I’ve discovered over the summer that I really like some BDSM novels and was very actively seeking them out for a while. So, when I came across Kate Kinsey’s Red on NetGalley, I jumped at the chance to review it. Though, sadly, Red was a disappointment for me and Red was added to the DNF stack.
Detective Tom Hanson has a string of grotesquely mutilated bodies on his hands and no answers—aside from the fact that the victims were members of an underground sex club catering to singular erotic tastes. Tastes the long, lean detective has sampled himself in the arms of his former lover, a fiery redhead who offered the most erotic, irresistible sex he’d ever encountered. Until the night she’d begged for the one thing he couldn’t give, and he lost her forever.
Gina Larsen is the only one who can guide Hanson through the fringe world of dark fantasy and desire that lies hidden deep beneath the Bible Belt. Lured into her lair by a quest for justice, Hanson discovers his hunger for Gina has only grown stronger and deeper…beyond the edge of control. Soon he’s shedding his last inhibitions in the search for answers, but the more she draws him into her erotic web, the less he can distinguish between passion and duty, pleasure and pain…good and evil.
I was totally drawn in by that blurb. I mean…Red has elements of romantic suspense and erotica/BDSM. What more could a girl like me want? Well, turns out a lot, actually. I stopped reading around page 60 (well, page 60 of my Nook…I think I was around chapter 10 by this point). I could not connect to any of the characters, save some empathy for Mara, a wife whose husband was one of the brutally murdered. To be perfectly honest, I was confused from the outset. I could be totally wrong, but I believe Red is a work of fiction. However, from page 1 it reads more like non-fiction. I don’t like non-fiction. With what I do as a day job, the last thing I need is something too real. What I see in real life is stuff you could not make up if you tried and the only way to really cope and not become to jaded or bring it home is to brush it off and occasionally laugh at the stupidity of some people. So, I like fiction…it’s not real, but you still need to have some realness to the character’s personality in order for a reader to connect. I felt that “realness” was a bit…not there.
Part of this inability to connect could be because, to me, the storyline felt very disjointed. The chapters were all pretty short, each having a different scene and/or POV. While common, the transitions were awful, IMHO. As in, there was little to no transition between scene, between POV or between chapters. It was driving me crazy. I had no idea how plots were going to tie together, or even if they were. Towards where I stopped, there were a couple vague references that may lead, further in the book, to being a thread between the plots that were being weaved. But, I just could not bring myself to care to read any further.
Between the disjointed writing and lack of ability to connect with the characters, I felt I had no other choice than to put Red on the DNF list. I hate doing that, especially when I had such high hopes and excitement for a book. *sigh* If you like non-fiction (even if Red is fiction), erotica, BDSM and romantic suspense, you may have better luck than I should you decide to read Red. If you do, I welcome some feedback on what I missed!