Great book! I enjoyed it immensely. It's definitely not for the faint of heart, though. It's really gruesome even from the first few pages as a snowboarder loses his head on the slopes. Just when I thought I figured out who was going be the "hero" and make it out alive, Slade throws a wrench into the works and proves me wrong. Along with a plausible and terrifying story line, he provides plenty of action from start to finish.
The setting of the story is very timely with the Olympics just around the corner, making the madman's plot all the more horrifying. I won't give it away, but it gave me shivers when the pieces starting falling into place. I especially loved all of the fascinating information about local legends and history of the area as well as the information regarding the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Red Serge. People from the area would probably get a kick out of reading a book set in their own backyard, even one as macabre as this. I also enjoyed the little snippets of Hollywood's past featuring "Rear Window" and "Citizen Cane".
Despite being from Vancouver, the author has surely experienced a winter or two on the Canadian prairies or at least talked to someone who has. He certainly nailed an aspect of our winter on page 101:
Zinc...saw winter though the eyes of a bundled-up schoolboy. Two pairs of socks in thermal boots, two pairs of mitts tethered by a string around his neck, long johns beneath a flannel shirt and jeans inside a snowsuit...No sooner would Zinc step outside than he'd have to pee.
New Word Alert:
redoubt = 1. temporary fortification built to defend a position such as a hilltop; 2. stronghold - a castle, fortress or other stronghold.
Michael Slade is the pseudonym of Canadian criminal lawyer Jay Clarke and his collaborators. Clarke specializes in cases involving the criminally insane. There's no doubt that this background helped in creating these believable characters and plausible storyline.
For more information about this book, please visit the Penguin Canada website.
For more information about the author and his other books, please visit The Official Michael Slade Website.
I'd like to thank those nice people at Penguin Canada for this review copy.
Red Snow by Michael Slade, Penguin, ©2009. ISBN 9780143167792(Uncorrected Proof), 272p.
*(Note: The copy I read was a uncorrected proof. The quote may or may not appear as is in the final published edition.)