising star all but useless. Still, she is able to offer Foster a few leads that might pan out, but wants to be kept in the loop. While Foster and her team think to chase down the residents of a halfway house close to the property, someone is watching from the shadows, intent that no one will reveal what really happened to Jessica Collins and her twenty-six year cold case. During a brief lull in the action, Foster receives a surprise visit that not only rocks her world but leaves her thinking about the husband she lost back in Manchester. Foster must pull herself together and focus on the present, rather than sitting in the past and stewing over what might have been. After two police officers with connections to the case are murdered, Foster realises that they must work fast and get answers, before the cover-up pushes the case back into the realm of 'unsolved' for another generation. A powerful novel with twists at just the right moment, Bryndza delivers a great novel to keep the reader hooked.

While I came late to the game in admiring DCI Erika Foster and the work of Robert Bryndza, I have come to love the style of writing he presents. His readers are treated to complex plots that turn in multiple directions while pushing the story forward at every turn. The reader has a handful of characters who continue to grace the pages of the series, as well as a set of new ones, keeping the story fresh for those who have thoroughly enjoyed the past two Foster cases. Bryndza's move to a cold case genre does require some new sleuthing (for Foster) and a style of writing that keeps a present and past narratives sharp and succinct, all of which is achieved effortlessly. The struggles in solving the case should keep the reader from guessing too early on what awaits them, while also admiring how things have developed over time. Adding Foster's personal struggles with Mark, her dead husband, offers the reader a personal side that is covered while working the case. That it comes back in all novels, as well as the zany Slovak family that Erika tried to leave behind her, personalises the experience and keeps the reader wondering what else Erika Foster might be hiding in her steel lockbox she calls a backstory. Wonderfully revealed with much more to go, Bryndza has enough material to keep him writing for years to come.

Kudos, Mr. Bryndza for pulling readers into this captivating story that spans almost three decades. I never tire of your storytelling and hope your fountain of ideas is far from drying up.

Like/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at:
Profile Image for Andrea.
569 reviews
June 9, 2022
Another great book in this series,starts a body found a young child DCI Erika foster wants the case theres not alot of evidence as happened years ago.her sister and kids come to stay.its great seeing some of her old team back.another great book.highly recommend this series.
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,222 reviews2,052 followers
December 1, 2016
Well I will say one thing for Robert Bryndza - he certainly knows how to maintain a high standard in his books. This is our third outing with DCI Erika Foster and it is excellent.
I think one of the best aspects of these books is the portrayal of investigative procedure i.e. good hard slog through the minutiae of people's daily lives. Of course our MC benefits from lucky breaks and some slightly unrealistic coincidences but this is fiction and the author does have to maintain our interest!
DCI Foster is a great main character as long as her tendency to go out on a limb is restrained. She benefited here from having her two most trustworthy co workers on her team. She warmed up a little too in this book as she starts to develop a little romance in her life.
The story is good, the characters well developed and the book is very readable. I guessed the guilty parties about half way through but the reason for the crime was a nice little surprise right towards the end. A very worthwhile read:)
Profile Image for Linda Strong.
3,880 reviews1,635 followers
October 4, 2016
While searching a quarry for a hidden drug stash, Detective Erika Foster's team stumble across the skeleton of a young child. The remains are identified as Jessica Collins, 7 years of age when she disappeared 26 years ago.

There is something about this child that touches her and she is determined to find the who and why this child was killed.

The original detective on the case was Amanda Baker. Time hasn't been kind to her as she has always felt guilty about not being able to solve the case and bring Jessica home to her family.

Practically starting from scratch, Foster and her team start looking at family and friends. The family is keeping secrets. Do the family know more about what happened to Jessica than they are letting on? Someone doesn't want the light shined on a dark secret .... and they will do anything at all to protect themselves.

I stumbled across this author with his first book in this series .. and fell in love with not only his writing, but the characters, as well.

Erika has to be tough to do the job she does, but in DARK WATER, she seems to be somewhat more harsh in the way she treats people. In this story the reader gets to see more of her personal life, when her sister and her three children come to stay with her. Erika is also moving closer to a personal relationship with one of her team members.

Red herrings are sprinkled here and there and the ending was something I never could have imagined. It's a compelling book that I didn't want to put down once started.

This one is okay as a stand alone, but as usual, I always recommend starting at the beginning to absorb all those little nuggets of gold you might miss otherwise.

