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
Staub noted 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