ARC BOOK REVIEW: Red Queen byJuan Gomez-Jurado

Publication Date: March 14, 2023
Format: E-book
Genre:  Thriller/Mystery 

Publisher: Minotaur Books
 376 pages
Buy: Kindle | Audio


Antonia Scott—the daughter of a British diplomat and a Spanish mother—has a gifted forensic mind, whose ability to reconstruct crimes and solve baffling murders is legendary. But after a personal trauma, she's refused to continue her work or even leave her apartment.

Jon Gutierrez, a police officer in Bilbao—disgraced, suspended, and about to face criminal charges—is offered a chance to salvage his career by a secretive organization that works in the shadows to direct criminal investigations of a highly sensitive nature. All he has to do is succeed where many others have failed: Convince a recalcitrant Antonia to come out of her self-imposed retirement, protecting her and helping her investigate a new, terrifying case.

The case is a macabre, ritualistic murder—a teen-aged boy from a wealthy family whose body was found without a drop of blood left in it. But the murder is just the start. A high-ranking executive and daughter of one of the richest men in Spain is kidnapped, a crime which is tied to the previous murder. Behind them both is a hidden mastermind with even more sinister plans. And the only person with a chance to see the connections, solve the crimes and successfully match wits with the killer before tragedy strikes Antonia Scott.


I received this book free from the publisher through netgalley.  I am leaving this review voluntarily. 

This is a fast paced thriller set in Spain with subtle nods to books like the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. However Antonia is not Lisbeth. 

Antonia is brilliant but her brilliance was enhanced by the government as part of a special program call the Red Queen. They work under the radar but usually always have a cop with them to help smooth their work along. Jon is a disgraced cop about two minutes from going to prison himself for setting up a pimp when he gets recruited into the Red Queen project to help Antonia get back to work. 

I loved the LGBTQ visibility and the true life hassle that Jon has to deal with by his fellow cops for being gay especially since this is set in Spain and machismo culture. Antonia is broken. She loves what she does but it put her husband and child at risk - her husband is currently in a coma and her son living with her father who thinks she is insane. 

There is a lot going on in this book and the twisty turny mystery of who abducted the children of the rich and asks the impossible for their safe return was brilliant. I'm going to assume that this is the first in a series since there is set up for a follow up book at the end. It hooked me from the beginning and didn't let me go.

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