Red by Kate Kinsey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A serial killer who mutilates people in the BDSM lifestyle? How will this story end up playing out? Books using BDSM as part of the reason for a killer are iffy. Will they be BDSM hostile or not? In this case, Ms. Kinsey is quite the responsible author and this is a BDSM friendly book.
The main characters all seem to be rather screwed up. Detective Tom Hanson is a kinkster in denial. His complete dismissal and lack of support for his partner and former lover, Gina, was disappointing. This is from a kinster's perspective. What is also rather frightening is the way kinksters are persecuted in this book. This book takes place in the deep South. As someone who is not out to the community as a kinkster, I can fully appreciate discretion for fear of losing my job. Reading it in a contemporary romantic suspense and seeing the ramifications of a kinky lifestyle, I admit to being a bit freaked out and grateful I live "up North". The way Gina lost her job and how people treats her was completely abhorrent. If there is one thing Ms. Kinsey definitely did in this book, it was to show how terrible the Vanilla world can be towards those who are not "mainstream". It is almost an overkill yet I wonder if perhaps it's an accurate reflection which I'm thankfully not subject to.
The character building in this story is abrasive. Abrasive as in, none of the main characters are people I'd admire. Tom, Gina and Griggs are all judgmental in their own way. Tom is a disappointment. Gina is probably the least irritating as she is true to herself. Still, she frustrates the reader because she plays games with Tom. She could just lay out it straight and direct for Tom. Instead, it felt as if Tom keeps playing the guessing game with Gina and failing big time. Griggs, Tom's current parter is a pig. I can't stand him. Yet about half way through the book, one can tell Griggs is more than just a horn dog. He does possess a brain and he is vested in justice. He's just an asshat with no filter between brain and mouth.
The bits of BDSM lifestyle show in this story is hot. It's mostly glossed over. For those in the lifestyle or along the fringes it probably makes more sense than those who are new to BDSM. Since I don't expect the author to teach a BDSM 101 class, I appreciated this method. What I did find interesting was the graphic descriptions of mutilation by the serial killer.
The serial killer and the reason behind his madness is no surprise by the time all is revealed. Ms. Kinsey does a good job of leaving bread crumbs for the reader to follow and figure out who killed and why. This romantic suspense book is recommended to kinky readers who enjoy a good "who done it" story.
* Provided by Netgalley for review *
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