Friday, September 13, 2013

Review: The Red Queen Dies by Frankie Y. Bailey

The Red Queen Dies by Frankie Y. Bailey is a conventional crime procedure that takes place in 2019.  From what I've researched about this author is that this is generally the genre she writes in. It's obvious this isn't her first rodeo into the crime/mystery genre.

The Red Queen Dies opens with a press conference referencing the deaths of two Albany women. An annoying reporter suggests that the police are hiding information from that public that there is a serial killer walking free on the streets of Albany, NY. Although the big brother system that exists in this alternate universe should be able to catch the killer, the solar flares are screwing up any images they may find. Eventually the novel moves on to introduce the leading lady Hannah McCabe.

Hannah McCabe is a detective for the Albany police and is brought in to investigate a new murder that may, or may not, be connected to the other two women's deaths.  Initially, there isn't much to connect the deaths until the clues start falling into place. McCabe and her partner Baxter are in a race against time to prevent anymore killings.

What I liked about this novel is also what I loathed most. The novel is set in an alternate universe that is 2019. There are similarities to our world but the differences are not given enough depth. The Red Queen Dies gives readers items such as brain-wave controlled wheelchairs, android hosts, pills that erase memories, and 90 degree weather during October in New York. All these instances occur but are never expounded upon. I wanted more of this science fiction but it was never given.

Not all things are bad in The Red Queen Dies, but I had to get my gripe out of the way. Hannah McCabe is definitely an interesting leading lady. I want to get to know more about her. She lives with her father and has quite a sad history with her brother.  I won't spoil that... readers should read the story for themselves. I also like the dynamic that she shares with Baxter. They are definitely a great duo that compliment each other.

I enjoyed the connection to Alice in Wonderland.  That's an interesting story to use as a driving force for the killer. Initially I didn't see the deal but the ending wrapped that up nicely.

Overall, Frankie Y. Bailey will definitely be on the list of authors I need to read more of. Although The Red Queen Dies leaves me in wont of more I won't hold that against it.  I am interested in learning more about the characters introduced so hopefully that will be done in follow-up novels. Fans of mystery crime thrillers will want to read this novel. Especially those who are looking for a leading lady that is far from the norm represented in novels like these.  ***

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