Red Island Reviews

Written by Sandra - taken from  5 stars

I couldn't put the book down, this is the third time I have read it and I still find it interesting, I like that you know what's going on from both sides, and it all comes together at the end, a very good read.

Written by Mary Lynn Douglas - taken from  5 stars

I couldn't put the book down, this is the third time I have read it and I still find it interesting, I like that you know what's going on from both sides, and it all comes together at the end, a very good read.

Written by EditorPeter - taken from  5 stars

Groucho Marx said that when he was young he devoured pulp fiction. Westerns. He said he remembers the stories were so vividly written that at times, he'd be looking at a page and yelling "Shoot him! Shoot him!"
That, to me is good writing.
So too is a novel that makes me steal time to read it.
If you're a fan of Michael Connelly or Dan Brown and fall for stories that chum your adrenaline like entrails to a shark--you'll like Red Island.
It's a first novel from Canadian writer Lorne Oliver but like Pirates of the Caribbean, it wreaks of a sequel. The hero is a Sgt. Reid of the famous Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who has taken a posting in the rural and supposedly peaceful province of Prince Edward Island. (Inside joke: Prince Edward Island is known for its red soil. But in Oliver's book, red = blood. Of which there's plenty spilled. But in quite ingenious ways.)
Yes, Reid is one of those cops with a hole-riddled past; and yes, there's terrific sexual tension between him and his co-worker. And yes, sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between the tormented and the tormentor. But that's grist for great thrillers like this. Red Island contains the classic elements of a rivetting airplane read or beach book but also a freshness that crime-novel readers will find delightful.
On a personal note. a bunch of years ago, my wife and I spent our honeymoon camping on Prince Edward Island. Now, after reading Red Island, it'd be a wholly different experience.

Written by Adja - taken from  5 stars

I really enjoyed this book, exciting,suspenseful, you were on the edge of your seat right to the last page, nice detail, you could imagine the characters in your minds eye, can't wait for the next one

Written by Sam - taken from  5 stars

Great read, was hard to put down! In depth character detail, and imagery of the Island. Quiet suspensful, and kept me guessing who the killer really was. Realistly scary and spine tingling creepy. Great insight to both the killers and the detective's minds. Can't wait to read the next.

Written by CGoettlicher - taken from  4 stars

 I was reading Red Island and Fifty Shades of Grey at the same time. Although I got the Kindle ap on my iPhone and the reading wasn't as swift due to the small screen I still finished Red Island first. I just couldn't put the book down! Just the right amount of character intrigue, mystery, blood curdling criminal intent, sexual tension, and situational awareness.

The novel jumps right into the action, no slow beginning where Authors often introduce the readers to the characters and overwhelm us with detail.

Great first novel for this Author; I've already contacted him asking for more!

Written by Palinure - taken from,,  5 stars

This novel takes an interesting look inside the minds of criminals and police officers by alternating between the point of view of the serial killer and the Sergeant in charge of finding him. The scenes and emotions of the two protagonists are realistic and gritty, with the author gradually peeling back the layers on Reid and Ben (the serial killer) as Ben starts his murderous career. We are given the story of Ben's childhood as well, which the author uses to develop the instability of Ben. I'm only faintly reminded of Dexter, as there is little to sympathize with Ben (Reid says it best in the end when he ridicules Ben's complaints about the world).

The way the author weaves the personal lives of Reid and Ben with their present - Reid on one side, trying to conduct a criminal investigation while keeping his past at bay, and Ben on the other planning his next murder - is particularly well done, as the reader is told only what we need to know, and we are left wondering whether Reid will pull off the capture until the last minute. There are a couple of moments when Reid is close, and you just want to jump through the pages and draw him a gigantic picture of what is going on. That element of suspense and the gradual horror of a serial killer unravelling makes this novel a stand out crime thriller.

Written by Sophie Dusting - taken from 4 stars

The Review:Plot & Pace: A brilliantly paced, well executed detective novel that leaves your heart thumping page after page with the suspense and thrill of the story. Sargent Reid moved away from the busy city life for a quiet rural existence; mainly due to suffering what I believe was post-traumatic stress syndrome after investigating the murders of four young girls. The family life is starting to wane, there's no excitement, no passion with an Island that is as calm as the waters which surround it.

