Black Reed Bay – Rod Reynolds

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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

A new book by Rod Reynolds? Yes please. We’ve had 40’s Noir with his Charlie Yates books (splendid stuff), then a change of pace, decade and country with Blood Red City. And now with Black Reed Bay we’ve hopped back over the Atlantic to the shores of Long Island, present day.

Tina Grace has gone missing from an exclusive, quiet beachfront community after making a distressing 911 call. Apparently running for her life, she has disappeared into thin air. And the neighbours are a curious bunch.

Then the first body turns up…

Reynolds has already shown that he’s got a real knack for character and place, and Black Reed Bay is no exception. Having captured modern London to a tee, and given us a very authentic-feeling 40s America, we now see that it doesn’t seem to matter where he sets his books, they all have that crucial realness to the location. You feel that you could drive the streets of Hampstead County and feel that Atlantic sea air on your face.

But a book cannot live on location alone. Enter Detective Casey Wray, a fantastic lead in this top-notch slice of contemporary American Noir. Casey’s investigation leads her down a twisted path of conflicting witness statements, with pressure from on high adding to her woes. Luckily she’s got her partner Cullen on her side. I loved the dynamic between these two, the easy banter and friendship just shines.

The story fair crackles along, with rising tensions between the detectives and the top brass, and a desperate family wanting to find their missing Tina. There are a lot of suspects in play, and it’s a testament to the writing that Reynolds keeps us on the edge of our seats from start to finish.

It’s another cracking crime thriller from one of my favourite authors, and I’m delighted to see that it’s just the first in a new series. I can’t wait to see what he’s got in store for Casey Wray next.

Highly recommended.

Black Reed Bay by Rod Reynolds is published by Orenda Books and is out in ebook on 28th May 2021, and in paperback in September. Many thanks to Orenda Books for the review copy.

Author: dave

Book reviewer, occasional writer, photographer, coffee-lover, cyclist, spoon carver and stationery geek.

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