Red Widow

Vivian Xu, Book 1

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
362 Pages
Reviewed on 11/16/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Nathan Wilson's love affair with writing began at the age of seven when he read a short story by his sister. Afterward, he spent much of his childhood writing fantasy and short stories. In 2012, he marked his debut in literature with The Undying God. IndieReader's Robert Bennett said of the dark fantasy novel, "Nathan Wilson uses a captivating story and original characters to keep the reader turning pages, always wanting to know what comes next." Nathan's writing branched out in mystery and horror when he published Red Widow in 2013. Featuring forensic sleuth Vivian Xu and investigative journalist Camilla Vesely, the series continues with Arsenic for the Soul.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

Red Widow by Nathan Wilson is Book One in the Vivian Xu series, a good murder and mystery story, every bit as entertaining as it is engaging. Life has never been easy for Vivian. She’s been used by the crime-riddled world of the Czech Republic. Now accused of a homicide, there is only one way of staying out of prison — providing her services to a homicide detective who is ready to sacrifice anything to catch a serial killer. Vivian has a very difficult choice to make — to accept the deal and face the killer or to spend many years behind bars. Choosing her freedom, she decides to hunt the killer, but is she prepared for what awaits her? Is the homicide detective right when he says she’s not the type the psycho who would go for? And what if the detective won’t keep his part of the bargain?

Red Widow is a fast-paced and engaging read, a story with a brilliant beginning. Readers know something is at stake when they are introduced to the protagonist rushing to a meeting with the detective. Nathan Wilson does a great job while introducing readers to the conflict, and he does so very quickly. Readers have a good knowledge of who Vivian is and the author builds this character without the boring background story that could ruin the read. The dialogue is plot-driven, and it is essential when it comes to understanding characters and building tension. Vivian is a complex character, a woman who seems to be living on the fringes of society, working hard to live like every other person, without taking cover. Red Widow is a thrill, a great success, and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

Divine Zape

Compelling characters, a powerful setting, and a great plot are some of the interesting elements of Red Widow, the enticing opening to the Vivian Xu series by Nathan Wilson. There is a serial killer on the loose, one who takes lives with impunity, and as each day passes, the homicide detective Nikolai worries about what could happen next or where the killer would strike. There is only one person who can help to solve the murders and unveil the face of the killer — Vivian Xu. The only problem is that Vivian should be in jail for attempted homicide. The detective offers her the freedom to choose between staying behind bars and winning her life back by working for him. When Vivian accepts to hunt the serial killer, she doesn’t know what’s in store for her. She might be escaping the hell that is a prison in the Czech Republic for another horrible fate.

I cared about Vivian from the beginning of the story. The author makes her come across as a tough and bruised woman, one who has had her history with crime and who is always fighting to stay alive. Nathan Wilson builds a powerful mystery with an equally powerful suspense. From the first page of this murder mystery, the reader begins to wonder what would happen to Vivian. The reader wants to know if she’ll finally discover the killer and what would happen during the encounter. The sense of danger increases with each page. Red Widow also features a powerful conflict, a fast-paced story, and intense drama. Fans of thrillers and murder stories will relish this one.