I just finished RED by Jordan Summers. I was lucky enough to win an autographed copy from one of Cheyenne McCray's contests. The author of Red describes her book on the inside as a "gritty love" story. It's gritty. Set in the future, America, and presumably the rest of the world is suffering from a depleted ozone layer, resulting in depletion of forests, grasslands, etc. Some animals of become extinct. The United States of America has dissolved, with republics arising, like the Republic of Arizona, the Republic of the Floridian Islands, etc. The outside of the republics are considered no-mans land, with no law. The larger cities are contained withing huge domes to provide atmosphere, protection from the sun.
Gina Santiago, the heroine works for an elite tactical team (International Police Tactical Team, IPTT) that protects all the republics from each other. Her grandfather is in charge of this agency. There is mystery surrounding her families' death. Both parents and a sister have died, so she was brought up by her grandfather. She has episodes, where she wakes up covered in blood, with torn clothing but no scratches. She has no memories of whatever has happened. Gina has a nickname, Red, that has nothing to do with hair color, and a lot to do with her expert marksmanship. Gina is an outsider, many of her co-workers consider her strange.
Bodies have been found of women who have been partially eaten and Gina, who finds one of these bodies has the gut feeling that there is more to the supposed animal attack than meets the eye. She insists of investigating, but has to do it on her own time. This leads her to a border town, where she meats Morgan Hunter. She finds the townspeople strange, and the sheriff (Morgan) seems to have an amazing amount of power over the townspeople. She is attracted to him, even though she suspects he is hiding something.
There are passages written in the first person from the person who is killing the women. The rest of the book is written in third person. There are myths of werewolves and vampires - "others' with supernatural powers, who some people believe, but most people deny. The version of Vampires and Werewolves here come from military tweaking and experiments of soldiers from centuries ago. Gina finds out things about herself and others that she doesn't want to believe.
I enjoyed this book very much. There is some sex, a few horrific murders narrated by the murderer, an alpha male, lots of plotting by various characters and adventure action. The world building is good. Jordan Summers paints a believable world with quite a lot of changes from the world we know.
Jordan Summers has written two sequels to Red, Scarlet (coming out in June) and Crimson (November 2009) that continue the story of Gina and Morgan. For her world building, suspense, horror aspect and mystery I would give this 5 out of 6 stars. ***** I am definitely interested in following this series.