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Red Snow (SPECIAL X THRILLER Book 13) [Kindle Edition]

Michael Slade
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: £2.86 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

Someone is bushwhacking athletes preparing for the Winter Olympics.

Soon, a winter whiteout and a madman’s gang of mercenaries cut Whistler Mountain off from the rest of the world.

Bent on a bloody vendetta, Mephisto sets his sights on Chief Superintendent DeClercq. His plan includes assassinating those closest to the Mountie. And that's just the start of his doomsday scheme.

To stop the megalomaniac, Special X psycho-hunters (and the reader) must solve two whodunits, two howdunits, two locked room puzzles, and a dying message.

Let the games begin!

* * *

"Just in time to scare the liver out of people heading for the Olympics. This one is guaranteed to keep you awake with the lights burning." - The Globe and Mail

"A cracking good detective story. Slade gives shock horror a chilling new dimension. I'll never look at the Winter Olympics in quite the same way!” - Anne Perry (the Pitt and Monk series)

"Faster! Higher! Stronger! Gorier! Red Snow imagines an Olympics where the gold, silver, and bronze are spattered with bright red blood. A high-proof antidote to Olympics hype." - CTV Olympics

"Slade's books are blood-chilling, spine-tingling, gut-wrenching, stomach-churning, and a much closer look at the inside of a maniac's brain than most people would find comfortable - but always riveting." - Diana Gabaldon (the Outlander series)

"Hot read! If you like gore and action, then this novel delivers." - Montreal Gazette

"Crisply-written, sly and exciting. Slade is a writer who clearly knows how to tell a story and make it real. A warning: it's not for the squeamish, or for those who suffer from chionophobia (the fear of snow, red or otherwise)." - Robert McCammon (the Matthew Corbett series)

"In the annals of dark fiction, Canada can claim one true champion in Michael Slade. Red Snow’s plot yanks you compulsively toward its solution, and the shocks make you jerk back in fright." - Toronto Star

"Red Snow is Slade in top form with his trademarked relentless pacing and one of the most ingenious and unsettling murder weapons ever imagined." - F. Paul Wilson (the Repairman Jack series)

"Red Snow takes Olympics security fears to the bloody max, and leaves readers wondering if the Games can go on." - Ottawa Citizen, Edmonton Journal, Victoria Times Colonist, Saskatoon Star Phoenix

"Another Slade Slam-dunk! His genius lies in being able to scare readers to death by injecting psychotic nightmares into humdrum, everyday reality." - Jack Whyte (the Camulod Chronicles)

"Ian Fleming-esque in its narrative drive. Mephisto makes Hannibal Lecter look like a dime store hoodlum." - Fangoria

"A great villain. Mephisto is the kind of homicidal maniac you can't take your eyes off. With good twists, the writing is tight and compelling." - Winnipeg Free Press

"If it bleeds, it leads. The title says it all. Slade's gory mayhem imagines every worst-case scenario Olympics Security could possibly face." - The Vancouver Sun

"What evil lurks in those packed Olympics hotels? Michael Slade has a few ideas. He won't be winning any gold medal of appreciation in this Olympics year - or, perhaps, any in the next decade." - National Post

"If you've got the stomach for the strong stuff, Red Snow gets the job done." - Calgary Herald

* * *

Criminal lawyer Michael Slade has acted in over a hundred murder cases. He specializes in the law of insanity, and argued the last hanging appeal in the Supreme Court.

Slade was guest of honor at both the World Horror Convention in 2001 and the Bloody Words Crime Convention in 2011. He teaches “How to Write a Mystery Thriller” at Simon Fraser University.

Slade was guest speaker at the international Police Leadership Conference and several RCMP regimental dinners. Reader’s Digest says: “The Slade books have developed a strong following among police officers because of their strict adherence to proper police procedure.”

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 631 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Headhunter Holdings Ltd.; 1 edition (9 July 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008K9E752
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • : Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #264,497 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
2.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars OK 23 Jun. 2015
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Nice to be back in the (not so pleasant) world of Special X after the awful Crucified. Unusual for a book but too much happened in this volume - can't say more without giving anything away. Open ended so will there be more?
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's Slade but it's Slade-lite. 18 Sept. 2012
By Watson
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am a huge fan of Michael Slade's Special X series of books. One of the things that kept me interested in the series as it progressed was that no characted seemed safe. Over the years Slade has put these mounties through the ringer. Some have died. Some have come through horrifically scarred either physically or mentally. I remember reading the end of his first novel, Headhunter, and being blown away by the last minute reveal, and immediately craving more. That particular story wasn't fully resolved until five books later. I also loved the history that was layered into the present day plot, and into the fantasy lives of the serial killers hunted by the mounties of Special X. And since Special X deals with crimes reaching outside of Canada I was treated to stories with roots in Jack The Ripper, Rorke's Drift, World War 2, Romans and Picts.

So now we have Red Snow, where a villain known as Mephisto, who has thumbed his nose at Special X twice before, intends to avenge himself upon the mounties during the winter olympics being held in Canada. This time he has brought along a group of merceneries, led by Stopwatch, another villain who has slipped by. Stopwatch's mission is to kill all of the people who saw Mephisto's face during the events of Death's Door.

