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Red Riley Books In Order

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Publication Order of Red Riley Books

The “Red Riley” novels are a series of crime thriller by Stephanie Andrews. She believes that we are all called to save the day and become heroes and heroines. However, since she is yet to become one, she created Kay Riley who becomes her hero by proxy. Andrews has always loved classic thrillers and mysteries and the classic “wrong man” thriller as a woman. In this regard, she writes Kay as an ordinary woman that does not have the skills of the like of James Bond or Jack Reacher. However, over the course of the novels she develops to have a lot of very useful skills that help her to survive and become one of the best amateur sleuths. The novels of the Red Riley series are for the most part set in Chicago as it is the place where Stephanie was born and grew up.

While the novels have been praised for their high accuracy, Andrews has no background in police work and she has asserted that this is why she is not writing police procedurals in the mold of Michael Connelly. Apart from writing the Red Riley series of novels, she also wrote a single standing novel about a con artist husband and wife team named the Grafton Heist. Growing up Stephanie Andrews was inspired by the likes of Sara Paretsky and Sue Grafton and in fact, she has asserted that Riley to some point was inspired by their characters. Some reviewers have also pointed out that some of her works have similarities to the novels of Janet Evanovich though looking at her novels they are first and foremost thriller mysteries. Moreover, they do not have any of the romance that is very common in the Evanovich novels. Other authors she looks up to and reads include the likes of Chelsea Field, Elmore Leonard, Dennis Lehane and the “Case History” novels by Kate Atkinson. She does write real page-turners and her novels often have snappy and quick chapters that work very well with her characters.

The “Red Riley” series of novels follow the adventures of Kay, a beat cop who wants to do something better with her life. At the start of the series, the sassy, witty and humorous Kay is framed for crimes she did not commit and has to flee to avoid persecution. With the help of her friends, she finds ways to disguise herself and discovers her inner outlaw which helps her realize her dream of finding and fighting the real criminals. As she is starting out from being an ordinary beat cop, Kay does not have a lot of skills but that will not stop her from playing detective. She is going to do everything in her power to clear her name whatever it takes. But things are not so easy given that her photo and name have been splashed all over the news. She needs to find the man responsible for framing her, while evading the authorities who are soon the least of her worries since a sexy assassin is on her trail. The tribulations and trials of the lead character in addition to her sarcasm and imperfection make for a fun read. The author also introduces other interesting secondary characters to spice up the stories.

Chicago Blue the first novel of the Red Riley series introduces the lead as a beat cop who does not know any karate, cannot pick a lock, and is definitely a novice at disguises. But she is a stubborn woman and no one is going to push her out of the city on trumped-up charges. Riley will not go down without a fight. She had been framed for a terrorist attack in downtown Chicago, leaving the unassuming police officer devastated. Kay runs from the charges and only has her friends and her sense of humor to help her in keeping ahead of the law. To complicate things even further is that a sexy psychopath with a penchant for destruction also wants her dead. Chicago needs heroines like her and with some friends and quick wit she is now an amateur vigilante determined to stop the killer before he strikes again.

In “Diamond White” the second novel of the series, Kay Riley goes from amateur criminal to vigilante as she seeks to find a dangerous arms dealer. She is on the run from the authorities but everyone believes her dead and so she does not have to worry about the law, at least for now. Given that she is going against one of the most dangerous criminals, she needs to acquire the skills to fight on from the shadows but on her own terms. Luckily, she has her friends Marty, Ruby and the Shelby and a new young woman that may be the perfect sidekick who comes to her aid. Her old friend Selena Salerno also comes back and is angry with Riley for having apparently deceived her about her death. The Diamond White story follows Riley as she transforms into a crusader for justice and a master thief. She does not have the cape of a superhero or the fancy toys of a James Bond as all she has are her trusted friends, a zippy old bike and an ancient Subaru wagon.

“Solid Gold” the last novel of the Kay Riley series has Kay go international as she goes down to Vera Crus in Mexico. Down in Mexico, she gets into a bizarre alliance and is soon off into Canada on another investigative quest. She is on the trail of a kidnapped woman and the FBI seems to be interested in her whereabouts yet again. But first, she needs to deal with Antonio Negron, a human trafficker, drug smuggler and gun runner who is hiding behind an impregnable fortress. She is working against terrible odds and this is one of those times she may just fail. It is a fast-paced and funny adventure that sees our favorite amateur sleuth try to make her world a better place even as she must try to stay one step ahead of a lethal killer.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Red Riley

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