Today I’m really excited to have Robert Bryndza popping by the book review cafe. The Girl In The Ice is Roberts crime debut and also his first book to be published with Bookouture. From the publishers that brought you No. 1 bestselling Angela Marsons and Kathryn Croft, comes an incredibly addictive new series introducing fearless Detective Erika Foster. Already a top 100 ebook bestseller on pre-orders alone. It’s an absolutely fantastic book and if you love a good crime thriller, then I suggest you pop to Amazon and pre order it (well after you’ve read my interview with Rob, and review of course)
Hello Robert I’m so excited to have you pop by the book review cafe to answer some questions, I hope you don’t find them to boring
Hello Lorraine, thanks for welcoming me here today.
For those readers who haven’t yet heard of you or your book The Girl In The Ice can you provide us with an introduction?
I’m fairly hopeless at explaining things myself, so here is the book description…
Her eyes are wide open. Her lips parted as if to speak. Her dead body frozen in the ice…She is not the only one.
When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation.
The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound and dumped in water around London.
What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding?
As Erika inches closer to uncovering the truth, the killer is closing in on Erika.
The last investigation Erika led went badly wrong… resulting in the death of her husband. With her career hanging by a thread, Erika must now battle her own personal demons as well as a killer more deadly than any she’s faced before. But will she get to him before he strikes again?
Where did the idea For The Girl In The Ice come from?
I had the idea, several years ago when I was listening to the Kate Bush album 50 Words For Snow. It’s a very hypnotic and evocative album and captures the loneliness and beauty of snow and ice in winter. An image came into my mind of standing on a frozen lake, scraping away the snow and seeing a girls face staring back at me from underneath the ice.
You are better known for your best selling romantic comedies, what made you decide to change genre, and write a thriller?
I’ve always wanted to write a crime thriller, and I realised that if I didn’t do it soon, I never would. For the past year the character of Erika Foster has been slowly taking shape in my mind, and I’ve been scribbling down notes and story ideas for the past few years.
The Girl In The Ice is your debut thriller, and also your first book with publishers Bookouture, how does that feel?
I can honestly say it has been a great experience. Up until now I’ve self-published my romantic comedies and I vowed that if I ever signed with a publishing house, it would have to be right for me. Bookouture is run by an incredibly talented bunch, and I’ve loved working with them.
Did you consider changing your name when writing The Girl In The Ice, and if so why did you decide to go with your original name?
Yes, at one point I wanted to be called James Artin. I like the name James and it’s the name of the town where I live, Nitra spelt backwards! But Oliver Rhodes the head of Bookouture pointed out that I have a very loyal readership and that many of them read and enjoy different genres, and would follow me over to the dark side – and so far many of them have, plus a whole new bunch of people have discovered me as a crime thriller writer.
How do you research material for your book?
First stop is Google and I tend to order a load of books. I also try to talk to people too
Do you have any strange writing habits or rituals?
I have a notebook by my bed, and before I go to sleep I jot down what I’m planning to write the next day. I’m not sure if that’s strange, it is a bit of a ritual,
Do you write an outline before you start writing?
Yes, I do. When I first started writing I didn’t, and it’s very hard without a plan. Saying that I tend not to stick to it or it will veer off in unexpected ways.
How long did it take to get your first book published?
Three years – and that was when I had given up. Then someone told me about self-publishing, and I uploaded my first book in 2012.
What is your least favourite part of the writing/publishing process?
First drafts are very hard, and always found writing the product description for the book a bit of a nightmare.
If you couldn’t write books, what would you do for a living?
I would be an actor
Describe your book in 5 words?
Can I have fourteen? Bookouture have come up with this tagline that I love; She’s fearless. Respected. Unstoppable. Detective Erika Foster will catch a killer, whatever it takes.
Describe yourself in 5 words?
Driven, insecure, likes to cook.
What authors/books do you like to read in your spare time?
Anything by Sue Townsend or Stephen King. I love Angela Marsons DI Kim Stone crime series and The Cormoran Strike books.
What book are you reading now?
Do No Harm by Henry Marsh
Are you able to tell me anything about your next book?
Yes. I’m working on the next book in the DCI Erika Foster series. It’s called The Night Stalker, and it will be published later in the year.
During all the interviews you’ve done what question have you not been asked that you wish had been asked – and what’s the answer?
Is there anything you wish you could do, but can’t? I would love to be able to sing. In my head I sound amazing, but something happens between the thought and it coming out of my mouth… some kind of short circuit, and I sound awful!
And finally Kindle or Book?
Both. I love a proper book, but I live in Slovakia and it’s much easier to download to my Kindle.
Thank you Rob for stopping by the book review cafe, And good luck with The Girl In The Ice.
About Robert Bryndza
Originally from the UK, Rob lives in Slovakia with his Slovak husband and their two crazy dogs. He originally trained as an actor, but was bitten by the writing bug in his mid-twenties and hasn’t looked back. His debut novel, The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard became an Amazon bestseller, and has grown to a best selling series of five books. In addition to his recent number one romantic comedy Miss Wrong and Mr Right, Rob is excited to embrace the darker side of life, writing his first crime thriller series. He is currently writing the second book in the series The Night Stalker which will be released in late Spring 2016.
Links to Robert Bryndza
This is Robert Bryndza’s crime thriller debut, he is better known for writing romantic comedies, so I was interested to see if he managed to switch genres successfully. I’m a huge fan of crime thrillers, but the market is saturated with books of this genre, so for me a crime book, has to be of a high caliber, with a well written plot, good characterisation and above all else it has to keep me riveted. I’m so pleased to say Robert does all this and more, he maybe a new author to this genre, but he certainly knows how to pack a punch!
From the prologue I was intrigued, as we are introduced to the victim minutes before she meets her death, and from there on in the pace picks up memento. From the start the tension is tangible, I found myself racing through the chapters, as I was intrigued to see where the plot led.
Robert delivers a well plotted novel, which flows fluidly, his characters are well rounded, and very believable. Detective Erika Foster is the lead on the case, there is real depth to her character, she has a past which haunts her, she’s feisty, forthright and formidable, which provides for an intriguing protagonist. Erika has the makings of an excellent “serial” Detective, and I’m really curious to see how her character will develop in Roberts next book.
The Girl In The Ice has all the elements needed to make a good crime thriller, it has plenty of twists and turns, with enough red herrings to keep the reader captivated to the very last page, it’s addictive, compulsive and much more. This is a very strong crime debut from Robert, and expertly told, he has now been firmly added to my list of “must read” authors. I will certainly be reading the next book in this series, and the one after that without hesitation.
5☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️ out of 5 from me
Publishers: Bookouture 12th February 2016