That is until he dreams the murder of a girl that turns to reality. Chloe is the first of a serial killing spree which begins to consume the Island, it's residents and Reid himself. Trying to separate his personal feelings from his job gets increasingly difficult with each new murder; Johanna, Nichole... as the killer gets more confident and more cocky, the ground underneath Reid's feet and the foundations of his investigation begin to crumble.

For we meet the killer as a young boy to the current day man he has become. Alienated from his peers, with a self-image that he's "pathetic" and a deeply disturbing mentality, Ben's psychotic behaviour and thoughts develop with age. Being in control in his own world, making his own law and order is how he copes and in doing so, he believes this gives him the licence to torture, mutilate and kill women.

As his confidence grows it's clear that he is clever and cunning, with no set pattern or clues that the police can latch onto. For at first it was a one off murder, now a series of bodies, then the possibility he isn't acting alone, there's more than one killer, he doesn't appear to have a unique 'type', the methods of the torture and killing evolves... there is little for Reid to go on. That is, until the hunter becomes the hunted and now it turns personal.

Fast paced, with twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat and up all night till you finish the last page. The plot though quite typical of the genre, was still incredibly gripping and entertaining. There were a few minor details within the plot which would need to be ironed should the author write another detective novel but these are hardly worth of note to the average reader.

Setting: For me the setting of the book, on Prince Edward Island, located off the coast of mainland Canada, was brilliantly atmospheric. The island seemed to be the typical ghost town; eerily quite during the off-peak tourist season and where everyone knows everyone else's business but still manage to keep themselves to themselves. The red sand and references to red throughout the novel really create this feeling that there is a deep disturbing secret underlying the island which no one wants to admit; (plus leading to a great title for the book itself). I almost had a strange sense of deja vu when reading the novel; the setting really reminded me of the film Insomnia - if you've seen the film you'll understand what I mean.

Characters: If the plot was slightly stereotypical, the characters took it to the extreme. I had issues with Sargent Reid from the start; he clearly had PTS and his own psychological problems to contend with; part of me wandered why he was still employed as it was obvious from the beginning the boundaries of his professional and personal life were becoming blurred. I don't know why none of the other detectives picked it up. That said you knew he would be a digger, contemplating the minute details of the case and really give you an insight into the detective world. The use of Police acronyms also added to the realism.

The serial killer, Ben, was also very cliched; he started killing animals first (a typical personality trait in psychopaths), had issues growing up, was not accepted by his peers, was sexually frustrated etc. On the other hand, we also saw how he had used these traits to blend into society so that no one suspected him; he had a dual personality in a sense or was a very good actor. It gave a different perspective other than he was just born to kill; he was born with the traits but society turned him into the killer.

Language Used & Dialogue: The description was absolutely wonderful and the literary techniques employed by the author were great. To give one example, when the pathologists are examining Chloe at the site of her hanging, we are given a description of her body that is used to inform her personality. This departs from the usual formal identification by family member, researching into her life etc.

I also really liked how the author used all of your senses in the novel. Drip, red and other adjectives were used really effectively so that it bought the story to life.

The dialogue was good but not fantastic. Mainly as the stereotypical personalities of the characters also came out in some of the dialogue: "Somebody saw something. Someone is talking out there" and "I want to
know these women better than I know myself". It's slightly cringe-worthy which is quite disappointing.

Narration: The chapters alternate between Reid's narrative in the first person and Ben's in the third. The narrative itself is very good especially in regards to the build up and back story to Ben's life. Following both the detective and serial killer meant you could piece together little bits of the puzzle as you went along. Firstly, (when not knowing that Ben was the serial killer) you try to find clues and work out how he's involved in the plot. Then later, you try to jump a step or two ahead, work out his next move and when the two main characters will collide.

Themes & Ideas: Though the book is not remarkably original and in some case quite obvious there is still an element of unpredictability. I think if you really like the good guy vs bad guy, similar and familiar characters and detective novel set up, you'll love it. But I don't think it pushes the boundaries hard enough.

Overall Verdict: All in all a very enjoyable and gripping book which delivers on many levels. Though in some instances it was very stereotypical of the genre, it is still a great detective thriller in it's own right. I would love to see a follow-up and turn Reid's character into a detective series. Definitely an author to watch out for. 4* Stars.

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