Monday, January 2, 2012

Red Means Run by Brad Smith Review and Interview

Red Means Run
Mystery/Thriller: 320 Pages
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Published: January 10, 2011
Source: Blog Tour
Series: Virgil Cain Book #1
Buy the Book: Amazon
Find the Author: Facebook
First Impression: In the mood for something different.
Mickey Dupree is one of the most successful criminal attorneys in upstate New York, having never lost a capital murder case. That is the upside of being Mickey. The downside—Mickey has a lot of enemies and one of them drives the shaft of a golf club through his heart, leaving him dead in a sand trap at his exclusive country club.

The cops, led by a dimwitted detective named Joe Brady, focus their attentions on Virgil Cain. Just two weeks earlier Virgil told a crowded bar that "somebody ought to blow Mickey's head off," after the slippery lawyer earned an acquittal for Alan Comstock, the man accused of murdering Virgil's wife. Comstock, a legendary record producer, gun nut, and certifiable lunatic, has returned to his estate, where he lives with his wife, the long-suffering Jane.

It appears to Virgil that the fix is in when Brady immediately throws him into jail with no questions asked. In order to set things right, Virgil escapes from jail, determined to find Mickey's killer himself. Aside from a smart and sexy detective named Claire Marchand, everybody is convinced that Virgil is the culprit. When Alan Comstock is discovered with six slugs in his body the day after Virgil's escape, his guilt is almost assured. Now it is up to Virgil to convince everyone of his innocence—by finding the killer before he winds up being the next victim.

I don't usually read books like this, the Mystery and Thriller genre has never really jumped out at me. But when I heard what this book was about, something just kept screaming at me to read it. I thought "Why Not" it's good to try something different from time to time, right?

Boy, was I glad I gave this book that chance it deserved! A fantastic whodunit that had me flying through the pages. I couldn't get through them fast enough. Have you ever had that one(or few) books that just follow you everywhere? Every chance you have you'll pull it out and read a page or two? Well this was one of those books to me. It followed me to work, the gym, to my kitchen...Everywhere I went, the book went too.

My main pet peeve with books is the Story to Character balance. If it is off, I have trouble enjoying the books. I love a great storyline, but you have to have the Character to match, and vice versa. Brad Smith penned a perfect balance between the two. He had a heart-pounding storyline along with completely engrossing characters.

There is nothing negative I can say about this book other than it went by to quick. The book is a perfect 320 Pages but you fly right through them. And although you can't wait to get to the end for the final puzzle piece to be put in place, you'll miss it when it's done. A fantastic novel!

Last Impression: It definitely paid off to step out of my comfort zone, otherwise I would have missed this gem!

Interview with Brad Smith

Tell us 5 random things about yourself

1) I own a 1954 Cadillac Coupe de Ville.
2) I watch the mini-series Lonesome Dove every Christmas.
3) I watch Lonesome Dove because I don’t “get” It’s a Wonderful Life. Sacrilege, eh?
4) I write on a 130-year-old roll top desk.
5) I am really really bad at revealing random facts about myself.

Did you come across any challenges when writing this novel?
I think the biggest challenge was to sustain the “mystery”, without making things too obvious. I didn’t want readers to figure things out halfway through (as sometimes happens) and at the same time, I needed to make sure that the feints I made here and there were believable.
 Do you have any writing must haves? (music, snacks, etc.)
Silence. Particularly when writing a first draft, I can’t listen to music, or anything else for that matter. Fortunately I live on a very quiet road out in the countryside. Over the course of a writing day, I do get up and take breaks. Often I’ll go out in my back yard and hit a few wedges (golf shots) and then go back to work. Hopefully my writing is more accomplished than my golf game! Or I’m in big trouble.
 What authors have inspired you and have been most influential to your writing?

John Steinbeck, Robert Stone, William Kennedy, Hemingway.

 If you could invite 5 people (dead or alive, fact or fiction) to dinner. Who would you invite?
Abraham Lincoln, Babe Ruth, Mark Twain, Crazy Horse, Marlon Brando.
George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, Paris Hilton, Sean Hannity and Dan Quayle (that way I can be the smartest one at the table…maybe)

Thanks Brad! It is a pleasure having you!

Brad Smith was born and raised in the hamlet of Canfield, in southern Ontario, a couple of hours from Toronto. As a child, he had a Huck Finn existence, building rafts and catching frogs and falling off his bike with regularity. (this was in the pre-helmet days - which might explain a lot) He grew up on stories - both oral and written - reading the hockey books of Scott Young, and listening to the old-timers in the village. His next door neighbor was a WWI vet who had been a sergeant at Vimy Ridge in 1917. Smith attended elementary school in Cayuga, and high school - somewhat sporadically - in Dunnville...Continue Reading
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