“Blood Red” by Wendy Staub focuses on a small town in the USA, which must come to grips with a serial killer. The book’s setting, Mundy’s Landing, in New York’s Hudson Valley, is presented as a character, the focal point of the story.
The Historical Society memorializes the Sleeping Beauty murders of 1916, and has become legendary throughout the celebrations held every year. The newspaper clippings in each chapter add to the authenticity and offer some background on the town.
Known as a domestic thriller author, Staub skillfully keeps the reader in suspense concerning the identity of the real serial killer. The story takes people into the mind of the murderer and the woman is he stalking that has a sinister secret. By having the killer’s name as Casey and having numerous viable suspects she is able to keep the readers guessing until the very end of the story.
As cleverly as the author sets up the serial killer, some may have problems relating to the main character Rowan, a bad girl turned good. She was not very sympathetic and definitely is irritating.
Staub noted to blackfive.net that she based the town on what happened in Massachusetts where Lizzie Borden murdered her family with an axe. She was hoping to convey, “How family dynamics can affect an ordinary heroine. The stakes become much higher when a loved one is involved. I wanted to make sure the town’s industry is based on brutal murders. I liked the idea of a town that is popular because something horrible happened where no one knows the truth.”
“Blood Red” captures the essence of a small town fabric. People will find the action takes place off the page because it is more of a “who done it” type of story. Anyone wanting to get in the mind of a serial killer will enjoy this book.