Title: Red Herring
Author: Leonard Di Gregorio
Genre: Thriller / Suspense
On New Year’s Day, Bermudian Air Flight 47 crashed into the Atlantic. Two-year-old Tina was among the 197 passengers traveling from Boston to Bermuda that day, accompanying her uncle and his girlfriend on an impromptu vacation. Hoping to take some weight off her friends who just lost their toddler in the crash, Holly Flynn takes over the funeral arrangements. But something doesn’t add up when the airline can’t find Tina’s name on the plane registry.
Holly calls her lover Moshe Kaplan, ex-Mossad assassin from Israel, to look into the inconsistencies. Moshe tackles them head on, but when bodies start appearing he knows he’ll be forced to answer the impossible question that he’s built a career on. What is he willing to risk to ensure justice is served?
Red Herring is the fourth in Leonard Di Gregorio’s thriller series starring Holly Flynn. Despite being the fourth in the series, Red Herring provides a thorough recap of Holly’s backstory, which involves several of the characters featured in the book. The recap is both comprehensive and natural, allowing those who have not read the previous books in the series to easily jump into the story.
The format of the book lends itself well to the plot. Each chapter begins with a brief news article or update on how world affairs are unfolding as a result of the plane crash and subsequent events, and frames the story nicely. However, there are several cooking recipes scattered throughout the book that feel out of place and better suited to the lifestyle genre more than a thriller.
The author immediately hooks the reader with not only a violent and sudden plane crash, but also the knowledge that a two-year-old girl was on the plane. This inspires not only outrage, but empathy and the drive to continue with the story to discover the unknown variables and secrets behind the events unfolding.
As with any good thriller, the book withholds key information to draw out the story and create intrigue and excitement. Despite this, there were one or two instances toward the end of the book where the words “red herring” were bolded. Readers may feel that this takes away from the impact of the red herring concept, one that is so integral to the story. It may have been better to let the book’s main theme unfold naturally rather than drawing attention to it with bolded text.
Though Red Herring is primarily plot-driven, there is no doubt that the characters only serve to enhance the story. Though on paper Moshe Kaplan should not be relatable to most readers given his past career as a Mossad assassin, the relatable aspects of his character shine through the actions he takes to do what he knows is right and protect the innocent. He is both a hero and a leader, willing to make the decisions others cannot, and will not, make. With every thriller comes a heroic, but flawed, protagonist, and Moshe fits this role well.
Readers will enjoy this fast-paced, mystery-packed novel as they follow along with Holly and Moshe’s story. Excitement is guaranteed as hidden threads tied to the mysterious plane crash are revealed. With motivated characters, an intriguing plot, and page-turning reveals, Red Herring should be on the must-read list.
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