Title: The Girl in Red
Author: Christina Henry
Publisher: Berkley 2019
Rating: 5/5 stars
Reading Challenges: Monthly Motif - Color; Horror
It's not safe for anyone alone in the woods. There are predators that come out at night: critters and coyotes, snakes and wolves. But the woman in the red jacket has no choice. Not since the Crisis came, decimated the population, and sent those who survived fleeing into quarantine camps that serve as breeding grounds for death, destruction, and disease. She is just a woman trying not to get killed in a world that doesn't look anything like the one she grew up in, the one that was perfectly sane and normal and boring until three months ago.
There are worse threats in the woods than the things that stalk their prey at night. Sometimes, there are men. Men with dark desires, weak wills, and evil intents. Men in uniform with classified information, deadly secrets, and unforgiving orders. And sometimes, just sometimes, there's something worse than all of the horrible people and vicious beasts combined.
Red doesn't like to think of herself as a killer, but she isn't about to let herself get eaten up just because she is a woman alone in the woods....
I picked this one up at the suggestion of the Reading Glasses podcast and sped through it on edge the entire time. I love dark fairy tale-esque stories and this one really packed on the dark. Red is such a compelling character. The world building is complex and yet relatable. Often I am not a fan when a character and/or author mentions something, but doesn’t explain, but clearly is leaving it until later in the book. This story did that a few times and yet I wasn’t annoyed. Perhaps because I really enjoyed Red’s voice I couldn’t wait for her to reveal the entire story of how she got to the current point in her journey. I loved the play on the Red Riding Hood story complete with “wolf.” And then we get the final horrifying twist to the story. I was here for every single reveal. So good!
Next up on the TBR pile: