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Killing Red Mass Market Paperback – May 27 2009

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Pinnacle - Kensington; 1 edition (May 27 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786020326
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786020324
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 2.8 x 17.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,693,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 30 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
action-packed riveting thriller June 6 2009
By Harriet Klausner - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Kenneth Lee Grubb kidnapped and killed nine children he believed were demons and also sanctioned by God's blessing needed to send back to hell. Only Annie Sykes escaped his execution; she gave the police his description and directions to his home. He was caught, tried and convicted to die.

Reporter Alex Chapa covered the gruesome story for the Tri-Cities Bulletin fifteen years ago. That story gave him recognition that led to his current position with the more prestigious Chicago Record. Six days before the State executes him, Grubb calls Chapa inviting him to interview him. In between his boasts of being a weapon for the good of mankind, he informs him that a copy cat serial killer is repeating his murders; only this predator plans to finish the job he failed to complete, killing "Red" as he calls Sykes. Alex quickly learns there are nine people dead as homage by someone to Grubb. Chapa vows to find and keep Annie safe not fully understanding the devilish scheme of Grubb's "protégé".

Readers will enjoy Henry Perez's strong first tale because the key characters come across as real. Grubb especially is a fascinating antagonist in a macabre sense as he invokes the need to be rid of demons for killing the children. Alex is a solid reporter, but proves he is made of the right stuff as he follows up on Grubb's rant risking his life to keep a woman he does not know outside of her childhood testimony safe. Fast-paced from the onset, readers will enjoy this action-packed riveting thriller as murder is done in the name of getting rid of demons that look like children.

Harriet Klausner
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Three cheers for the Fourth Estate June 15 2009
By John Sandrolini - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book grabbed me by the throat. I devoured its 400 pages in four readings, which is a new indoor record for me. Killing Red has, shall I say, the bones of a great thriller: troubled hero, damsel in distress, black-hearted central villain and a cast of characters every bit as colorful as "The Usual Suspects."

Henry Perez adds to this mix great pacing and true suspense. I didn't see the last turn coming but it's a good one. This book surprised throughout with its humanism, humor and whodunit twists.

Beyond that, Perez's treatment of his protagonist is first-rate. I really care about this guy and his all-too-real human weaknesses. Reporter Alex Chapa may have been born in Cuba but his willingness to take on his own dark past in his search for redemption makes him as 100% American as Rick Blaine.

Somebody wants to kill Red but you just have the sense that ain't gonna happen on Alex Chapa's watch, even if he has no idea how he'll stop them. He's smart, resourceful and relentless, his brain and his heart his best weapons against the array of dark forces around him.

I am definitely looking forward to another round of drinks at Prather's while I read Alex's next adventure. Hope it's soon.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3 1/2 Stars Aug. 1 2009
By Lynn McNamee - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

I enjoyed the plot and the writing style was very good.

Chapa is an interesting protagonist. I've always enjoyed books where the 'hero' has his own faults and is not invincible.

The ending was fascinating and unpredictable.


In the first quarter of the book, there is a lot of repetition with switiching of viewpoints, much of which I felt was unnecessary to the storyline.

The middle of the book dragged quite a bit, bogging the reader down with unnecessary scenes.


An interesting read which mystery/thriller readers will enjoy.

Length: Full Novel

Rating: PG-13 for mild violence. (The author did a great job of not trying to 'shock' readers with blood and gore.)
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Killer Debut Thriller June 9 2009
By R.H. Packer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Alex Chapa is a veteran newspaper reporter struggling with the end of the newspaper era and of his own family. He is covering the upcoming execution of Kenneth Lee Grubb, serial killer of "demon" children on a self-proclaimed mission from God. The story of the capture and arrest of Grubb following the escape of a girl named Annie Sykes sixteen years ago made Alex's career.

Now Grubb has requested an interview with Alex, to reveal that he has a copycat who is paying tribute to him by continuing his "mission", including making sure that Annie (whom Grubb called "Red") is finally dead.

As Alex tries to juggle finding Annie in time to save her and breaking what could be a career-saving story, he realizes that not only is Annie in danger, but others as well.

As I read Killing Red, I found it hard to believe that it was a debut effort. The maturity of writing and the very deft touch with a turn of phrase seemed to be far beyond that of a first-time author. Description is handled adroitly - enough to be vivid, not so much that it drowns out the story. The plot moves quite well and the characters are well-drawn and dimensional. Stylistically, I was reminded in a way of early Patterson (think Along Came a Spider or Cat and Mouse). If a suspense thriller is your kind of book - Henry Perez may well turn out to be an author lining your shelf in the future.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
enjoyable and looking forward to the next book March 7 2012
By Nolongerteaching - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My first introduction to the protagonist, Alex Chapa, was in the novella Floaters where Chapa teams up with Konrath's, Jack Daniels, to cleanse Chicago. However, it was Killing Red that introduced the investigative reporter, Alex Chapa, to the reading public. In the first third of Killing Red the young investigative reporter gets his first break as a reporter. Chapa is present when Annie Sykes escapes from the serial killer, Kenny Grubbs, allowing Alex to complete his first major story detailing Annie's escape and detailing the crimes of Kenny Grubbs. The first part of the novel, held my attention and I found my self wanting to read more about Grubbs, Annie and the other crimes committed by Grubbs.

However, Perez time shifts his story and his characters with the second third of the taking place several years after the initial introduction. Chapa is asked to interview Grubbs just days before his execution. The interview with Grubbs leaves Chapa wondering what the real role of Annie was in the serial killings committed by Grubbs. It is at this point that the book begins to slow down. The characters become a little stale and stereotypical. Annie, her estranged family and the renewed serial killings all plague Chapa who is also fighting his own personal demons. All of this just seemed a little stale.

In the last third of the book Perez is able to elevate his storytelling and he pushes his characters out of the mundane stereotypes. The end of the book does not solve all the problems of the characters and there is no storybook ending which is refreshing. Personally, I liked that. I want my characters to be human and someone that I can relate to and I want characters that I can have a degree of empathy for. These are the characters that I found throughout most of Killing Red. I look forward to seeing if Alex Chapa can continue to be a real character or will Perez make this character a cartoon of the original.

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