Personally I was really disappointed by this story. It's Slade, but it's Slade-light. All of the things I loved are there but it seems watered down. It feels like it has been abreviated. Red Snow is filled with major events for the regular characters. In fact seven of them are killed off. One of them is the girlfriend of Robert Declerq, one of the main characters, who barely registers the fact that his friends are being killed around him. In fact virtually no-one seems to show any emotion at all.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 11 Oct. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
not as good as other Michael Slade books
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed 8 July 2013
By Mw
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I luv this series!why oh why has this happened?it felt like the book had to be written in four chapters.I luv action and violence in books, but I read this guy cos there is usually so much poor.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spin Tingling 26 Aug. 2013
By Connie - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved it, I was caught up in the web trying to unravel the mystery at every turn but the author keeps you guessing.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Typical Special X 5 July 2013
By Sharon Crockett - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Michael Slade can be a bit upsetting to read. He likes to kill main characters in gruesome ways. However, for whatever reason, I enjoy his books. The plot always keeps you guessing.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sigh... 23 Oct. 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
i'm pretty much at the point of quitting slade. ever since the original writing trio broke up, the books have gotten slimmer and slimmer, less and less complex. he kills off a lot of characters in this one, including one i really liked. that's ok, i'm all for killing off characters as part of the storyline, but a whole bunch go down the tubes here, and i'm sick of this particular villain. bring back the writing from, say, ghoul, and i'd stay a reader. for now, i'm more disappointed with each book, though this one was marginally better than the last two or so.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bloody Olympic-themed thriller... 8 Feb. 2014
By W. D. Gagliani - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
When a snowboarder and a skier are bizarrely decapitated up in the snow-capped mountains, and one of Special X's best Mounties is (likewise) murdered in a hotel room, the snow literally turns red.

It's December 2009 and the town of Whistler, B.C., is hosting the Olympic trials in advance of the 2010 Winter Games. The place--an idyllic, remote mountain village--is rapidly filling with egotistical athletes, hangers-on, media folks, golddiggers, corporate sponsorship people, and the curious. And a megalomaniacal psychotic killer known as Mephisto has come with his army of Icemen to disrupt and destroy with a diabolical revenge plan to kill 90% of the world's population. It's a little like Agatha Christie meets Alistair MacLean, but the resulting body count would have shocked both authors.

Head of security for the games is Chief Superintendent Robert DeClercq of Special X, the Special External Division of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), otherwise known as the Mounties. In the past, DeClercq barely survived a couple encounters with the madman Mephisto. Unfortunately, Mephisto's elaborate new plan includes assassinating everyone connected to Robert who can ID him. The snow really does run red in Whistler as Mephisto's ingenious, horrifying Dr. Phibes-like killing gadgets begin to take their toll. Before the end of the "Going for the Gold" event at the El Dorado Resort, Robert will have lost friends and loved ones and face the potential annihilation of billions of innocent people. As Mephisto's mercenaries isolate the already remote village by all too easily cutting off roads and power during a raging snowstorm, the terrorist plot will be set into motion.

The pseudonymous Michael Slade (HEADHUNTER, GHOUL, BED OF NAILS, SWASTIKA, KAMIKAZE) has made an industry of spinning tales with wildly disparate tidbits of historical information and research and turning them into taught, unpredictable thrillers pitting Special X Mounties against some of the most despicable characters ever created. RED SNOW, while in heft a much breezier, quicker-moving version of these thrillers, delivers a high body count, tons of entertaining deadly scrapes for characters to get into and, only occasionally, out of, and a setting that's eerily familiar to anyone who watched the Vancouver Winter Games. Only an insider who knows the ins and outs of the mountain resort could have used the setting so effectively in so few pages. As befitting the history of the Mounties, there's a Wild West quality to the action that could seem a little comic-bookish but mostly doesn't. As for the familiar cast, be prepared--for no one is safe.

As usual, the arcane knowledge and asides referred to in the novel are part of the attraction, leading readers from Alpine sports to the conquistadors' search for El Dorado and the procedure for shrinking human heads, for instance. Given the "going for the gold" anthem of the Vancouver Games, all the golden references (including allusions to Goldfinger, natch) seem livelier given Slade's patented sardonic narrative voice. Though skimping on background and deep motivation, Slade still manages to link this new chapter of the Special X canon to previous outings, without weighing it down in long info dumps--rather a feat in itself, considering the large cast of recurring characters and their complex connections. And to help make this short-but-sharp thriller truly effective, Slade serves up a full helping of that evil "Slade-of-hand" misdirection. Following previous tradition, there is a bibliography at the rear to help you "read more about it," in case some of those unusual references to bizarre historical events pique your interest.

RED SNOW might not quite stand up to some of the more intricate earlier Special X novels if you revere those serpentine, more expositional efforts, but its single-minded leanness may just be a virtue if the ease with which one can describe it as a "page-turner" is any indication. Call it a bulls-eye for Michael Slade.

(A version of this review was previously published at

--W.D. Gagliani, author of Savage Nights
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not a bedtime story 18 Sept. 2013
By ryan stevens - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
i loved the book. my only complaint is that i read it to fast. i hope Slade writes a new one soon
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