Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $26.00
  • Save: $4.73 (18%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Red 1-2-3 has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ex-library book. The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Red 1-2-3 Hardcover – January 7, 2014

3.7 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$21.27
$3.29 $0.01

Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
$21.27 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Red 1-2-3
  • +
  • What Comes Next
  • +
  • The Analyst
Total price: $40.10
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* In the familiar cautionary tale about the little girl and the big bad wolf, the child wears a red hood. In Katzenbach’s skillful contemporary version, red hair attracts the predator, who targets not one but three vulnerable females, unknown to one another. Mr. Big Bad Wolf, a meticulous, confident, unprepossessing crime writer (who bases his books on crimes he commits), has been inactive for a number of years, but his new idea—killing all three women on the same day—is simply too thrilling to pass up. He’s convinced that his “project” will regenerate his moribund career and spice up his humdrum home life. After many weeks, he is finally ready to put his plan into action, and he’s virtually salivating at the prospect. Mr. BBW’s work notes clearly reveal his megalomania as well as how he very deliberately chose and stalked his prey. First there’s Karen, a lonely, middle-aged doctor, oldest of the three; then Sarah, a grief-stricken widow who has turned to alcohol and pills; finally, teenage Jordan, smart but directionless, whose parents are too wrapped up in their divorce to care about her. Wolf is convinced his brilliant, scrupulously detailed plan can’t fail. After all, who will miss these damaged women? Unfortunately, there’s something he never considered. It’s called group dynamics. Like Katzenbach’s What Comes Next (2012), this is a page-turner from the get-go and must reading for thriller fans. --Stephanie Zvirin

Review

“A first-rate thriller.”—Huntington News

"[Katzenbach's] novels are reliably smart and intriguing, featuring characters who are off-kilter in various ways . . . presented in a cinematic narrative that yanks the reader in from the first page. . . . This is indeed an edge-of-your-seat thriller, in many ways one of Katzenbach's best works to date."—Bookreporter

“In the familiar cautionary tale about the little girl and the big bad wolf, the child wears a red hood. In Katzenbach’s skillful contemporary version, red hair attracts the predator, who targets not one but three vulnerable females. . . . This is a page-turner from the get-go and must reading for thriller fans.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Katzenbach creates a convincing triad of sympathetic women who grow through their harrowing trials.”—Publishers Weekly

"No one portrays the mind of a sociopathic killer better than John Katzenbach, who is in superb form with this psychological thriller, a vivid cat-and-mice game in which the mice strive to outwit and outplay the cat."—William Bayer, Edgar Award-winning author of Peregrine and Switch

“[RED 1-2-3] gives us a long look into the mind of a killer. . . . Katzenbach is an excellent writer and adds vivid details to really bring his characters to life.”—Reviewing the Evidence

“Katzenbach has a diabolical talent for working changes on this basic plot. . . . The whole deal gets more delicious when the Big Bad Wolf’s wife enters the picture. Katzenbach keeps on delivering this kind of wily stuff all the way to the book’s remarkably unmessy climax.”—Toronto Star

“John Katzenbach is a master of terror. . . . The novel draws the reader in and moves along quickly, giving the reader reasons to cheer for the women to defeat the killer. . . . Recommended for mystery readers.”—Curled Up With a Good Book
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Mysterious Press; 1 edition (January 7, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802122051
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802122056
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #898,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By carol irvin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This book has Amazon reviewers wildly divided. Like me, they have all read this author's earlier work and I think that is a big part of the problem. Katzenbach wrote some of the very best crime fiction over the last decades. IN THE HEAT OF THE SUMMER was his first in 1983 and was a big success plus made into a movie starring Kurt Russell. His THE ANALYST and THE TRAVELER were some of the best ever books in the entire genre. His JUST CAUSE was a big hit and made into a movie with Sean Connery.

The nub of the matter is: His recent books, including this one, are not as good as those books. But they are not bad books. I've read every one of them and each is an entertaining, escapist read which I completely enjoyed. However, if someone asked me what to read first with this author, I would write down the four titles I just listed in the prior paragraph, not this one. This is what you read after you've read his earlier great books. There are very few authors who are able to maintain the same quality of work for decade after decade. So he is not alone in his work being less than it once was.

This plot concerns three red haired women from diverse backgrounds who are selected by a serial killer to be his next victims. He sees them as Red Riding Hood 1, 2 and 3. They see him as the Big Bad Wolf. He tells them that he is coming to kill them. He first sends them letters and then begins escalating his activities with each of them. Can they outwit the Big Bad Wolf? In a nutshell, that is this book.