Many thanks to the author / Bookouture / NetGalley who provided a digital copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
Profile Image for Ginger.
753 reviews373 followers
April 21, 2017
Another excellent book by Robert Bryndza! Once again, he’s making me read all day and into the night. The books in this series just keep getting better and better.

Dark Water was a riveting and brilliant book. The murder case had tons of plot twists and surprises. I thought some suspects were acting fishy at times but I did not expect that big plot twist! Robert Bryndza has a way of taking all the clues of the murder case and pulling them into a complete finish. Kudos to his writing, the mystery of the book and the engaging characters. Bryndza is really on top of his game in this book genre.

I'm already looking forward to the next one!
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,157 reviews1,516 followers
October 15, 2016
Detective Erika Foster has no longer been working homicide and is now in the drug division. When a tip comes in that narcotics have been hidden at a local quarry Erika orders a search but not only do they find drugs but buried in the quarry is a skeleton of a young child.

The remains are identified as belonging to seven year old Jessica Collins who had been reported missing twenty six years earlier. Erika calls in a favor and gets herself assigned to the case vowing to find whoever put young Jessica into her grave and get answers for a family that has grieved for their loss for far too long.

Dark Water is the third book featuring DCI Erika Foster written by Robert Bryndza and just like the first two books in the series this one does not disappoint in the least. I was a tad worried after learning our gritty heroine Erika would be transferring but this story brings her right back to where she belongs with the same cast of characters still surrounding her as she solves yet another case.

As with the first two books in the series the twists and turns pile up as Erika tackles finding her killer. There's never a dull moment in following along as the story develops and plenty of suspects and situations to keep you on your toes trying to solve the case right along with Erika.

Overall, definitely another winner from Robert Bryndza, I'd recommend this series to any fan of a good police procedural.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.wordpress....
March 6, 2017
I got to know DCI Erika Foster in A Girl in the Ice then I got a deeper look and understanding of her in The Night Stalker and admire how she has grown in Dark Waters. She has become one of my favourite characters and I look forward to more of her in The Last Breath.

Dark Waters is a tense, gripping and somewhat disturbing story for me that starts off with DCI Foster doing something different but soon back doing what she does best, investigating a murder. This time of a child, now this is not the kind of storyline I really care for and at first I struggled with the enjoyment of this book, but that didn't last long. What really makes this a tense and gripping read for me is Robert Bryndza’s ability to slowly reveal little clues as you follow along with the investigation and try to piece together the crime.

Even though you could read Dark Water as a standalone, I would highly recommend starting with The Girl in the Ice to really get the feel of Bryndza’s style of writing and to connect with the well-developed characters. Also they are just so good you don't want to miss any. I have pre-ordered my kindle copy of The Last Breath and am looking forward to reading it.

All of Norma's and my reviews can be found on our sister blog
Profile Image for Louise Wilson.
2,748 reviews1,616 followers
October 2, 2016
Detective Erika Foster has been given a tip-off that there is a huge amount of drugs stashed at the bottom of a disused quarry. A search is organised and deep in the sludge the drugs are found along with another parcel. The skeleton of a young child who's identified as 7 year old Jessica Collins. The girl had been missing for 26 years.

Erika has to try and link the new and old evidence together and investigate the Collins family and the ex-Detective Amanda Baker who originally investigated the case.

What a compelling book this is. Full of secrets and somebody not wanting the case solved and goes to extreme measures to stop this happening. I never saw the end coming and I will confess to shedding a tear. Robert Bryndza you are a brilliant crime writer and I can't wait to read more. Best 1 so far.
Profile Image for Jean.
732 reviews20 followers
November 9, 2016
When DCI Erika Foster and her team search an abandoned quarry for stashed narcotics, they hit the mother lode. That’s not all they dredge up from the depths. The second find is much more terrible. What they discover are the skeletal remains of a young child, which turn out to be those of a seven-year-old girl who disappeared twenty-six years earlier.

Dark Water is Robert Bryndza’s third Erika Foster novel, and oh, boy, is it intense! Drugs, a skeleton, sneaky bad guys, even sneaky cops and ex-cops, and a dysfunctional family – there are many layers to this plot! One or more of these characters has a skeleton or two in his or her closet.

We first met Foster in The Girl In The Ice and The Night Stalker. Now we get to see her tackle perhaps her biggest challenge yet as the chief suspect all those years ago was let go and subsequently sued the department. Another suspect emerges, but he is dead. Can Amanda Baker, the ex-DCI who handled the Jessica Collins case all those years ago, give Foster any help? Baker, living alone in a cluttered home and often drunk on wine, seems incapable of assisting in any meaningful way. But she is determined to make amends for failing to solve the case that proved to be her downfall.

