Video footage of an apparent murder on a London train thrusts crusading journalist Lydia into a terrifying web of money, politics and power, in sophisticated, shockingly believable contemporary thriller
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.
Blood Red City was published by Orenda Books as an eBook on 11th April 2020 and will be released in paperback on 23rd July 2020. You can buy/pre order from the publisher, Hive, Waterstones and Amazon. Or do check with your usual independent bookseller as most are now reopening.
Investigative journalist Lydia is confined to the night time showbiz desk writing articles about meaningless celebrities when an ex colleague sends her a shocking video of an attack on a tube train. She senses a story and uses her own time to pursue it. But she has so little to go on - no crime has been reported. Nevertheless, her enquiries bring her to someone's attention...
Lydia is a great character - she's tenacious and hard working with a strong sense of right and wrong. And she's determined to chase down the story, even though she's afraid of where it might lead her. I felt her determination, frustration and fear. Her colleague Stephen and friend Tammy are both brilliantly written too - I loved Tammy particularly. She's wounded and fragile, but with a real strength to her.
Stringer is suitably enigmatic. We see hints of his early back story but his more recent past isn't fleshed out until much later on. Dealing with corporate crime and corruption, he has no compunction about doing what needs to be done regardless of the legality, but we see plenty of moments where he does the right thing, and there are flashes of real emotion. I couldn't help but be drawn to him.
The story is complex and I needed to stay alert to follow it, but that's no bad thing. Banking, big money, and betrayal at the highest level. With some murder along the way.
In Blood Red City, Reynolds has crafted a wide ranging corporate crime thriller. It takes in big business, politics,city trading, kidnapping, murder, lies and deception. It fizzes with nervous energy and tension, leading to an exciting and satisfying conclusion. And was that a wee hint of a follow up? I'm not sure whether there is any more planned but I, for one, would love to read more Lydia and Stringer.
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 (2016) and Cold Desert Sky (2018); the Guardian have called the books 'Pitch-perfect American noir.' A lifelong Londoner, in 2020 Orenda Books will publish his first novel set in his hometown, Blood Red City. 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.