Deep RED is the concluding novel of a trilogy that began with RED and continued in Blood RED, author Paul Kane’s twisted take on the Little Red Riding Hood tale. It’s a book that can be read as a standalone so it’s not essential to have read the first two, as there’s a handy recap before the novel begins, although if this third volume is anything to go by, there’s sure to be much enjoyment to be had by doing so. An introduction is provided by the multi-talented Barbie Wilde (perhaps best known as the female Cenobite from Hellraiser) and then we’re off on a lycanthropic roller-coaster ride.
Deep RED takes the reader into a post-apocalyptic world, spinning a tale that leads to the final confrontation between humanity and the werewolves who have descended from myth into reality. There’s tension right from the beginning as a major protagonist crosses a desolate city landscape, concerned about who - or what - might be lurking in the shadows. It’s an opening that sets the reader immediately on edge, and once that atmosphere is built the book continues at a relentless pace, although the author is still able to provide characters that are empathic, their goals and needs both believable and understandable. There’s an additional layer of investment to be gained from reading the first two books, no doubt, but not having done so won’t spoil the fun nor lessen the thrills.
For all that the fate of the world is hanging in the balance, Deep RED is a joy to read, a book that is thoroughly entertaining yet remains thoughtful despite the furious pace. At some points it feels like the author is almost eager to end this battle, with action-packed set-pieces that a Hollywood blockbuster would be proud of, and then there will be a perfectly-placed moment of poignancy to remind readers exactly why they’ve followed these characters right to the bitter end. Deep RED is a gripping story that has plenty of twists and turns and gloriously gory moments. Once again, Kane has demonstrated his multi-faceted talents as a writer in a book that readers won’t want to put down until the very end.
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DEEP RED / AUTHOR: PAUL KANE / PUBLISHER: SHORT SCARY TALES PUBLICATIONS / RELEASE DATE: 26TH NOVEMBER