Erika has transferred to a new position at Bromley Station, and she has to lobby hard to get herself assigned to the Collins case. It proves challenging in every way possible. Bryndza does a credible job showing us the ins and outs of police procedures as the case progresses. There are some odd zigs and zags along the way, as an unknown criminal does everything he can to thwart the investigation. Who is he, and with whom is he working? There are many plot twists and numerous possibilities. Some of the answers occurred to me, but I can’t honestly say that I figured the whole thing out. Clever, Mr. Bryndza. Clever.

Besides the procedural aspects of the plot, the real strength of Dark Water, I think, is in the character development. We get so much more of Erika Foster’s personal life, her thoughts, and her feelings in this book. Yes, she’s still edgy and cranky, but there is a softness beneath the surface that makes her easy to root for. I was happy to see Moss and Peterson included in this book; even though they work at Erika’s old station, she is able to borrow them for her team on this investigation. Commander Marsh is sprinkled here and there also, and I won’t be surprised if we see Erika return to her previous station in future books.

The family scenes are terrific. On one hand, we have the Collins family – the very Catholic mother, the estranged husband, the sister, brother, and their significant others. On the other hand, we have Erika’s sister and her children, who suddenly appear at Erika’s door one evening. Talk about chaos! Bryndza does a great job capturing the family dynamic of both groups.

While Dark Water could be read as a standalone, I would recommend reading the series in order so that you can appreciate the growth in the characters and the writing of Robert Bryndza. Don’t be kept in the dark. Add this to your shelf today!

5 stars

Profile Image for "Avonna.
1,151 reviews315 followers
February 7, 2017
Once again, Robert Brynzda has me reading late into the night on the edge of my seat!

DCI Erika Foster is back in DARK WATER, the third book in the DCI Erika Foster series. This is one of my favorite British police procedural series. Erika is an amazing character who is flawed, driven, and at times extremely brusque and yet I cannot stop wanting her to succeed in her personal life as well as professional. She also has a great cast of secondary characters surrounding her that are all unique in their own ways.

At the beginning of this story, Erika is in a new district and no longer working murder investigations but instead is working major organized crimes. To put a major drug dealer behind bars, the local quarry is dredged to recover drugs hidden in the depths. The drugs are found, but so is the wrapped skeleton of a child. Erika cannot get the sight of those small bones out of her mind and fights to get the case assigned to her and to have Peterson and Moss moved to be on her team once again. The bones are 26 years old and the case has already destroyed one DCI’s career, but Erika and her crew refuse to quit.

This is a complex case with many plot twists and surprises. When you think you have it figured out, it takes a sharp turn in another direction and yet in the end, all the little threads come together in a very satisfying climax. With a fast paced plot and interesting, intriguing characters, Mr. Brynzda has delivered another exceptional addition to this series.

Thanks very much to Bookouture and Net Galley for allowing me to read and review this eARC in exchange for an honest review. This is an excellent book and series!
Profile Image for Jan.
424 reviews252 followers
November 13, 2016
Another solid read in the DCI Erika Forster series!

This author completely grabbed my attention with the first of this series The Girl In The Ice, and has continued to keep me furiously turning the pages ever since.

The main protag is a strong, smart yet vulnerable woman who is completely relatable. The rest of her team also comes across as 'real', with strengths and flaws that make them all unique.

This time around DCI Foster inserts herself and her team into trying to solve the mystery of what happened to 7 year old Jessica Collins, who disappeared 20+ years ago.

While not wrought with as much tension as his first 2 books, Bryndza offers up a complex who-dun-it with some very intriguing possible suspects...he kept me guessing up until the very end.

If you haven't started on this series, make sure you add it or bump it up on that TBR!

ARC from NetGalley
Profile Image for Bharath.
594 reviews448 followers
October 29, 2022
This is a great series and I am glad I found it quite by chance. This is my fourth book (I read the latest one out of turn before this) in the series and Erika Foster is a great character.

Erika Foster is leading a case involving drug trafficking. As the police search a quarry for drugs, they uncover another box with the remains of a young girl. The girl is identified from dental records as Jessica Collins who was reported missing 26 years back. Erika is keen to take this case and manages to get assigned after a struggle. She puts together a team including Moss and Peterson who she trusts. The case had hit the headlines many years back as Jessica left home to visit her friend’s place for a party just a street away and never made it there. The investigation at that time was led by Amanda Baker who arrests a suspect, but had to release him for lack of evidence. The case remained unsolved and Amanda retired later, now largely spending her life slouching and drinking. But the reopening of the case ignites an interest in her and she follows developments closely. For Erika, this is a tough case with hardly any leads to follow.

