A witness with no victim. A crime with no crime scene…
When crusading journalist Lydia Wright is sent a video of an apparent murder on a London train, she thinks she’s found the story to revive her career. But she can’t find a victim, much less the killers, and the only witness has disappeared. Wary she’s fallen for fake news, she begins to doubt her instincts – until a sinister call suggests that she’s not the only one interested in the crime.
Michael Stringer deals in information – and doesn’t care which side of the law he finds himself on. But the murder on the train has left him exposed, and now he’ll stop at nothing to discover what Lydia knows.
When their paths collide, Lydia finds the story leads through a nightmare world, where money, power and politics intersect … and information is the only thing more dangerous than a bullet.
A nerve-shattering and brutally realistic thriller, Blood Red City bursts with energy and grit from the opening page, twisting and feinting to a superb, unexpected ending that will leave you breathless.
The only way I could describe Blood Red City was tense. The whole time I was reading it felt like I was sat on the edge of my seat, my whole body on alert, my brain going at a hundred miles an hour as I watched Lydia and Michael fight against each other, those out to get them and their efforts to unveil the truth.
It wasn’t an easy truth to uncover, Reynolds plot stuck firmly in the shady world of money laundering, and property development. The links between eastern bloc countries of the Ukraine, Russia and the west were strong, hints of ‘establishment’ involvement upping the stakes and the danger for Lydia and Stringer.
At its heart lay the city of London, the murky darkness of the underground, a perfect place for what you thought was the perfect murder. The myriad streets, their twisty turns perfect for following individuals, the high rise apartment blocks and the gated houses that hid their wealthy seemingly untouchable owners.
Thrown onto the mercies of the city Reynolds gave us two awesome characters. Lydia, journalist, sidelined to the showbiz desk, working to survive, hopeful of that one good break that would send her back to the serious stuff. She was intelligent, determined, didn’t suffer fools and was never afraid to put herself in danger.
Stringer, the fixer, the corporate information gatherer appeared tough, but hid a vulnerable side, hints of a past sorrow that drove him into danger, kept him occupied, little room for personal thought. It made me like him, admire him, especially as Reynolds used his intelligence, gut instinct rather than violence to achieve his outcomes.
I loved the dual aspect of the novels structure, Lydia and Stringer chasing the same information and answers. You knew they would eventually come together, but never when, and when they did their distrust of each other pushed and pulled them apart.
As Reynolds peeled back the layers of financial shenanigans, as the stakes for the players rose higher and higher so he upped the danger, and the drama. Double crossing and the odd surprise crept in and Reynolds made you realise what a great team Lydia and Stringer were. They complimented each other brilliantly, treated each other as equals, didn’t mould to the normal stereotype of brawn and beauty.
The ending was ambiguous, you could see potential for more, in fact you definitely wanted more, felt there was unfinished business.
My question is Mr Rod Reynolds, will we get more, will Lydia and Stringer be back to take us on another tension filled, edge of the seat journey???
I would like to thank Orenda Books for a copy of Blood Red City to read and review and to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.
About the author
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.
Twitter: @Rod_WR email: firstname.lastname@example.org