Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Red Queen by Juan Gomez-Jurado
Series: Antonia Scott #1
Published by Minotaur Books, St. Martin's Press on March 14, 2023
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, Apple
You've never met anyone like her …
Antonia Scott is special. Very special. She is not a policewoman or a lawyer. She has never wielded a weapon or carried a badge, and yet, she has solved dozens of crimes.
But it's been awhile since Antonia left her attic in Madrid. The things she has lost are much more important to her than the things awaiting her outside. She also doesn't receive visitors. That's why she really, really doesn't like it when she hears unknown footsteps coming up the stairs. Whoever it is, Antonia is sure that they are coming to look for her. And she likes that even less.
Red Queen has a different concept and is the first in a series. The setting is in Europe, in Spain. There are some cultural and government aspects which are unique. I really like the main characters.
Jon is an gay police detective who got caught planting evidence. He’s a good guy and working to fight the bad guys but he got frustrated and tried to cheat to get rid of a pimp who was beating the young girl. He is very fond of his mother and her cooking. Rather than putting him in jail, they have him work with Antonia.
Antonia is a government operative with a high IQ. She works for a clandestine unit, which also drugs her to improve her performance. The unit hides everything when she is involved in a case. She is excellent with her deductions. I always enjoy a smart protagonist. I do like the personal stories we get about Jon and Antonia as they get to know each other and work together.
There are plenty of other characters who are less likeable. There is a aging journalist, the head of a special police unit, Antonia’s father, and of course, the villains of the story, to name a few.
There have been abductions and murders of high profile children of wealthy people. But the killer is not demanding a ransom. Antonia and Jon investigate and work to solve the case with many distractions and red tape. They are willing to think and work outside the box, to figure things out and take down the bad guys. In this way, Jon is a perfect fit for the team.
The process was tough and some terrible things happened but the solution was mostly satisfying. There are a few minor loose ends but since this is the start of the Antonia Scott series I think we will learn more in future books. I’m excited to see there are at least two more books.
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