The launch of an explosive, brand-new series from much-admired Rod Reynolds featuring Detective Casey Wray, a complex and convincing new addition to the American Noir pantheon.
When Orenda Books decides to back an author, whether they write in - or are translated into - English, it’s wise to pay attention as they have an uncanny knack for finding and signing up writers of great quality in publishing’s busiest and most competitive genre.
Rod Reynolds is no exception. Having gained plaudits aplenty for his excellent Charlie Yates 1940’s noir series; The Dark Inside, Black Night Falling and Cold Desert Sky, Reynolds then diverted to the brutal London-based stand-alone thriller, Blood Red City, and gained a long-listing for the CWA Steel Dagger for his troubles.
Pivoting ‘back to black’ with Black Reed Bay, Reynolds introduces us to his newest creation, Detective Casey “Big Case” Wray, through a superbly crafted contemporary who-why-how-dunnit.
Set in the fictitious Hampstead County - which bears a striking resemblance to Nassau County N.Y - on Long Island, with windswept Atlantic beaches and the cookie cutter beachfront McMansions of a comfortable community, each scene is imbued with a sense of location so real, you can feel the salt spray and neighbourly judgment sting your skin.
On the face of it it’s a standard crime/thriller narrative: something bad happens and the police investigate. For some the female victim trope will rankle, but the story and cast are introduced with such nuance and style and then, credentials established, around the 100 page mark Reynolds moves up through the gears to deliver a beautifully paced, smartly plotted read that really delivers.
And Wray? Well she is the real star of the story. Somewhere between Frances McDormand’s “Marge Gunderson” in Fargo and Helen Mirren as “Jane Tennison” in Prime Suspect; too good a human and too big hearted to be hard boiled, but à point cynical and with a great store of whip-crack one-liners.
Mark these words, Reynolds is going to good places fast if he can repeat the magic of Black Reed Bay in his next few books. Join in and get reading, it’s going to be quite the journey.
Don't trust ANYONE...
When a young woman makes a distressing middle-of-the-night call to 911, apparently running for her life in a quiet, exclusive beachside neighbourhood, miles from her home, everything suggests a domestic incident.
Except no one has seen her since, and something doesn't sit right with the officers at Hampstead County PD. With multiple suspects and witnesses throwing up startling inconsistencies, and interference from the top threatening the integrity of the investigation, lead detective Casey Wray is thrust into an increasingly puzzling case that looks like it's going to have only one ending...
And then the first body appears...
For fans of Susie Steiner, Sarah Hilary, M J Arlidge, James Lee Burke and Tana French
|Publication date:||2nd September 2021|
|Primary Genre||Crime and Mystery|
Closing date: 31/07/2022
‘Urgent, thrilling and richly imagined. Without doubt his best yet' Chris Whitaker, author of We Begin at the End
‘Reynolds captures the claustrophobic feel of a small town … a tense slice of American noir’ Vaseem Khan, author of Midnight at Malabar House
‘Compelling and stylish, with devious twists and a cleverly crafted ending. Very, very impressive’ G J Minnett, author of The Syndicate
‘One of the greatest crime talents of his generation’ Tim Baker
‘There’s something particularly special about Black Reed Bay and it’s Detective Casey Wray … I felt like I’d known her all my life’ Joy Kluver
‘Beautifully written, deeply atmospheric and cleverly plotted, with a brilliant new protagonist’ Andrea Carter
Rod Reynolds was born in London and, after a successful career in advertising, working as a media buyer, he decided to get serious about writing. He recently completed City University's two-year Crime Writing Masters course and The Dark Inside is his first novel. He lives in London with his wife and daughter.More About Rod Reynolds