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  • Writer's pictureTheLittLibrarian

Red Queen - Review

*I received a physical and audio copy via Minatour Books & Hachette Audio. All reviews are my own.*

Taking an extended break from the Fantasy genre, I have a new title for you to check out called Red Queen, which has nothing to do with your beloved Alice in Wonderland fairytale. This popular Juan Gomez-Jurado written thriller introduces the Antonia Scott trilogy, which is slated to become a major television series this year. I am so tuning in!

"Antonia Scott—the daughter of a British diplomat and a Spanish mother—has a gifted forensic mind, whose ability to reconstruct crimes and solve baffling murders is legendary. But after a personal trauma, she's refused to continue her work or even leave her apartment.
Jon Gutierrez, a police officer in Bilbao—disgraced, suspended, and about to face criminal charges—is offered a chance to salvage his career by a secretive organization that works in the shadows to direct criminal investigations of a highly sensitive nature. All he has to do is succeed where many others have failed: Convince a recalcitrant Antonia to come out of her self-imposed retirement, protecting her and helping her investigate a new, terrifying case.
The case is a macabre, ritualistic murder—a teen-aged boy from a wealthy family whose body was found without a drop of blood left in it. But the murder is just the start. A high-ranking executive and daughter of one of the richest men in Spain is kidnapped, a crime which is tied to the previous murder. Behind them both is a hidden mastermind with even more sinister plans. And the only person with a chance to see the connections, solve the crimes and successfully match wits with the killer before tragedy strikes Antonia Scott."

I had the chance to duel read and listen to the audio version of Red Queen. Even though the narrator, Scott Brick, did a fantastic job theatrically telling this story, this was something I should've physically read instead. It's nothing against Brick; he was engaging! His bravado reminded me of Ben Kignlsey or a serious version of Patrick Stewart. Showmanship at its best! But personally, I connected better with eyes on a page.

With that being said, the story was different from what I expected. What intrigued me the most about the synopsis is that we would get a story based on a super-intelligent woman who could solve crimes in ways an average person couldn't fathom. This wasn't a catfish situation; we did get that in the story, but she turned out more eccentric than I thought. Think of the early version of Amy from the tv show The Big Bang Theory. The book is also riddled with multiple POVs that did not break up by chapters. Reading it would be fine, but listening to audio may need to be clarified for some people. It got me a few times.

Overall I rated this story 3-stars. The story had its ups and downs, comedic and sad moments. Antonia Scott is a very interesting character, and I liked seeing her paired with soon-to-be ex-cop Jon Guiterrez. If you pick up the audio, listen to the very end to check out the interview between Brick and Gomez-Juardo's conversation about Red Queen. As for me, I'm still on the fence about checking out the second installment of the Antonia Scott series. If I do, it's definitely going to be something I have to sit down and read.

Red Queen debuts on March 14, 2023

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