Synopsis: He brandishes the razor’s gleaming blade, relishing their final anguished moments. Then he claims his prize: long, silken strands of red hair. But these women are merely stand-ins…a prelude to his ultimate victim. Mundy’s Landing is famous for its picturesque setting—and for a century-old string of gruesome, unsolved murders.
Rowan returned to her hometown years ago, fleeing a momentary mistake that could have destroyed her family. Life is good here. Peaceful. Until an anonymous gift threatens everything Rowan holds dear. The town’s violent history was just the beginning. Soon everyone in Mundy’s Landing will know that the past cannot be forgotten or forgiven—not until every sin has been paid for…in blood.
My thoughts: Wendy Corsi Staub is indisputably a flawless storyteller. With this latest outing she delivers a rock-solid, foreboding suspense thriller set in a small hamlet with a menacing history. Staub’s upstate New York locale is skillfully crafted. Staub fluently brings the Hudson River Valley town of Mundy’s Landing vibrantly to life in this terrifying first installment. Staub’s ingénue Rowan Mundy is good-natured, empathetic and a resourceful personality. Rowan is remarkably believable in her actions, so much so, it is almost off-putting because you just want to sit and have tea or pasta with her and then you remember — she is a character in Staub’s latest masterpiece. In a nutshell, Rowan Mundy is brilliantly tailored. Staub created one of her finest and most iconic leading ladies when she gave birth to Rowan. Rowan is a feisty protagonist who is a lovely breath of crisp ocean air. Brava to Staub for authentically designing such a memorable heroine. She didn’t skimp on the rest of the characters either. The secondary cast of players in Blood Red are superbly fleshed out.
Staub deftly knows how to manipulate your heart rate enough to make your Fitbit take notice.
You can’t help turning the pages and holding your breath until you find out where this creepy, tightly-crafted, and highly addicting thrill ride is going. Blood Red is chockful of gasps and shudders but isn’t a gore fest.
Blood Red is a definite winner in this macabre powerhouse’s impressive cache. This tense suspense page-turner illustrates Staub is not at the top of her game, but is the game!
Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco
Review first appeared in Long Island Book Reviews Examiner.