Blood Red City by Rod Reynolds – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

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.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I had read a couple of Rod Reynolds books before so was aware of how he managed to make the reader so interested and concerned for his characters. Stringer was the character I liked reading about more. What was revealed about his troubled family life, especially his relationship with his father, his protective manner towards his sister, niece, Angie and Lydia who he barely knew. I expect that there was a lot more about him that I missed, he was one of the more complex characters I’ve read about.

I always struggle reading about journalists but Lydia was different. Punished and sent to report on the z list celebrities for going too far in a previous investigation she was hurting but knew when she saw what happened on the tube that she couldn’t stay quiet. Not as much revealed about her, apart from her feelings of inadequacy but I did admire her spirit and loyalty.

I don’t know London and I don’t really understand financial crime or money laundering but the story fascinated me. I had no idea who could be trusted or who could have been responsible for what happened on the tube. I felt that the ones with power couldn’t be trusted whilst the ‘invisible’ people, the ones who tried to turn their lives around (Angie) had much more integrity. 

A great book, which unusually for me, I would read again.

Black Night Falling by Rod Reynolds.

 

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About the Book

Having left Texarkana for the safety of the West Coast, reporter Charlie Yates finds himself drawn back to the South, to Hot Springs, Arkansas, as an old acquaintance asks for his help. This time it’s less of a story Charlie’s chasing, more of a desperate attempt to do the right thing before it’s too late.

Rod Reynolds’ exceptional second novel picks up just a few months on from The Dark Inside, and once again displays the feel for place, period and atmosphere which marked out his acclaimed debut.

My Review

To enjoy this novel, I would recommend that you read The Dark Inside first. There are quite strong links between the two, both in the storyline and relationships between the characters.
When Charlie Yates receives a telephone call out of the blue from Jimmy Robinson he is surprised and skeptical. Mainly due to boredom he decides to do as asked and heads out to the town called Hot Springs. Unfortunately, he is too late but what he discovers is enough to encourage him to stay around. Hot Springs is not the nicest of places, most of its economy is made from the casinos and prostitution. The people who live there are being controlled by bribes and threats. Yates soon realises that the people who have the power don’t want him around but if he stays he can find answers to what was troubling Jimmy and to what happened in Texarkana.
It’s a dark and compelling read. Even though it is set in the 1940s and not modern day, politics still has an effect on how things are run and each side demonstrate that they are both capable of violence and lies to further their own cause. Its likened to Raymond Chandler but I found it much more intimidating. Neither of the novels have the humour that is present in the Philip Marlowe novels. America is still recovering after the war and Yates is still trying to come to terms with his own war. I think that one of the reasons he wouldn’t give up and leave was due his own war experience, that he wanted to make amends. One of the reasons I think the book works so well is because of its authenticity, everything about it felt like it was 1946. I am really interested and what Rod Reynolds will do next.
With thanks to Real Readers for the copy received.