A Flash of Red

December 8, 2016
Votes: 10
Audience Adult
Word Count 60-80k (average/short)

Editing, Production, Marketing & Sales

Reviewer Rating: 4.5 Stars

The Rundown

A Flash Of Red is an intriguing psychological thriller which introduces some rather unlikable characters. On the surface, Anna, a psychology lecturer, is the perfect wife to Sean, an architect. She makes his lunches, leaves him love notes and tries to ignore how much time he spends alone in his home office ‘working’. Sean adores his wife but has a secret addiction to online porn. They have been unable to conceive a child and this perceived failure leads to the slow fracturing of their relationship. Also simmering under the surface is Anna’s fear that she will inherit her mother’s mental illness. When she forgets things, she wonders if this is the start of her mind going downhill. Meanwhile, Sean, distraught by Anna’s sexual rejection of him, finds solace in porn and in playing little jokes on Anna to increase her paranoia. The strange and twisted tale of this couple’s relationship would have been a story enough on its own, but there is a third wheel in this marriage, although neither of them realizes it for some time. Bard is an intense young man who is one of Anna’s students. He too has the suffered the loss of a mentally unstable mother and thinks he has found a connection between himself and Anna. His growing obsession and concern for her safety propels the story towards a suitably climactic ending.This book is paced and plotted beautifully, jumping between all three characters in the third person perspective, allowing us into their minds and enabling the reader to understand the reality they see and how this differs from the others. I was hooked on the story and desperate to know where it was all heading. Was Anna really losing her mind? Was Bard losing his? What was Sean planning? I could empathize with the predicaments they were all in but I did find all three characters unlikable. This didn’t deter me from enjoying the novel, however. I also found there to be a distinct lack of dialogue throughout the book, with large portions of narrative telling the story. This isn’t something I normally enjoy, and I would have preferred more interaction between the characters, but again, the story itself was full of such intense intrigue and psychological manipulation that I could not put it down. I kept changing my mind about who was at fault in the marriage, and in many ways, it reminded me of Gone Girl. In conclusion, readers who are looking for a unique psychological thriller which fully explores the psychological manipulation which occurs between a couple, and anyone interested in psychiatry and inherited behaviors will really enjoy this novel.


The Recommendation

A Flash Of Red is an intriguing psychological thriller which introduces some rather unlikable characters. Anna, a psychology lecturer who fears she has inherited her mother’s mental illness, and Sean her scheming husband, who has been rejected sexually by Anna due to their inability to conceive a child. As a result, their marriage is fractured and full of suspicion and manipulation, despite the perfect image they present to the outside world. Bard, a psychology student, feels he has a connection with Anna, and becomes the cataclyst for destruction, as this well plotted and paced novel thunders towards a dramatic climax. As I read this book I kept changing my mind about who was at fault. A very cleverly plotted psychological thriller.


The Rating Reviewer Rating: 4.5 Stars

4.5 Stars (out of 5): Highly recommended. This book is a great read. It can hold its own against any traditionally published novel in its genre, and surpasses many.

The Pros & Cons

Pros: Believable, Page Turner, Plot, Surprise Ending, Unique Style
Cons: Dialogue

The Comparisons

For readers who liked these books and authors: Gone Girl

The Reviewer

A Flash of Red

What happens when you can’t tell the difference between desire, obsession, and reality? Thanks to her husband, Anna is about to find out.

Psychology professor Anna Kline and her architect husband, Sean, are a young couple in a fractured marriage, each struggling with their own misperceptions of reality. Sean seeks solace from his perfect wife in the cold intimacy of love and sex offered online, while Anna copes by offering her own oppressive version of devotion. Becoming an ever more tangible presence in their weakening marriage is the question of Anna’s mental state and whether she will follow the same path as her now institutionalized mother. When Bard, a student of Anna’s with a family history of schizophrenia, discovers Sean’s addiction, Bard’s admiration for Anna morphs into a delusion of special intimacy. Guilt-ridden with his own past failure to protect his older sister, Bard’s skewed mind begins to see Anna as another woman in need of rescue.

As Sean and Anna’s marriage becomes a battleground of manipulation, Bard privately crafts a strategy to save Anna from her husband, sending their three worlds spinning out of control with irrevocable and deadly consequences. A Flash of Red’s driving plot and multi-faceted characters detail the destruction that ensues when mental illness attacks our most intimate relationships.

Visit A Flash of Red‘s website.

Author’s Summary

What happens when you can’t tell the difference between desire, obsession, and reality? Thanks to her husband, Anna is about to find out.

Psychology professor Anna Kline and her architect husband, Sean, are a young couple in a fractured marriage, each struggling with their own misperceptions of reality. Sean seeks solace from his perfect wife in the cold intimacy of love and sex offered online, while Anna copes by offering her own oppressive version of devotion. Becoming an ever more tangible presence in their weakening marriage is the question of Anna’s mental state and whether she will follow the same path as her now institutionalized mother. When Bard, a student of Anna’s with a family history of schizophrenia, discovers Sean’s addiction, Bard’s admiration for Anna morphs into a delusion of special intimacy. Guilt-ridden with his own past failure to protect his older sister, Bard’s skewed mind begins to see Anna as another woman in need of rescue.

As Sean and Anna’s marriage becomes a battleground of manipulation, Bard privately crafts a strategy to save Anna from her husband, sending their three worlds spinning out of control with irrevocable and deadly consequences. A Flash of Red’s driving plot and multi-faceted characters detail the destruction that ensues when mental illness attacks our most intimate relationships.

Short Description

Professor Anna Klein and her husband, Sean, are a young couple each struggling with their own misperceptions of reality. When Bard, a student of Anna’s, develops his own obsession with the couple, their already unsteady world collapses with irrevocable consequences. A Flash of Red ultimately asks the question: What happens when we can no longer tell the difference between what we want and what is real?

Catchphrase

Reality is a State of Mind

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