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Red Snow: A Special X Thriller Kindle Edition
“Red Snow is another Slade Slam-dunk! Michael Slade’s genius lies in being able to scare his readers to death by showing them, with perfect clarity, the terrifying banality of true evil, injecting psychotic nightmares into humdrum, everyday reality." - Jack Whyte
“This one is guaranteed to keep you awake with the lights burning.” - The Globe and Mail
“In the annals of dark fiction, Canada can claim one true champion in Michael Slade, an inventive, twisted writer of tricky, internationally celebrated macabre prose.” - Toronto Star
“Michael Slade’s books are blood-chilling, spine-tingling, gut-wrenching, stomach-churning, and a much closer look at the inside of a maniac’s brain than most people would find comfortable—but always riveting.” - Diana Gabaldon
“[Red Snow] takes Games security fears to the max …. Slade … has tapped into the terrorism fears hovering around the buildup to the Olympics.” - Edmonton Journal
“Red Snow is crisply-written, sly and exciting. Michael Slade is a writer who clearly knows how to tell a story and make it real. A warning: it’s not for the squeamish, or for those who suffer from chionophobia (the fear of snow, red or otherwise).” - Robert McCammon
“As always with Slade, a cracking good detective story; he gives shock horror a chilling new dimension—I’ll never look at the Winter Olympics in quite the same way after reading Red Snow!” - Anne Perry
“Red Snow is Michael Slade in top form with his trademarked relentless pacing and one of the most ingenious and unsettling murder weapons ever imagined.” - F. Paul Wilson
“Red Snow is Ian Fleming-esque in its narrative drive. In the canon of Michael Slade supervillains, perhaps none is so broadly perverse as Mephisto, an intellectual with a general loathing of mankind. He makes Hannibal Lecter look like a dime store hoodlum. Red Snow is another winner from Slade.” - Fangoria --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
About the Author
Swastika was inspired by the Second World War archives of Flight Lieutenant Jack "Johnny" Clarke, who flew forty-seven combat missions against the Third Reich in Europe, and in North Africa for the Battle of El Alamein.
As a criminal lawyer, Jay Clarke, Jack's son, has fought more than one hundred murder cases. He specializes in the law of insanity.
Rebecca Clarke, Jay's daughter, has a degree in history and English literature.
Michael Slade is the author of eleven Special X thrillers. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B01N050UVB
- Publisher : Headhunter Holdings Ltd. (Nov. 3 2016)
- Language : English
- File size : 739 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 245 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #537,594 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from Canada
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Red Snow takes place in December before the 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler, BC. Psycho killer, Mephisto, has a score to settle with RCMP detachment Special X in general and Chief Superintendent Robert DeClercq in particular. He also has a grudge against most of the world, thinking it overpopulated. Mephisto sets out to cause havoc, fear, and mass murder before the Winter Olympics start, while security is not as tight as it will be for the events themselves.
As a resident of BC, I found Michael Slade's views on the 2010 Winter Olympics interesting - he certainly does not shy away from presenting his views on the politics, spending, money grabbing and general craziness that surrounds the Olympic Games.
Michael Slade does an incredible amount of research on many topics for this book and is obviously quite knowledgeable about any history he presents. I found most of this history interesting and relevant, but sometimes it was not very relevant.
There were a huge amount of characters in this novel and I quite frequently found myself confused about who people were. Sometimes it felt like each chapter was about a new character and their point of view. Many of these characters were obviously from previous novels and Slade spent a lot of time filling in details of their past and back story. This, combined with the long passages of history, in some ways, slowed down the novel.
In other ways, the novel moved very quickly. When there was action, it was fast, detailed and vividly gory. There was a high body count with sickeningly horrible scenes of death described in creative detail.
Overall, though this book was not for me, I could appreciate Slade's creativity, interesting plot twists, and ability to create a truly horrible psycho killer against the realistic backdrop of the 2010 Olympic Games and real events, politics and scenarios of the time. In the end, though, the horrible deaths and "blood and guts" were just not for me. If you like gory suspense thrillers with abrupt language and lots of machismo, then this book may be for you.
Red Snow was a very quick read and the suspense and action starts right off in the first chapter. The crimes are diabolical and gruesome, and very detailed throughout the book. The suspense kept me going until the end of the book. The crimes committed are quick frightening in and of themselves, however its even more frightening to think that they could actually be carried out in reality. Though the book references past crimes and characters from previous Slade novels (there are 14 others) it is very easy to catch onto the current investigations.
