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Red Means Run by Brad Smith
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Red Means Run

by Brad Smith

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Good story-teller and plot, with a lot of showing instead of telling throughout the book. ( )
  CathyInCanada | Jun 25, 2015 |
Good story-teller and plot, with a lot of showing instead of telling throughout the book. ( )
  CathyInCanada | Jun 25, 2015 |
Highly enjoyable. Nice characterization. Kind of a dry sense of humor throughout. This is what the first Jack Reacher novel by Lee Child should've been. It's about a wrongly accused man trying to clear his name and solve the murder, a la Reacher, but instead of being a laconic ex-military type loner with mad fighting skills, Virgil Cain is a laconic ex-baseball player turned farmer salt of the earth type with some flawed but good relationships who is quite realistic. When he's arrested for the murder of a slimy high-powered lawyer who has received a golf club through the heart (whom Cain had threatened previously), Cain starts to realize the incompetent cop in charge of his case isn't looking any further for the real murderer. Much like with Jack Reacher, a woman cop also features, but unlike with Reacher, the cop is intelligent, with professional skills, and the romantic elements between the two actually make sense. There's a rogue's gallery (as one reviewer put it) of potential murderers, the body count progresses but no gratuitously violent scenes (i just lost the Reacher fans), and the twists and turns kept me guessing. Great straightforward enjoyable suspenseful mystery. ( )
  amanderson | Mar 31, 2013 |
Brad Smith was a new Canadian author to me. I picked up his book "Red Means Run" based on a blurb which described it as "country-noir." It was a fun read, but more along the lines of a Robert Crais smart-aleck type of mystery instead of the dark-tinged noir genre. I've grown to associate the term country-noir with the Ozark-based novels and short stories of Daniel Woodrell and I think he was the one who first coined the term. Woodrell's works are a lot darker and more closely fit the idea of noir in general. Brad Smith's "Red Means Run" is more along the lines of a comic caper type of novel although it is still a murder mystery. His lead character is a Canadian named Virgil Cain who through a chain of events is farming in upper-New York State in the vicinity of Kingston, nearby the famed Woodstock / West Saugerties (home of the Big Pink house) sites associated with Bob Dylan and the Band. Cain is framed for a murder and ends up working with sassy country police detective Claire Marchand to solve the crime. The sharp and witty dialogue between the two leads was one of the pleasures of the book and gives it the sort of flavour of Elmore Leonard's "Out of Sight." I'll definitely look out for past and future Brad Smith novels as a series seems to be promised from the "Red Means Run" sub-title "a Virgil Cain novel."
Trivia note: The title of the book is taken from the Neil Young "Powderfinger" song lyric: "Daddy's rifle in my hand felt reassurin', He told me, red means run, son, numbers add up to nothin'." ( )
  alanteder | May 11, 2012 |
I think it's still too early to proclaim Brad Smith as Canada's answer to Elmore Leonard; after all, Smith has written only six books, and Leonard has umpteen-million novels and stories behind him. But based on Red Means Run, combined with his past output, it's clear that Smith knows his way around the genre, and has a hell of a lot of fun navigating the terrain.

Read the rest of the review here. ( )
  ShelfMonkey | May 8, 2012 |
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"It is easier to stay out than to get out." - Mark Twain
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The rain that had threatened all day finally retreated without delivering a single drop; the heavy clouds scattered to the east and the late afternoon sun breached the tall windows in the office, banking off the bookshelves on the wall opposite where Mickey Dupree sat, leaning back in his chair, his feet up on the desk, his passive expression belying the impatience lingering within.
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Mickey Dupree is one of the most successful criminal attorneys in upstate New York. The upside of being Mickey: he has never lost a capital murder case. The downside: Mickey has a lot of enemies, and one of them has just driven the shaft of a golf club through his heart, leaving him dead in a sand trap at his exclusive country club. The cops, led by a gung ho but dim-witted detective named Joe Brady, focus their attentions on Virgil Cain. Just two weeks earlier, Virgil told a crowded bar that "somebody ought to blow Mickey's head off," after the slippery lawyer earned an acquittal for Alan Comstock, the man accused of murdering Virgil's wife. Comstock, a legendary record producer, gun nut, and certifiable lunatic, has returned to his estate, where he lives with his wife, the long-suffering Jane. Virgil is convinced that the fix is in when Brady immediately throws him into jail with no investigation. So Virgil escapes from custody, determined to find Mickey's killer himself. His only ally is the smart and sexy Claire Marchand, a detective who is at least willing to consider that Virgil may be telling the truth. Now it's up to Virgil to prove his innocence, and to do that he needs to find the killer. Before the killer finds him.… (more)

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