Red, a crime thriller with some BDSM elements mixed in, starts with a rather hot-and-heavy scene before quickly showing you how much of a thriller it is going to be. The crime scenes are grotesque but in a realistic way, a la Anita Blake books. The author, Kate Kinsey, is a submissive in the BDSM community and, as I read this book, I felt that she shared lot of insight into that world. She also focuses a lot on how the outside world views BDSM, and how many people within the community feel that they are being perceived; a pretty common theme in this type of book.
We meet Marla Banks and Hanson very early on in the series, though the attention quickly shifts off of Marla and more onto Hanson as the book continues. The romance focuses on Hanson and his interest along with his guilt for his ‘perversion’.
The plot in this book is simple, yet pretty interesting. A serial killer appears targeting people associated with a girl named Cherry and you follow Detectives Hanson and Griggs as they attempt to find the culprit. The book’s scenes usually involve setups before the serial killer comes in and murders, and once you figure out that pattern, the book isn’t so hot afterward. The story points, however, do leave you guessing. Even when I thought I had figured out who the suspect was, I found my thoughts to be completely wrong and a total twist was thrown in at the end of the book not once, but twice!
I had a couple of additional issues with the book but they were both fairly minor. Firstly, there were some formatting issues in the digital review copy that I received, which was a distraction in some ways even though I still enjoyed the book. Second, the quotes in the beginning of every chapter were useless for me and became something I just skimmed over versus paying attention to. Though some did seem to tie into the chapter’s content fairly well, they often left me thinking that the quote didn’t relate at all.
Red is an enjoyable read but, as an erotica, something about the crime scene setups just don’t get me going. I’d say that if you are looking for a crime thriller with some BDSM thrown in, this book is worth the cash. However, if you are searching for a romance/erotica thriller, this book is trash.
3.5 out of 5 stars.
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Note: Review Copy provided by netgalley.com