“Seeing Red” by Sandra Brown sets the pace with the first line, “Did you think you were going to die?”
Brown pulls the reader in with her writing style and structure. The prologue starts with a snippet of “the event” and then the reader flashes back to six days earlier and a tantalizing question. Next, the reader returns to the present after “the event,” and things are wrong, terribly wrong. How did all these events fit together? Well, we shall see.
The piece by piece unveiling of “truths” is one of the strengths of this book, so I do not want to give away too much of the plot. Kerra Baily is a TV reporter, Major Trapper is retired U.S. Army and national hero, and John Trapper is his son with a questionable past. They converge in a small Texas town when Kerra wants to interview the Major on the 25th anniversary of the event that made him a national hero, his rescue of a child from a building as shown in a Pulitzer-winning photo.
There are more questions than answers. What is so special about that photo? Why is Kerra Baily so sure she can get an interview with The Major who has spurned public appearances for the past few years? Why did The Major’s son, Trapper, lose his job with ATF, and why is he so angry with everyone?
The story dynamics shift from person to person, so readers follow the “chase” from all perspectives. The action is very dialogue driven, and details, feelings, and interpretations come out through those personal interactions. The question is always who will be triumphant in the end. Behind it all, are those secrets, big secrets.
New players drop into the storyline one by one. They are complex, believable, but flawed. Everyone is cloaked in mystery, darkness, and secrecy. No one is really who he or she appears to be, and it is almost impossible to separate the “good” guys from the “bad” because the players keep changing places. As they play a game of “¿Quién es más macho?” the body count rises, and with every new body comes a new complication. The past comes screaming into the present, and not everyone is happy with the result. Things end, but they do not end well for everyone involved.
I received a copy of “Seeing Red” from Grand Central Publishing, Sandra Brown, and NetGalley in exchange for my impartial review. I enjoyed the book and its complex family alliances and friendships. The fast-paced, gripping plot made this a compelling book. I highly recommend it, but readers should be mindful that the plot contains some adult situations as part of the plot line, thus only 4 stars.