Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Book Review: Blood Red by Wendy Corsi Staub

Kerry Hammond is here today reviewing Wendy Corsi Staub's new book, Blood Red. Don't you just love the title? 

Blood Red by Wendy Corsi Staub is Book One in the exciting new Mundy’s Landing Trilogy. It came out today, September 29 in Mass Market Paperback by William Morrow publishers. Wendy is a New York Times Bestselling author who has written more than 80 novels. With her celebrated and lengthy career, I’m not sure how I missed reading her for so long, but I’m glad I finally made the discovery. The synopsis I saw describing Blood Red sounded so dark and disturbing that I was immediately drawn in, and I knew I had to read it.

Mundy’s Landing is a picturesque town in New York State’s Hudson Valley. We learn, however, that the town hasn’t always been idyllic. As the residents set out to celebrate the 350 year anniversary, we learn that there was a disturbing incident of cannibalism when the town was first settled. More recently, albeit 100 years ago, a string of murders horrified the town. To this day, the crimes have gone unsolved, but the locals have never forgotten. Mundy’s Landing even hosts a convention each year where attendees try to solve the cold case known as the Sleeping Beauty Murders. My kind of town, I have to say.
Rowan Mundy is a teacher at the local elementary school. She moved back to her childhood home town with her family to live a peaceful life. Her last name is no coincidence, her husband is related to the founding family of the town. One day Rowan receives a package. What she finds inside takes her back to an event in her past she thought was behind her. The event is a secret she has kept all this time, one that only one other person should know. If that person sent it, it’s a sick joke. If it was sent by someone else, the thought is even more disturbing. Rowen sets out to find out who knows her secret, and the impact to her family if it comes to light. All the while, a psychotic killer known to us only as Casey, is slowly headed toward town, killing young female redheads on the way.

At the end of each chapter the author inserts a newspaper article from the Mundy’s Landing Tribune Archives. These date from 1916 to present day and the reader is able to learn more about the history and charm of the town, as well as additional clues to the events that are unfolding present day.  We also get glimpses into Casey’s story during the occasional chapters from the murderer’s point of view.

The book was intriguingly well-written. The way the author unwound the story piece by piece kept me glued to the book. Don’t be put off by the fact that you know the killer’s name from the beginning. The who and why are the important pieces to the puzzle, and those aren’t easily figured out. The characters actions, and the consequences they faced because of them, really made me think. I turned the last page and the events haunted me for days afterward. It’s the sign of a good book when it takes you days to get it out of your system. 

The next in the trilogy is called Blue Moon, and is due out in the Summer of 2016.

This book was provided to Mystery Playground by the publisher. The review is fair and independent.

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