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Great new character from Brad Smith

 I've added Brad Smith's previous books to my Canadian authors displays at the library in the past, but I admit I hadn't read this author until I picked up his new release  - Red Means Run.  And I really wish I had, because he's good - really good.

Criminal attorney Mickey Dupree is found dead at the local golf course. It looks to be murder - the golf club shaft through the chest points to it. And the cops think the clues point straight to Virgil Cain. Once they've locked him up in jail, Virgil realizes that the only way to prove his innocence is to do it himself. So....he breaks out of jail and starts to work the case himself.

Smith's forté is the characters he has created. Virgil is described as a 'clever, laconic charmer' and I don't think I could say it any better. But I would add in sexy. Kind of a country Jack Reacher if you will. The two cops pursuing Virgil are poles apart. Joe Brady is an inept bumbler completely unaware of his deficiencies, certain that he is the man. But Claire Marchand is another story - she's a match for Virgil - maybe in more ways than one. Their cat and mouse game is fantastic. The aging vet, Mary, is a solid supporting character with many of her own tales I suspect.

But those characters are also carrying a plot that is fun, fast and furious. The run up to the ending (which featured a great twist) had me turning pages at breakneck speed. Okay, so the characters and the plot are great - what else? The dialogue - short and snappy, matching the pace of the action. The book is set in the US, but I enjoyed the sly Canadian jibes and references thrown in.

Red Means Run will appeal to all readers - Smith has provided strong protagonists of both sexes. I can't wait to read the next in this new series.

Just a fantastic read - highly recommended.  (And I think there's more than a little of Brad in Virgil.... which means I'm a little bit in love with Brad too...)