There is always solid police work in the series, and that is true with this book as well. For quite a bit of the book, Erika and team make very little progress and yet the book is very readable. And of course, the team including Moss and Peterson are always a delight to have around. Erika’s sister Lenka makes an appearance in the later part of the book and I liked how the author weaved in some solid sequences for her.

This is not a fast-paced book though and the build-up to the unravelling is gradual but also built on good foundations. I felt the plot elements to be a little weaker than in the other books of the series I read though.

If you like crime fiction, this is a great series. While the books have standalone stories, it is still better to start with ‘The Girl in the Ice’ as it provides a good context to Erika’s character and background.
Profile Image for Erin Clemence.
1,053 reviews311 followers
October 10, 2016
Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
“Dark Water” is the third installment in Robert Bryndza’s “Erika Foster” set of police crime novels. In this novel, Erika is back on the case, this time investigating the murder of a young girl, after the child’s remains are found in a local quarry. Erika and her team (including some of the best from the previous books- like her partners Moss and Petersen) throw themselves whole-heartedly into the investigation, discovering the mysterious clues that lead to the novel’s shocking conclusion.
I have had the pleasure of reading all of Mr. Bryndza’s Erika Foster crime novels, and this one may be the best yet. Sure, the subject matter is far more morose (the victim is a dead child) but in spite of that, the suspect list is longer and there are deeper and stronger emotional components between the characters. The story started strong and continued that way- each chapter drawing the reader deeper and deeper into the world of police investigations, speculations, and shady suspects.
My familiarity with the structure of the British police system is limited at best, and the large amount of police officers with unfamiliar labels involved in this novel made it a bit difficult for me to identify who’s-who (outside of the main players). However, once I had concocted a “cast of characters”, it was easier to follow along with the plot (I literally made a list).
I thoroughly enjoy the character of Erika, and have always felt a type of kinship to her tough-as-nails, independent persona. The drama did not cease in the storyline, and each chapter ended in cliff-hangers, that grabbed a reader and made them want more. I found this novel difficult to put down, and was completely satisfied by the well-thought-out ending. Bryndza writes his police novels in such a way that a reader does not need to read previous novels to follow along with the story- but after reading one novel, there is definitely going to be a desire to read more! I hope more DCI Foster novels are forthcoming- and I might even check out more of Mr. Bryndza’s other books too!
Profile Image for KC.
2,403 reviews
October 24, 2016
I would like to thank NetGalley, Bookouture, and Robert Bryndza for the advanced digital copy in exchange for an honest review. Detective Erika Foster is back for the third time and we find her on the trail of a 26 year old cold case. The skeletal remains of a 7 year old girl were found in a quarry and Foster and her department must delve into the past to uncover the events which devastated the child's family, police department, and the community. Twist and turns relentlessly fill the plot. Bryndza pulls this off so well within his storytelling. This is another great installment for the collection.
Profile Image for Sean Peters.
662 reviews121 followers
December 8, 2016
Thank you to Net Galley, the publishers and the author, for a copy of this third book in this great series from DCI Erica Foster.

Beneath the water the body sank rapidly. Above her on dry land, the nightmare was just beginning.

When Detective Erika Foster receives a tip-off that key evidence for a major narcotics case was stashed in a disused quarry on the outskirts of London, she orders for it to be searched. From the thick sludge the drugs are recovered, but so is the skeleton of a young child.

DCI Erika Foster is now working on an anti-drug team. When she and her team have the divers search for a stash of drugs in Hayes Quarry, she finds more than she bargained for. The body of 7-year old Jessica Collins is recovered, after 26 years. Erika fights her way onto the case, and fights to get her old team of Moss and Peterson back too.

As Erika tries to piece together new evidence with the old, she must dig deeper and find out more about the fractured Collins family and the original detective, Amanda Baker. A woman plagued by her failure to find Jessica. Erika soon realises this is going to be one of the most complex and demanding cases she has ever taken on.

Is the suspect someone close to home? Someone is keeping secrets. Someone who doesn’t want this case solved. And they’ll do anything to stop Erika from finding the truth.

To me the best of three, with great characters, gripping, suspenseful and action packed and lots of great twists, well paced. Also great to get to know the main characters even more added with some nasty villains.

