“A witness but no victim; a crime but no crime scene;
too many questions without answers.”
Thirty-four year old Lydia Wright works as a celebrity/entertainment reporter for a London tabloid newspaper. She is aggrieved by her loss of her ‘real‘ reporting job as an investigative journalist. When an ex-colleague sends her a video of a crime committed on the London Underground she senses an opportunity to get back into serious journalism. Unable to verify the video, Lydia begins to investigate – both the victim’s identity and the identity of the person who filmed the crime. When odd things happen surrounding her, she becomes increasingly paranoid. She should be paranoid, as this investigation leads Lydia into mortal danger.
A ‘fixer‘, Michael Stringer, learns of Lydia’s interest in the video and he quickly ascertains Lydia’s identity. He works freelance but has ties to some very dangerous people including billionaires, mobsters and oligarchs. Because he tends to resort to violence and unethical means, one would assume that he was a ‘bad guy’, however he also seems to have a heart underneath his cold exterior. His familial ties and backstory made me warm to him. He came across as a thug with a conscience.
When the two characters meet, there is a frisson of chemistry spiced with some deep-seated mutual distrust.
This compelling crime thriller shows the reader a seedier side to the magnificent city of London. A London sweltering in a summer heat-wave.“Blood Red City” was a fast-paced crime story in which all characters were interesting and had some redeeming qualities. I love that sort of balance.
Very much a modern thriller, set in 2018, the plot features scary, though plausible situations. The writing style held my interest throughout and I found myself rooting for Lydia and her investigation. Stringer’s associates and mission were rather convoluted and I found parts of this sub-plot difficult to follow.
A gritty urban noir crime story which reminded me greatly of the television series “Ray Donovan” another ‘fixer’ who shows both his good and his bad sides to great effect. The novel featured subjects of money-laundering, extortion, paranoia, bribery, murder and more.
Highly recommended to those who prefer fast-paced, gritty crime thrillers with interesting characters and situations.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 Orenda Publishing via Anne Cater in order that I might participate in the official blog tour for this title.
ISBN: 9781913193249 ASIN: B082P734LB 300 pages
Rod Reynolds is the author of four novels, including the Charlie Yates series. His 2015 debut, The Dark Inside, was longlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger, and was followed by Black Night Falling (2016) and Cold Desert Sky (2018); the Guardian have called the books ‘Pitch-perfect American noir.’ A lifelong Londoner, in 2020 Orenda Books will publish his first novel set in his hometown, Blood Red City. Rod previously worked in advertising as a media buyer, and holds an MA in novel writing from City University London. Rod lives with his wife and family and spends most of his time trying to keep up with his two young daughters.
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