Kate Marshall

Created by Robert Bryndza

“Would it ever be over?”
–Kate Marshall, in Nine Elms

There was a whole bunch of Thomas & Mercer-generated buzz about this one, but it was just a little too woozy for me; too much like a soggy, romance rewrite of Silence of the Lambs.

In 1995, KATE MARSHALL was a hot shot young copper (a Detective Constable, in fact) when she nabbed the infamous Nine Elms Cannibal… who just happened to be her boss. And her lover. And the father of her soon-to-be-born son. But the resulting notoriety ruined her career, and she lit out for the territories.

Which, in Kate’s case, meant taking a position as lecturer on forensics and criminology at a small university in the boonies of England’s south coast, far away from London. There she manages to raise her son and work on her not-drinking and her PTSD. Until fifteen years later, Kate is approached by the Murrays, a couple who believe Caitlyn, their then-sixteen-year-old daughter who disappeared in 1990, was actually the first victim of the original killer, and beg Kate to find their daughter’s body.

Meanwhile, a copycat seems to have picked up exactly where the Nine Elms killer left off.

Reluctantly, Kate takes the case, of course. Fortunately, she’s got her young, hunky (of course) research assistant, Tristan Harper, on hand to help out.

I dunno–the writing is solid, and the shifting viewpoint between Kate and ol’ Mister Elms, languishing in the looney bin, ratchets up the tension nicely, but there’s such a confluence of gee whiz plot twists and big, steaming hunks of coincidence slathered on here, that I just couldn’t get into it. Perhaps the sequel, Shadow Sands (2020), wherein Kate and Tristan tackle another serial killer (of course), will be a little more grounded.

Or maybe the answer to Kate’s question, “Will it ever be over?” is, sadly, “No.” Because book number three also has them on the trail of… a serial killer.


British author Robert Bryndza is also the author of the bestselling Detective Erika Foster series, and his books have been translated into twenty-eight languages. In addition to crime fiction, Robert has published a bestselling series of romantic comedies. He lives in Slovakia.


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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