The Red Scream

by Mary Willis Walker

Thursday, March 7, 2002

Featured image for The Red Scream

Reporter Molly Cates has spent eleven years following the case of serial killer Louie Bronk who is about to be executed by the state of Texas. She’s just published a book all about him and is ready for the final chapter in the story.

Nothing is that simple in fiction though. The title of this excellent book refers to the phenomenom of death row prisoners having a “red scream” in their final days where they protest their innocence. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot here because Louie’s red scream doesn’t really get any substance until about halfway through. This is an excellent piece of plotting though I didn’t find the book as compelling as Under the Beetle’s Cellar which comes after this one and also features Molly Cates.

The ending let the book down a bit with a rather generic heroine in peril type of scene but mainly I thought the plot was rock solid and everything fell into place just as I couldn’t have foreseen it doing, which is the right thing to happen at the end of an interesting and thought provoking mystery novel. I put off reading this book quite a lot because I didn’t really fancy reading a book about death row but it was well worth reading and the main characters aren’t in favour of the death penalty any more than I am.