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Red Queen: Antonia Scott #1    by Juan Gómez-Jurado order for
Red Queen
by Juan Gómez-Jurado
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2016 (2015)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Juan Gómez-Jurado's Red Queen introduces a brilliant new thriller series set in Spain, and with unusual leads. Gay Basque police officer Jon Gutierrez is in serious trouble, about to face criminal charges for tampering with evidence. He planted drugs on an abusive pimp - and got caught. His career is 'dead as a dodo'.

He's offered a way out by a man who calls himself Mentor, working for a secret European Union organization, but only if he can persuade legendary forensic expert Antonia Scott to work with him. Antonia's father is a British diplomat and her mother Spanish. After a lowlife shot her husband and left him in a coma, she has been a recluse who contemplates suicide daily and never leaves her Madrid apartment.

They start to investigate. A wealthy teen boy has been kidnapped and drained of blood. Carla Ortiz, ('heiress to the richest man in the world'), is also kidnapped by the self styled Ezekiel - her father calls Mentor's organization. Readers follow Carla's ordeal as Jon and Antonia apply their unique combination of skills to both cases. They learn that the kidnapper makes impossible demands of his targets.

Jon digs himself ever deeper in trouble, always trying to protect Antonia, who's reckless in her search for the truth. The subplots are intricate and the explosive ending sets the scene for a sequel that I intend not to miss!

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