When a young woman vanishes from an exclusive oceanfront community, Detective Casey Wray’s investigation plunges her into a darkness she could never have imagined … Breathtaking, unnerving contemporary American Noir.
When a young woman makes a distressing middle-of-the-night call to 911, apparently running for her life in a quiet, exclusive beachside neighbourhood, miles from her home, everything suggests a domestic incident.
Except no one has seen her since, and something doesn’t sit right with the officers at Hampstead County PD. With multiple suspects and witnesses throwing up startling inconsistencies, and interference from the top threatening the integrity of the investigation, lead detective Casey Wray is thrust into an increasingly puzzling case that looks like it’s going to have only one ending…
And then the first body appears…
Hi and welcome to my review of Black Reed Bay!
Boy oh boy, what a ride this was! I’m just gonna go ahead and say it: Black Reed Bay is everything a crime novel, and more specifically a police procedural, should be and if you pick up only one crime novel this year, make it this one!
Black Reed Bay hits the ground running and the action and suspense do not let up until the final pages. As I type this, I have just finished reading, and my hands are still shaking from the adrenaline rush my body has had to process. Bloody hell but this must have been detrimental to my health!
Black Reed Bay is the first instalment featuring detective Casey Wray, and I’ll be waiting with baited breath until the next one lands. No pressure at all, Rod, but please get a move on! Casey is such a brilliant protagonist. She’s a smart cookie and a tough one at that. All her time and energy go to the job, which she puts her heart and soul into, and of course she has some regrets, don’t we all, but she’s not the tormented soul the average police procedural protagonist tends to be and I found her a very refreshing lead.
Black Reed Bay does not pull any punches and Rod Reynolds is not afraid to put his characters through the wringer, and it works like a charm. Everything about Black Reed Bay feels real and authentic, from its brilliant setting in small-town USA to the various investigations Casey and her team deal with.
Black Reed Bay is an intelligent and super addictive high-octane action thriller / crime novel / police procedural, call it what you want, but call it excellent, because that is what it is first and foremost. Impressive writing, well-rounded characters, oodles of atmosphere, tons of suspense until the riveting finale – so much so that for a while there I was worried it would end on a massive cliffhanger – and that certain je-ne-sais-quoi that is vital but so hard to define, but whatever it is, Black Reed Bay has it in spades. Need I spell it out? Highly recommended!
Massive thanks to Orenda Books for the gorgeous proof copy. All opinions are still my own.
Black Reed Bay is out in all digital formats and paperback, get it directly from Orenda Books here.