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Blood Red City by Rod Reynolds

Writing.ie | Book Reviews | Crime/Thriller

By Swirl and Thread

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Blood Red City is the latest novel from Rod Reynolds, the critically acclaimed author of Cold Desert Sky (2018). Published with Orenda Books, Blood Red City is described as ‘a nerve-shattering and brutally realistic thriller….bursts with energy and grit from the opening page, twisting and feinting to a superb, unexpected ending that will leave you breathless’.

Lydia Wright works the night shift for a newspaper, uploading celebrity gossip online. This is not where she had planned to be working at this stage of her career. As a journalist, Lydia wanted to be working on ‘real’ news but a previous incident resulted in Lydia pulling the wrong strings and she got relegated to celebrity gossip. A rap on the knuckles for Lydia, a demotion of sorts but one she knows, if she patiently bides her time, that she will move on from.

When Lydia gets sent a video of what appears to be a very violent attack on the tube, she feels her hair prickle. What she is seeing is a potential murder but who is it and why was she sent this video? Lydia is wary but her initial instinct is excitement. This could be her big break, her chance to revive her obviously flagging career. As Lydia starts digging, it some becomes clear that there is something much darker, more sinister involved than she could have imagined.

Michael Stringer is a fixer, a man privately hired to help solve problems. He gathers useful information for folk at a price. Michael isn’t particularly fussy about his clients origins. Money is all Michael wants. Michael is on a specific case when the existence of this video is brought to his attention. This video changes everything for Michael and he needs to quickly discover the truth. He needs to know the exact detail of what Lydia has but is Lydia willing to trade information with him?

As Lydia attempts to unravel the truth about this shocking video, all paths are closed off to her. No one seems to be aware of it. There is no other evidence of an attack taking place on a train. But Lydia knows what she has seen. Lydia knows there is a story here and when she crosses paths with Michael Stringer she begins to realise how far the tentacles of power are reaching.

Lydia Wright and Michael Stringer are an interesting pairing. Michael’s past is intriguing and we are provided with just a glimpse into his background. We also get an insight into Lydia’s motivations as a journalist, someone who will follow a story right through to the end.

Blood Red City is a thriller set right in the heart of London. Money, politics, greed, corruption and power all play pivotal roles in this thrilling and engrossing tale. Wealth can create some very nasty, single-minded people and Rod Reynolds depicts the nefarious and unscrupulous nature of their behaviour with great authenticity. Blood Red City features London as one of it’s central characters, giving the reader a real sense of the darker, seedier side of the city. Urban noir gives personality to the streets, the places, the locations where the story unravels, allowing the reader to completely immerse themselves in the action.

Blood Red City is a very sophisticated tale of shady financial dealings with very unethical and criminal behaviour. It is a read that requires complete focus as the full complexity behind the truth is revealed. It is a fast-paced, gritty, tense story that keeps the reader on edge throughout, a book that completely captivated my attention.

I sense a sequel may be around the corner *crosses fingers*

(c) Swirl and Thread

Order your copy online here.

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