Every now and again an author comes along who makes you realise there is a whole new element to your favourite genre that you’ve been missing out on. It’s even more of a jackpot when that author has already published a considerable number of books for you to catch up on. And so goes my introduction to Erica Spindler.
I was staying with a good friend in Sydney and her niece had picked up 6 Spindler books at a book sale in Sydney. By chance I happened to pick up Bone Cold, published in 2001. I had it finished within 24 hours, and was eager to start another. Bone Cold was unputdownable – there seems to be something about protagonists who have survived terrible ordeals, only to be thrust into another, that really appeals. Perhaps it’s about empathising with the characters? This novel centres on Anna North AKA Harlow Grail, a child star who was abducted and mutilated, and now writes thrillers under a pseudonym. When her cover is blown, Anna teams up with a detective and a psychologist to uncover the mystery. The story doesn’t stop and it was a brilliant introduction to a terrifically talented writer.
The following day I picked up Copycat, the first in the Kitt Lundgren series, and devoured this one in an equally fast fashion. While, in my opinion, not as good as Bone Cold, the character development between the two main females was absolutely second to none and made for an enthralling story. Kitt Lundgren’s world fell apart five years ago when a serial killer called the Sleeping Angel Killer murdered three young girls, and got away. Added with the loss of her own daughter and the breakdown of her marriage, Kitt is just getting her life back together when the murders start again. But when a slight variation in the killings suggests a copy cat is at work, Kitt’s life becomes more complicated as she is once again thrown into the investigation. Working alongside Mary Catherine “MC” Riggio and dealing with an individual who claims to be the original killer, Kitt is forced to re-enter the mind of a dangerous psychopath before more children are killed.
Mind blowing right? And there was a sequel, Breakneck! Hot on the heels of their last case, MC and Kitt investigate the murder of a young man who appears to have been killed in his sleep. The trail goes cold as the young man has no criminal record, and with nothing else to go on the police are at a standstill. But when the bodies start to pile up, the murders come frighteningly close to home for MC. An underlying theme of the two Kitt/MC novels is one of justice – how far some people will go before they start to take the law into their own hand. We follow Kitt and MC once more as they learn to trust each other and walk the fine line of duty, relying on each other for support and control.
Hands down, Spindler is a phenomenal author. I have 3 more of her books, sitting on my shelf, calling to me…