“Nine Elms” by Robert Bryndza – Book Review

Kate Marshall – a former police detective, now works in a university as a lecturer in criminology alongside her young and talented research assistant. Kate is a single mother whose teenage son lives with his grandmother, Kate’s own mother. Though she has been sober for the past six years, she continues to battle against the alcoholism which almost derailed both her work and home life. Now she lives in a cottage overlooking the sea in which she swims every morning, no matter the weather.

Tristan Harper – an intelligent and astute young man in his twenties. He is the perfect foil for Kate and their relationship wields an admirable balance.An elderly couple enlist Kate and Tristan’s help in finding their daughter who disappeared many years ago. The couple realize that their daughter is most probably dead, but with no body ever found they long for closure.  Kate pities their situation and agrees to help. This sets off a string of events that will eventually bring Kate’s past life and present life in a course that is destined to collide with disastrous effect for herself and those she holds dear.

WOW! What an enthralling read! I hope that “Nine Elms” is the first in a very long series. Rich characterization and a page-turning plot makes for a fast-paced, though at times gruesome read. (Anyone who dislikes graphic violence should give this one a miss.)

I enjoyed Kate Marshall’s character and her relationships with her neighbour/sponsor, her assistant, her mother and her son. All were rich and believable. Kate has more baggage than most women in their forties and she is working hard to leave it behind her – including her longing for alcohol. A ‘day at a time’ battle that she is determined to overcome.

The narrative is well-balanced. In addition to Kate’s perspective we are also privy to that of the original serial murderer who is now in prison and to that of the copycat killer who is in the midst of his murder spree.

The original serial killer case was thoroughly believable. The copycat killer was another twisted ‘sicko‘, but he stretched incredulity a bit far. He was just too connected, too rich, too cunning. That didn’t mar my enjoyment though. For a longish book of almost 400 pages, I whipped through it in record time.

In addition to the fascinating serial killer investigation, this novel was also a study of the  “nature vs. nurture” debate.

“Nine Elms” is my first read from Robert Bryndza and now that I’ve read it, I’m eager to read his earlier series as well.

Highly, highly recommended to all lovers of gritty crime fiction.


This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Thomas & Mercer via NetGalley.

Publication date: December 1, 2019      Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

ISBN: 9781542005685    ASIN: B07PJKBZDH    396 pages

Robert Bryndza began his career training at the Guildford School of Acting. He spent six years as an actor, doing all kinds of strange jobs in between, which was the perfect training for being an author. He began to write during a long period of unemployment, first comedy sketches, a show which he took to the Edinburgh Festival, and then four romantic comedy novels which he self-published, and they became Amazon charts bestsellers selling over 250,000 copies.

His debut crime thriller The Girl in the Ice was the first book in his Detective Erika Foster series. It has sold over 1 million copies in the English language, and won the Dead Good Reader Award for best kick-ass female character at the 2016 Harrogate Crime Festival. Erika Foster has gone on to kick-ass in five further books; The Night StalkerDark WaterLast BreathCold Blood and Deadly Secrets. The series was twice nominated in Goodreads Choice Awards (Mystery and Thriller category) in 2016 for The Girl in the Ice, and in 2017 for Last Breath.  Robert’s books have sold over 3 million copies in the English language, and have been translated into 29 languages.

Nine Elms, the first book in his new Kate Marshall private detective series was first published late in 2019 and was an instant Amazon USA no.1 bestseller, an Amazon UK top 10 bestseller and topped bestselling charts around the world. The second book in the series, Shadow Sands, will be published in November 2020. Robert is British and lives in Slovakia.

Follow Robert Bryndza on Twitter – or, visit his website.

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
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8 Responses to “Nine Elms” by Robert Bryndza – Book Review

  1. Pingback: Fictionophile updates – a new month September 2020 | Fictionophile

  2. carhicks says:

    Fantastic review Lynne. I have enjoyed this other books and will definitely read this one. I am not a lover of graphic violence, but if it is important to the plot, then I am okay with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Fictionophile’s July 2020 #BookHaul | Fictionophile

  4. Fab review! I bought this book recently but haven’t managed to read it yet but your review makes me want to pick it up very, very soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Morning, Lynne. He has had a fascinating life. Acting. All sorts of odd jobs. It sounds as if he maybe was surprised when he realized he had talent as a writer. And he has become a very successful writer. He should write a memoir!

    Liked by 1 person

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