I do strongly warn you that the book is very graphic and there may be readers who could be offended by the detail. That said, if you like crime books and thrillers, you will definitely like Red Snow by Michael Slade.
Special X's arch-nemesis Mephisto returns with a carefully orchestrated plan to wreak havoc upon the Winter Olympics near Vancouver. His crimes are simultaneously global and personal in scope. He's a dangerous megalomaniac with a grudge, and the resultant body count is high even by Slade standards.
Although the historical elements are somewhat lean for a Slade novel, they are directly relevant to the backstory--and psychological nature--of Mephisto. Slade connects snowy ski slopes with steamy tropical jungles in a way that is both plausible and deadly as it reveals the darkest recesses of a psycho's mind. Slade also provides some "impossible" crimes worthy of Agatha Christie or John Dickson Carr. Most diabolical, however, are a couple of memorable weapons that showcase Slade's penchant for deviously perverse murder. All told, Red Snow was a delightfully sharp, nasty, and welcome spike to this reader's brain.
Top reviews from other countries
I am a huge fan of Michael Slade's Special X series of books. One of the things that kept me interested in the series as it progressed was that no characted seemed safe. Over the years Slade has put these mounties through the ringer. Some have died. Some have come through horrifically scarred either physically or mentally. I remember reading the end of his first novel, Headhunter, and being blown away by the last minute reveal, and immediately craving more. That particular story wasn't fully resolved until five books later. I also loved the history that was layered into the present day plot, and into the fantasy lives of the serial killers hunted by the mounties of Special X. And since Special X deals with crimes reaching outside of Canada I was treated to stories with roots in Jack The Ripper, Rorke's Drift, World War 2, Romans and Picts.
So now we have Red Snow, where a villain known as Mephisto, who has thumbed his nose at Special X twice before, intends to avenge himself upon the mounties during the winter olympics being held in Canada. This time he has brought along a group of merceneries, led by Stopwatch, another villain who has slipped by. Stopwatch's mission is to kill all of the people who saw Mephisto's face during the events of Death's Door.
Personally I was really disappointed by this story. It's Slade, but it's Slade-light. All of the things I loved are there but it seems watered down. It feels like it has been abreviated. Red Snow is filled with major events for the regular characters. In fact seven of them are killed off. One of them is the girlfriend of Robert Declerq, one of the main characters, who barely registers the fact that his friends are being killed around him. In fact virtually no-one seems to show any emotion at all. The history element seems to have been given only lip service, and the plot isn't nearly as complex as it usually is. What it amounts to is Mephisto killing some skier, and displaying his shrunken head, in a reference to the Headhunter case, in order to get Special X involved. That's just lame. You don't have to kill the skier, just kill the mounties, you know where they are. To top it all off, Mephisto escapes - again. Totally unsatisfying.
But then again, this is Slade. Maybe I missed something. I
can only hope that something was left out of the Kindle edition.
A narcissistic, psychotic killer known as Mesphisto has a diabolical plot that would ultimately wipe out 90% of the world’s population. He chooses this setting and time for two reasons. One is that because security around the Vancouver Games would be focused on the Games themselves, he would be better able to launch his plan. The second is more personal, because the chief of the Special X division of the RCMP, Robert DeClerque, along with a few other people can indentify Mesphisto and they must be eliminated before the plan can be done.
There is not a lot of description about the sport of skiing or snowboarding, although a couple of the murders do take place on the slopes. The book opens with the murder of a snowboarder while on the course, and another one takes place in a chair lift. I felt this book would still be appropriate for inclusion on this site as it is a sporting event in which the story is set and some of the action takes place there. There won’t be any descriptions of the sport. However, many of the chapters do begin with a historical or geographical reference that is important in helping to set the mood or context of the events to take place in that chapter.
All of the usual aspects of a murder mystery or thriller are in this story: revenge, murder (this story does have a high body count), sex, character development, personal reflection on “what if” or “what will happen if” and a wide variety of both villains and protagonists. I thought it was an entertaining read, although at times I felt that there were too many characters, historical references and murders to tie everything together that I got confused. But by the end of the story, it all came together which is what a good story should do.