Compulsively readable, “Black Reed Bay “ is crime fiction at its summit.
One of my true joys is finding superb new authors, – authors whose writing style, characterization and plotting hit the sweet spot that defines what reading does for me – takes me away into another world where stories are told, characters develop, and connections wrought so that I leave those pages touched by (and sometimes humbled by) the experience.
This is exactly such a treat.
Detective Sergeant Casey Wray , 39 yrs old, is a “straight-shooter” (pun intended!) – guileless , conscientious, and living the effects of the overwhelmingly “physically and emotionally draining” excesses of police work; deeply entrenched in the tightly insulated cop culture that binds officers together in mutually life-affirming visceral support and community.
The author nails the banter, the dependence, and the somewhat desperate camaraderie of the police department, as well as the earnestness, insecurities, and vulnerabilities of our main protagonist, who, in a literary landscape overrun by the quirky and dark, is breathtakingly authentic in her very ordinariness.
When a missing person case escalates into serial murder, the tension kicks up several notches, as Casey and her team race to uncover the evil that lurks beneath the upscale Long Island beach community of Black Reed Bay. Set in the marshy depths of winter, the setting is atmospheric, creepy and chilling – “the bay coming into view in the distance under a sky so cold and hard it could’ve been blue ice.”
As bodies pile up and Casey finds herself deeply drawn into the surrounding emotional fracas, her coping resources are severely put to the test. In a big-blue world where the mantra is “you can only do what you can do” and “it’s the hope that kills you”; battered about by death, terror, guilt and grief, Casey struggles to hang onto her ideals.
“Stuck on thoughts of lives lost and lives saved, and how fine the line between the two could be“, we cannot help but ache for Casey as she strains to find her way back to her core, desperately seeking an outcome for this tragic case to serve as “a reminder that there was hope to be found, even in a treacherous world.”
No spoilers here – you will need to read this totally arresting (sorry, pun intended again!) book to find out more.
I can’t wait for more to come by this author after this superb start to a new series. I know I for one, will be watching out for the next one!
A great big thank you to the author, and the publisher for an ARC of this terrific book. All thoughts presented are my own.
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@orendabooks #blackreedbay by @rod_wr #meetcasey #Don’tTrustAnyone