BLACK REED BAY By Rod Reynolds #BlackReedBay @Rod_WR. @OrendaBooks #DontTrustAnyone #MeetCasey #RandomThingsTours #BlogTour

Available now | paperback |ebook

I would like to thank Anne Cater of Random Things Blog Tours for inviting me onto this excellent tour.


When a young woman makes a distressing middle-of-the-night call to 911, apparently running for her life in a quiet, exclusive beachside neighbourhood, miles from her home, everything suggests a domestic incident.

Except no one has seen her since, and something doesn’t sit right with the officers at Hampstead County PD. With multiple suspects and witnesses throwing up startling inconsistencies, and interference from the top threatening the integrity of the investigation, lead detective Casey Wray is thrust into an increasingly puzzling case that looks like it can have only one ending.

And then the first body appears, and Casey’s investigation plunges her into a darkness she could never have imagined…


This is the first book in what I hope will be a long and prosperous series. I love Casey Wray and the whole team. The action starts very early on in the story as a frantic 911 call comes in from a young woman saying someone was going to kill her, she manages to give her name as Tina Grace, but when asked where she is the woman is vague and says she is on Barton Beach somewhere but she isn’t sure where. The call then ends as if the woman has dropped it. Detective Casey Wray and her partner Detective David Cullen have listened to the initial call and head out to the area that the call had come from. Ramona Villa’s is part of Long Island’s South Shore an area under the jurisdiction of Hampstead County. As they cruised along Black Reed Bay Casey noticed that Ramona Villa’s wasn’t in Barton Beach, in fact there was around 2 miles distance between it but Tina’s call hadn’t been the only 911 call to come through that night at that time. There were several calls from people who lived in the vicinity. All saying about a young woman. The area was made up of several properties on one Road the sea one side properties the other. Tina had begged some of the callers for help and non of them had helped except for calling the police they hadn’t let her come in. One neighbour had videoed some of her rankings. One had tried to come to her aid but as she was so frantic her felt he couldn’t help and ended up getting in his car and going to work. It seemed Tina had been visiting some man there a Jon Parker who claims she just went crazy all of a sudden and ran off and he did go after her trying to get her to get an Uber or taxi home. Casey is suspicious of Parker.

Tina had a brother Tommy, and an alcoholic mother Maggie, Tommy was a bit of a hothead, Maggie had tried to give up the alcohol several times but was still hooked to the bottle. Tina going missing didn’t help matters. Maggie had received a weird message on her phone of a woman screaming then ten women then a thousand..

Casey manages to persuade her boss to let her have a canine dog to check the area of the beach to see if they can pick up any scent of Tina. But when the dog searches they get much more than they expected. 3 bodies are found all female all look to be possible sex workers all dumped like trash. But none of them are Tina. So what is happening here? Who is doing this to young women?

So not only are they now looking for Tina but also working on who the other women are and if they are in any way connected to Tina. What doesn’t help matters is a feud between Caseys boss and mentor Ray Carletti and Detective Robbie McTeague there seems to be some bad blood between the two. Casey is told to report everything to McTeague before she tells Carletti these are orders from the top Hanrahan.

This is one brilliant well plotted read, as you read on it’s like peeling back layers of an onion, each leaf reveals something else. With other crimes happening are they linked to this case or completely separate. The team have really got their hands full. But their are too many coincidences surely that means they are linked in some way. Casey is a good detective, she cares about the case, about the victims and their families, as well as her team. When Casey starts getting phone calls similar to the one Maggie had, she isn’t put off in fact if anything it makes Casey even more determined.

Following some of the information can at times be dangerous, when chasing down one of the leads tragedy strikes, I felt heartbroken. Then Casey’s life is threatened meaning she has to go somewhere safe, where no one will know where she is. But still the calls and threats come. Who can Casey Trust? I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat wondering which way she should go, I had no idea who was behind everything. I couldn’t work out who she could trust my mind was going back and forth between the two characters. As we reach the climax will Casey have worked out what had happened and why? Would she find what had happened to Tina? To be able to help Maggie and Tommy find some closure.

This is such a well written book, I absolutely loved it. Rod Reynolds draws you in a bit at a time until you are so engrossed in the story, you don’t want to put the book down, you don’t want the story to end. The characters are great I really look forward to more with Casey Wray, she has great empathy for the other members of her team, wanting to support them, and give them confidence in what they are doing. She comes across as a great leader. The type of boss it would be an honour to work for. She is strong but fair. It would be nice to see her have someone in her private life as well but would that work with the hours she works?

I watch lots of true crime documentaries and there is a real crime that is a little similar to this story, although it has never been solved The Long Island Serial Killer. A number of remains were found dumped on and around Gilgo Beach area of Long Island. At one stage it was believed a long distance lorry driver could have been responsible. Hopefully the person or persons responsible for those deaths will be found and justice served. As I read this book I did think of that case. In the afterword Rod Reynolds does mention this case. But he also says all of his story is fiction nothing more and he wouldn’t want to sensationalise or dishonour the memory of the victims and families of The Long Island Killer.

If you are looking for a new crime series to start then give this a try and if you like it watch out for when book two comes. An absolute ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ read, guaranteed. Casey Wray is going to be one of my new favourite detectives I could feel it from the beginning of the book through to the end. Love her.


Rod Reynolds is the author of four novels, including the Charlie Yates series. His 2015 debut, The Dark Inside, was longlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger, and was followed by Black Night Falling (2016) and Cold Desert Sky (2018); the Guardian has called the books ‘pitch-perfect American noir’. A lifelong Londoner, Rod’s first novel set in his hometown, entitled Blood Red City, was published by Orenda Books in 2020.

Rod previously worked in advertising as a media buyer, and holds an MA in novel writing from City University London. He lives with his wife and family and spends most of his time trying to keep up with his two young daughters.

Follow him on Twitter @Rod_WR.

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