From the million-copy bestselling author of The Girl in the Ice and The Night Stalker, comes the third heart-stopping book in the Detective Erika Foster series!

Keeps this great series going, what a great character Erica Foster is.
Profile Image for The Book Review Café.
680 reviews186 followers
October 19, 2016
OMG I promised myself after what others may have considered to be a rather over enthusiastic review for The Night Stalker, I would tone my review for Dark Water down, but HOLY MOLY Robert Bryndza has only gone and done it again and wrote another fabulous book to add to the DI Erika Forster series. So I’m sorry if I get carried away with my review (yet again), but I was honestly convinced the authors last book The Night Stalker would be my favourite, but after reading Dark Waters I’m now convinced this is my favourite in the series by far. This series is evolving into one of the best crime series I’ve read over the last few years each book seems to get darker, and more sinister.

Dark Waters opens with an unsettling and spine chilling prologue, and once I read it I was hooked, it’s one of those books you can’t bear to put down, as each chapter ends you just “have to read one more” and before you know it it’s the middle of the night! This is the third book in the Detective Erika Foster series and although you could read it as a standalone I would urge you to read the series, just because it’s such a fantastic crime series. Erika Foster is one of my favourite crime detectives she’s direct to the point of being brutal but she’s also determined, fearless and incredibly good at her job, we also learn more about Erika and her family in this book which add more depth to her character. Erica faces her most complex case yet when seven year old Jessica’s body is found in a quarry twenty six years after her disappearance, with no witnesses and very little to go on Erika finds herself caught up in an investigation that will test her policing skills to the limits, its a case steeped in lies, secrets and heartbreak.

What I like about Robert Bryndza’s writing is his ability to describe scenes with such conviction that you feel like your there along side Erika and her team, the sights, smells and atmosphere jump out of the pages making for a truly breathtaking read. You feel their every emotion as they deal with the heartbreaking investigation of the missing Jessica. As this is a cold case this book isn’t as fast paced as others in the series, but personally for me it still made it an utterly compelling read, I found Dark Water to be the very definition of a ‘read-in-one-sitting’ crime thriller. What I particularly like about this series is how different each book has been from the last and how each story offers something unique, which is why Robert Bryndza continues to be one of my very favourite authors.

In my opinion Dark Water is gripping from the first page until the last, Unsettling and disturbing, the actions of the all too human characters lead to a devastating and tense climax. I can and I will wholeheartedly recommend Dark Water for anyone looking for an original crime story but with all the hallmarks of a truly gripping tale. Just in case you were wondering I absolutely loved Dark Water and it will certainly be in my top reads of 2016 along with The Night Stalker of course! I can’t wait to see what the hugely talented Robert Bryndza comes up with next.
Profile Image for Gary.
2,614 reviews369 followers
October 18, 2016
I discovered author Robert Bryndza earlier this year when I was blown away by the first book in this series 'The Girl in the Ice'. I have now read all three books in this series and have experienced a similar feeling each time. I can highly recommend both this author and this series.
The series features Detective Erika Foster who is a real gritty character with very much the same appeal as Ian Rankin's Rebus and Michael Connelly's Bosch. In this story Erika receives a tip-off that key evidence for a major narcotics case was stashed in a disused quarry on the outskirts of London and she orders for it to be searched. The search not only recovers the drugs but also the skeleton of a young child. The remains are quickly identified as seven-year-old Jessica Collins. The missing girl who made headline news twenty-six years ago.

The case proves to be complex as Erika unravels both new evidence along with the old as she tries to learn more about both the Collins family and Amanda Baker who was the original detective.

This is an excellent book with good characters and a well crafted plot that is paced to perfection.

I would like to thank Net Galley and Bookouture for supplying a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.
Profile Image for Geles.
175 reviews29 followers
May 9, 2021
Erika se encuentra destinada en una nueva comisaría y con un nuevo equipo, pero vamos a seguir disfrutando de la compañía de sus antiguos compañeros, la inspectora Moss y el inspector Peterson, que le ayudarán a resolver este enrevesado caso.

En esta tercera entrega, vamos a ver una evolución a nivel personal de la inspectora. Conoceremos en mayor profundidad a su familia e incluso, tal vez, consiga rehacer su vida tras la muerte de su marido.

Lectura entretenida, donde la investigación se une a las tramas personales para crear una buena historia. Una trama con un oscuro secreto rodeado de corrupción, fanatismo religioso y delitos contra menores.
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