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Red, Red Robin Hardcover – September 11, 1995

3.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

British writer Gallagher (Nightmare, with Angel) has written a smashing serial-killer thriller that embraces all the conventions of the genre while adding several page-turning twists and subtexts of its own. When, in order to protect her married lover, Ruth Lasseter uses an escort service to employ a companion, Tim Hagan, for a company event, it comes as no surprise to the reader that the hired help turns out to be serious trouble. But Ruth isn't your standard damsel in distress. She's a resident British alien working for a Philadelphia publisher, emotionally stressed enough to discuss her plans with her imaginary child but strong enough to flaunt her too-young escort in a corporate setting. Even after the Hagan reveals his true nature and she and security guard Aidan Kincannon foil his plans for her in a struggle that leads to the madman's presumed death, Ruth continues to be haunted by the young man, and delves into his past. As she discovers, Hagan may not be dead, and may not be the man everyone assumes him to be. And, as she uncovers the macabre and unsettling story of his childhood, Ruth finds herself pushing away Aidan and anyone else who might help her regain her emotional equilibrium. The final, inevitable showdown between a killer driven by inescapable demons and a woman who seeks understanding as much as revenge proves as powerful as the promise that Gallagher has built up, page upon gripping page of this compelling, unusually sensitive chiller. Mystery Guild and Doubleday Book Club selections; Literary Guild alternate.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Powerful prose, wrenching psychological intensity, and icy suspense characterize Gallagher's (Nightmare with Angel, Ballantine, 1993) newest thriller. The Briton convincingly places a female protagonist at the crux of his plot, which begins when Ruth Lasseter employs an escort service to conceal her love affair with a co-worker. Ruth and the young escort get along famously; however, when Ruth rejects Tim after one night of fantasy, he first woos her, then stalks her, and finally kidnaps her. Ruth escapes but becomes a slave to Tim's violence and can only hope to free herself by examining Tim's past. Recommended for all collections.?Rex Klett, Mitchell Community Coll., LRC, Statesville, N.C.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 378 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1st edition (September 11, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345386442
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345386441
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,637,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Andrew McCaffrey VINE VOICE on August 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'll state right off the bat that the reason I bought and read this book was because the author had penned one of my favorite Doctor Who serials and I wanted to see if he was as apt at novel-writing as he was at script-writing (I should note that he also wrote a rather mediocre Doctor Who serial, but we won't talk about that now). I was quite impressed by this book, and it fulfilled my expectations. I'm not a regular reader of this genre, but I found this particular example to be amazingly captivating.
While reading the opening chapters of RED, RED ROBIN, my mind quickly went over the possible outcomes for the story, and I quickly began to predict how the book would unfold. It turns out that my initial prediction was correct in all but one aspect. The scenario that I had envisioned for the whole book ended at about page 75, and from there the plot kept making clever leaps and turns, defying my ability to guess which direction it would go. Eventually, I stopped making predictions and just enjoyed the thrill ride that it offered.
"Psychological thriller" is, I believe the term they use to describe this sort of book, and it's a genre that I'll admit to some inexperience with. But if they're all as good as this one is, I should have some great reading ahead of me. I went into this book having not read so much as a single plot summary of the novel, so I was taken completely by surprise at every twist and turn. Therefore, I will not describe more than the very initial setup. All you should know is that this book starts off with two people: a woman, and a man she hires from an (legitimate) escort service. What this scenario turns into should not be hard to guess, but how it happens, and what happens beyond that are utterly surprising, and completely mesmerizing.
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Format: Hardcover
British writer Gallagher produces a serial-killer novel of intense psychological suspense in this 1995 thriller.
An Englishwoman who has adopted Philadelphia as her home, Ruth Lasseter is having an affair with the boss. When she needs a date for a company function she turns to an escort service, choosing a shockingly young and handsome date who enchants her with his perfect manners and romantic attentions.
But the young man, Tim Hagan, is not satisfied with one night. He begins a stalking campaign which escalates into a nightmare of violence. Ruth escapes, with the help of Aidan Kincannon, an ex-cop turned security guard, but loses her lover, her job and her self-assurance. A year later Ruth is living in Aidan's house. His sometime lover, she is obsessed full-time with Hagan and refuses to accept news of his death.
She embarks on a search into his past, peeling away layers, finding horrors. Aidan, who's made poor choices in his life, develops as a man of deep integrity, bravery and uncertainty. Meanwhile Ruth's ex-lover's vengeful wife, a lawyer, is determined to have Ruth deported. And the career of Tim Hagan is once again steering him on a collision course with Ruth.
Gallagher focuses on character development, making his people steer the plot. A riveting read with enough unusual quirks to make it stand out.
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Format: Hardcover
What makes one thriller about a crazed killer so much different from another? Why do I want to advise you to rush out now and get your hands on a copy of Red, Red Robin any way you can, and encourage you to write Ballantine Books to persuade them to get this book back in print? Although the plot is good, there are other, lesser books with similar plots--casual acquaintance becomes stalker becomes deranged killer isn't exactly a novelty. Other writers write equally good characters, and an intensity of pacing has become standard in today's fiction. But Red, Red Robin does all this and more. Where Stephen Gallagher succeeds best is his focus--not on the single-minded cop who chases down the killer, nor on the maniacal lunatic himself, but on the victim. Of course, in today's high-bodycount slasherfests of fiction, any novel based on the victim's point of view is likely to become a short-short story instead, but Gallagher sidesteps this trap deftly, instead apparently killing off the killer early on. Of course this is a red herring ("Why wasn't the book called Red, Red Herring?", I hear you ask) and we all know it. Where an author like Dean Koontz would follow with an interminable and fairly mindless chase, Gallagher instead takes the opportunity to explore the consequences of the abduction and near-death upon his protagonist. And here he excels as a writer, making us truly feel the uncertainty, the worthlessness, and the constant paralyzing fear of the victim long after any threat has passed. For this, Red, Red Robin deserves a read. So don't be a victim of bad marketing decisions yourself-- get off the web now and write that letter to the good people at Ballantine Books!
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Format: Kindle Edition
Ruth Lasseter is having an affair .... with her married boss. She must bring a date to the company dance in order for her lover's wife to not become suspicious. Contacting an escort service, she is given a brochure with all the available men's pictures.

She chooses Tim Hagan, although he is much younger. He's good looking, charming, polite, well-mannered .. everything a woman could ask for. He's also seething with rage underneath.

Ruth makes her first mistake ... she sleeps with him. Now she can't get rid of him. She seems him everywhere. He send flowers ... thousands of dollars worth of flowers. Her car is tampered with. He becomes the stalker we all hear about.

In the meantime, one of the security guards at her office, Aiden, has also become enamored of Ruth. He's always pleasant but keeps an eye on her.

One evening, while working late, Hagan appears with a gun and forces her outside into her car. During this car ride, Ruth notices a car that seems to follow them .. it's Aiden. What results is a car chase, with the car rolling off the road. Ruth grabs the gun, but doesn't have it in her to use it on her kidnapper. Aiden is hurt and she tends to him instead.

A few days later, Hagan's body is found in a ditch close to where their accident occurred.

And this is where the story ends ... RIGHT? no..no..no.. this is actually only the beginning of a living nightmare for both Ruth and Aiden.

This is billed as a novel of suspense.. and that it is. But it is also a psychological thriller. I found it really hard to put the book down. So much action, so many strange things happening ... are they really happening .... or is she losing her mind? Aiden doesn't believe her .. cops don't believe her ... Hagan's family doesn't even believe her. And just who exactly who and what was Tim Hagan?

Excellent, well written, with characters that are believable. A must read!
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