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Ren Bryce Books In Order

Publication Order of Ren Bryce Books

Blood Runs Cold (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Time of Death (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Blood Loss (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Harm's Reach (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Killing Ways (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Drowning Child (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

An Irish writer of crime fiction, the writer Alex Barclay is renowned author of realistic and gritty crime novels, which are largely admired for their grounded portraits. Working within and understanding the confines of her genre well, Barclay has managed to create a strong and impressive backlog of work that’s gone onto become appreciated by both critics and the general public alike, as they use a style that’s almost a reportage style, a factor which is likely largely influenced by her time working as a journalist, along with her visual flair, as she reported on fashion and beauty for a number of different publications. Creating a collection of different series and protagonists, she would set many of them in America, as she still managed to create a grounded set of novels, along with a strong set of protagonists as well, many of whom were extremely well realized, as her many readers found them easy to relate to. One such series is that of her ‘Ren Bryce’ series of novels, a franchise which depicts female FBI agent Ren Bryce, as she attempts to solve a variety of different cases. Set firmly within the thriller mold it really manages to utilize the codes and conventions of its genre well, as it takes the format and works at subverting her audience’s expectations in the process. Based in Colorado she really gets a feel for the location and the area as a whole, as she explores it through her brilliant yet volatile central leading protagonist.

Running for over six titles so far and counting, this is a well realized and competent series of novels that understands its territory very well. Taking down major crime organizations, she is a strong and resourceful leading character who manages to take charge of the situation, despite her flaws and personal demons. Following in the footsteps of other such characters she’s a great protagonist who still has a lot of life left in her yet, as it appears that the series isn’t stopping anytime soon.

Blood Runs Cold

Initially brought out in 2008 on the first of December, this was originally released through the ‘HarperCollins’ publishing label to much acclaim. Setting up the overall Ren Bryce series, it works at establishing both the style and tone, whilst also introducing the character of Ren Bryce herself for the first time. It also manages to develop the world that it’s set within, giving it a sense of grounding, as well as building upon many of the ideas and themes that are to follow in the forthcoming series.

There are many themes and ideas here for which Barclay has become well known and equally well regarded for, as this is a clear, confident and articulate effort from her. Knowing the location well too, she has clearly gained a firm understanding of the area evoking a sense of it well, as Colorado comes alive for the reader on the page. The character of Ren Bryce herself is a very finely observed one as well, as she manages to create a fully three-dimensional persona who is not without her flaws and easy to relate to.

Starting out in Quandary Peak in the state of Colorado, it begins with the body of an FBI agent being found there on the white slopes, apparently having been murdered. Stepping onto the scene then is the brilliant, but also somewhat volatile agent, Ren Bryce, who has to deal with the murder and solve the case in hand. Heading down from Denver, she undertakes the case, but starts to feel the pressure of it all after getting put-upon by Washington directives, along with the stress of her own personal demons and the diminishing leads. Will she be able to find the culprit? Can she overcome her own issues? What happens when the blood runs cold?

Time Of Death

First released on the 22nd of January in 2010, this was originally brought out through the ‘Harper’ publishing label, marking the second title in the ongoing Ren Bryce series. Continuing on from the last it manages to provide more of the same in both style and tone, whilst also offering some surprises of its own along the way to keep readers engaged and entertained. It also works at developing many of the themes and ideas as well, giving them a wider level of scope, taking them forwards in the process.

Carrying on with many of the themes and ideas that she had before, it manages to recapture the essence of the first, whilst developing it even further. Taking place around Colorado once again, it manages to place the action on a wider map, moving it forwards in the process, creating larger sense of scale for the narrative. The character of Ren Bryce herself has also managed to develop as well, as there’s more of a finely tuned persona about her this time, with more backstory provided.

Forced to confront a number of her own personal issues and demons, FBI agent Ren Bryce is really up against the elements as she tracks down some of the countries most notorious killers. Finally she is thrown over the edge, though, as skeletons from her past are exposed, this following the tragic murder of someone that was close to her. With someone out firmly set on destroying her whole life she must do everything in her power to stop them, along with stopping a killer on the loose who is after her. Will she be able to keep her head above water? Can she stop the killer before it’s too late? What will happen at the time of death?

The Ren Bryce Series

A highly competent and confident series from Alex Barclay as a writer with an extremely grounded world, these books manage to build the suspense effectively. Clearly within her element, these titles manages to capture the essence of the thriller novel, as they carry the narrative and the character arcs well. Not showing signs of stopping anytime soon, it seems that Barclay will be writing these novels for some time to come, as there’s plenty of potential left in this series yet.

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