Visit my blog with link given on my profile page here or use this phonetically given URL (livingasseniors dot blogspot dot com). Friday's entry will always be weekend entertainment recs from my 5 star Amazon reviews in film, tv, books and music. These are very heavy on buried treasures and hidden gems. My blogspot is published on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition
Red 1-2-3 is built on a clever premise. An undistinguished writer of crime fiction who happens to be a serial killer decides to write an instruction manual for serial killers. He has selected three redheads as victims to illustrate his methods. He intends to commit and memorialize the perfect crime because, well, he's getting old and feels the need for a legacy. By killing three women within hours of each other, each in a different way and after warning them of their fate, the writer believes he will take his place in the annals of serial killer history and launch his book to bestseller status.

Each Red receives a letter in the mail that begins with the opening of Little Red Riding Hood and ends with "You have been selected to die." One Red is a lonely doctor who performs remarkably unfunny standup comedy routines as a hobby. One is a former teacher and current lush whose husband and daughter died in an accident. The third is an angry high school student. They could form a support group for distressed redheads (which is sort of what they do). The would-be killer, of course, is the Big Bad Wolf. His wife, who is blissfully ignorant of her husband's hobby during most of their marriage (or perhaps she's willfully stupid), is Mrs. Big Bad Wolf.

John Katzenbach creates a strong psychological profile of the killer, making him a more substantial character than any of the Reds, who tend to be stereotypes. The sullen teenager is the most competent of the three Reds, but her notion of how to deal with an anonymous letter is an eye-roller. The simplest solution would be for each intended victim to change her hair color, thus screwing up the killer's theme and perhaps sending the killer in search of a new plan, but that never occurs to them.
Read more ›
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Red 1 - Dr. Karen Jayson is an internist.

Red 2 - Sarah Locksley is a former school teacher. She lost her husband and young daughter in an auto accident. Every day is a day of grieving for her.

Red 3 - Jordan Ellis is a college student. Having a lot of difficulty dealing with her parents' divorce. She's acting out and failing all her classes.

What do these women have in common? For one, they are all redheads. For another, they are all being stalked by the same man and have received letters from "BBW" stating he is going to kill them. They have all been selected randomly --- or have they?

The BigBadWolf is how he thinks of himself. He is an older man, an author of murder mysteries from several years past. He feels forgotten, abandoned. He wants to leave this world after committing the perfect murder. Kill the three redheads hours apart on the same day, while writing a "fictional" book describing what it's like to be a killer.

This is a quiet romp through a madman's mind as he plots and stalks and plans multiple murders. But the action picks up in leaps and bounds when the Reds meet and do some planning of their own.

It's not listed as such, but I regard this one as a psychological thriller. The book is very well written. The characters are fascinating, as they are all so flawed, so incomplete, and how they deal with this situation changes all of their lives.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Let me put it even more bluntly: this book stinks on ice.

Katzenbach is the very talented writer who brought us "In The Heat Of The Summer" and "Hart's War" (among other books), making this an even greater disappointment. When I saw it in the bookstore, I eagerly snatched it up. Unfortunately, it was so bad I finally gave up on it completely a bit over halfway through.

It's supposed to be a riff on the Red Riding Hood fable. I'm not seeing it, other than three women who share the trait of having red hair are targeted as victims by a nutcase serial killer who calls himself the Big Bad Wolf.

The problems of this book are legion, the most egregious of which is that it's just plain flat-out boring.

The three potential victims - who band together to try to defeat their intended murderer - are women whose lives have reached junctures at which they feel generally hopeless, and a lot of time is spent describing their back stories and circumstances. I didn't feel in any way engaged at all with any of them. They were boring and mundane people. Frankly, I couldn't have cared less.

The killer is a guy on the cusp of geezerdom who feels like he wants to recapture the "glory" of his youth as a successful serial killer/author (he was a published author who wrote "fiction" books that were actually recountings of his early kills), as well as the anonymous notoriety he savored as a serial killer at large.

To sum up: boring characters, plodding pacing, silly plot, no dramatic tension ever builds up.

On the plus side: the font was easy to read, and if I ever want to start a fire in my fireplace and run out of kindling, I now have plenty of scrap paper on hand.
2 Comments 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Red 1-2-3
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Red 1-2-3

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: suspense thrillers