A witness but no victim. A crime but 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.
A big thank you to Anne Cater & Random Things Tours for inviting me on the blog tour for Blood Red City. I love true crime and absolutely adored Rod’s previous book, The Dark Inside, which vividly depicts the Texarkana murders and I absolutely could not wait to get stuck into Blood Red City after reading the blurb– and let me tell you, I got so engrossed that I’ve lost a fair bit of sleep myself across lockdown as I could not stop reading til I found out the truth…
Blood Red City introduces us to Lydia who is presented with video footage of a brutal crime and feels determined that this might pave her way back into the crime writing career she craves in this compelling and gripping read. Lydia is tired of reporting on entertainment and is desperate to reenter a more challenging form of journalism, only to find herself caught up in events that are far far worse than she could ever have imagined.
If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll know that I absolutely love books that pacey and full of twists and turns and seek them out whenever I can. That’s why I loved Blood Red City so much. It’s the sensation of being totally caught up in the story and suspending disbelief as you get caught up in Lydia’s situation and not being able to rest until you know what happens and you reach the resolution. I was so drawn in that Mr Ontheshelf went without his promised steak dinner last Thursday as I just HAD to know what happened…
When Lydia decides that the assault on the Underground spells a fresh start for her career, she hasn’t taken into account the impact of ‘fake news’ on crime stories as the questions are raised about the veracity of the footage and she cannot find any witnesses for love nor money. Little could she ever have anticipated encountering someone like Michael Stringer and being caught up in such a web of hostility and danger as he attempts to put a stop to her concerted investigation and determination to uncover the truth.
If you are a fan of Orenda Books, you will know that Karen often seems to select books for publication where the characters often believe that they know what’s best for them, only to discover to their peril that the truth is very far from their initial estimation, and Lydia indeed runs true to form. As her initial investigative plans begin to unavel and she begins to see the inherent danger of tangling with someone with Stringer’s background, it becomes apparent that the truth behind this ‘Underground’ crime might be very different that she first presumed, and it seems to Lydia that in her pursuit of a more exciting career she might just have stirred up a hornet’s nest of nefarious activities and dark deeds that lurk beneath the surface of this Blood Red city itself
I loved the way that the character of Lydia springs to life off the page and how her gutsy determination to ‘follow the story’ takes her in a totally different direction than she’d first anticipated. I get totally drawn in my novels that are full of twists and turns so it added a dimension of intrigue that Lydia and Stringer have a unique sparring sense of chemistry that definitely adds a frisson to the investigation and I navigated myself through the dark side streets of this story, picking my way forward carefully just like Lydia does as it is increasingly hard for her to know exactly whose truth to believe and how to keep herself on track in an investigation that she definitely no longer feels totally in control of.
Lydia’s spirit and drive and the way we are constantly kept on our toes means that you’ll race through Blood Red City at a breakneck pace. I hate spoilers, so all I’ll say is that you won’t be disappointed. This is a sure-fire summer pageturner and deserves to win Rod Reynolds an army of new fans and people who – like me – are longing to find out ‘What Lydia Did Next’
Get yourself a copy here and enjoy a roaring good crime read with a gritty and believable atmosphere that would spring to life on the screen and is crying out for an adaptation…
Writer on The Shelf
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 and Cold Desert Sky; the Guardian has called the books “Pitch-perfect American noir.”
A lifelong Londoner, Blood Red City is his first novel set in his hometown. 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 spends most of his time trying to keep up with his two young daughters.