Monday, October 8, 2012

Red Island. My Review

So, for my latest read I went a bit out of my usual genre and tried a procedural. I love a good psychological thriller where a clever but dark hero is after a super intelligent serial killer bent on driving said hero crazy and bring down the whole city with him, so I jumped at the chance to read Red Island by Lorne Oliver.

Red Island is the story of Sgt. Reid. He used to live in Vancouver, but after a grueling case that left him and his family scarred, they moved to Prince Edward Island. Otherwise known as The Gentle Island, this seems like a great place to concentrate on his family and leave the past behind. That is until the body of a young woman appears hanging from the feet, naked, and baring the terrible markings of torture. The island is not gentle anymore and the only hope for its people lies in the expertise of Reid against serial killers.

Red Island is a strong story where the great abilities of Oliver to paint a picture without dragging the description forever are put to work so well. The simple matter-of-fact narrative allows the reader to loose himself in the story, and though some of the scenes depicted are quite gruesome, it never feels out of place or even graphic. The language is also under control, without four-letter expletives thrown everywhere, but realistically applied.

The novel is divided in two stories, that of the detective and that of the killer, where one is narrated in present tense and the other in past, but both in first person. Particularly enjoyable are the sections related to the killer, his development as a killer, and the reason behind his horrible murder spree. A true study on the psychology of murderers and simply outstanding. Sadly, I found very difficult to empathize with the main character. Although he has a dark past haunting him and, maybe, going through somewhat of a middle age crisis, I found many of his actions hard to justify and, at times, annoying.

The procedural side of the story is also very aptly done, always leaving the reader wishing for more and actually paying attention to the details that true cops are interested in. No shortcuts or illogic actions are put there so the author can go from point A to point B. The book, however, has several editorial mistakes, mostly the kind resulting from merging two sentences or typos. Very rarely these mistakes get in the way of understanding or involve a grammatical mistake, so it shouldn't put you off if the blurb and genre appeals to you.

All in all a good, an interesting story worth reading.

Finally, I leave you with the blurb and a link to buy the book if you're interested.
Was it the nightmare that woke him or the late night phone ringing that brought on the dream? Sgt. Reid of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police brought his family to Prince Edward Island, "The Gentle Island", to get away from crime and homicides. He had to get away from the nightmares and concentrate on his family. PEI is a lovely place to live. The sound of the ocean crashing against sandy beaches, sand dunes covered in tufts of dancing grass...
...And then there was the young woman hanging from a tree. It wasn't a gentle island anymore.

Red Island ebook. Hope you enjoy it!




12 comments:

Nicole said...

Thanks for the review. It sounds dark and intriguing indeed.

Gina said...

Thanks Nicole!

Michael Pierce said...

I'm intrigued by the 2 points of view. It's interesting to get the POV of the killer. Great review!

Lynn Proctor said...

does sound compelling!

Gina said...

Michael, I really liked the insight into a killer's mind. Best part of the story, by far!

Lynn, this is not a horrific book that'll give you nightmares, so maybe this time I got closer to something you might enjoy... I hope ;)

Lorne Oliver said...

Thanks for the review. Some (I won't say all because I know that would never happen) of the errors have been changed since sending you the copy. Thank you so much.

Gina said...

You're very welcome Lorne. It was fun! Thanks for the chance.

Kimberly Gabriel said...

Sounds like a really interesting read! I'm intrigued by the POV switches!

Gina said...

It makes for awesome entertainment, really. Thanks for commenting Kimberly. =)

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Thanks so much! It is so nice to know others enjoy what I do. Welcome to the blog!