Reading Time: 6 minutes

Red Queen? Isn’t it a fantasy book?

Nope, it’s a thriller, and a really good thriller, in fact.

Juan Gómez-Jurado, where is the author from?… A foreign thriller? No thanks. It must be full of weird names and references I don’t get.

I totally get where you’re coming from, but hear me out. Red Queen may not be an American thriller, but it’s definitely worth a read. And don’t let foreign names intimidate you. They are super easy to read, believe me.

Let me give you a book review and present 5 reasons why you should read Red Queen by Juan Gómez-Jurado.

Summary of Red Queen

Red Queen is the first installment of the trilogy about Antonia Scott by Spanish writer Juan Gómez-Jurado. Antonia Scott, a skilled police profiler, is called upon by the Spanish authorities to investigate a series of kidnappings targeting minors from influential Spanish families.

The kidnappers demand a peculiar exchange – instead of money, they want the families to make a public statement, or the victims will face dire consequences. 

The Red Queen is not the antagonist in the story but a European, intergovernmental secretive organization that solves high-profile cases, and Antonia is part of it.

As Antonia and her team race against time to catch the kidnappers, you will be taken on a thrilling ride through Spain and the rest of Europe.

The story contains shocking secrets and unexpected twists, leaving you gasping for air.

1. Antonia Scott and the rest of the crew

Unlike your typical heroine, Antonia is a tough, eccentric woman who lives in a sparsely furnished apartment and doesn’t enjoy being around people due to her personal trauma. However, Antonia’s genius-level intelligence is unparalleled, and her ability to solve even the most complex cases is truly impressive. 

Even more remarkable is that Antonia is not a policewoman or a lawyer. Yet, she has successfully solved dozens of cases. With her unique personality traits and exceptional intelligence, Antonia is a character you will never forget. The best part is that Red Queen is the first book in the Antonia Scott’s thriller series!

Jon is a police inspector who takes his job very seriously and has a past that he’s trying to make up for. But what sets Jon apart is his big heart, even though he’s insecure about his appearance. One thing Jon is sure about, though, is his sexuality – he’s openly gay and proud of it.

Now, who is the hidden mastermind of the story? I can’t tell you because it would spoil your reading, but at the end of the book, the villain’s identity is revealed after some truly thrilling scenes. This villain has appeared in previous novels by Gómez-Jurado and will continue to appear in the upcoming installments of the trilogy. Trust me, this villain will make a comeback… And he is really evil and just as intelligent as Antonia.

2. Intricate Plot

Red Queen’s fast-paced, action-packed storyline keeps readers guessing until the end. I don’t want to spoil any surprises because the less you know beforehand, the more exciting it will be. This story is filled with unexpected twists and turns, which makes it both thrilling and unpredictable.

The plot of Red Queen is intricately woven, with clues and hints being dropped throughout the story that lead to an unexpected conclusion. The plot points keep readers guessing until the very end, making for a thrilling read.

Additionally, various subplots throughout the book eventually come together to reveal one of the most entertaining and unexpected endings of recent times.

3. Engaging Writing Style

Juan Gómez-Jurado’s writing style is engaging and easy to follow, making Red Queen a page-turner from beginning to end. His use of short chapters and alternating perspectives keeps the story moving briskly, making it difficult to put down.

When I was reading, I thought: “One more chapter, and then I’ll go to sleep,” But then I ended up reading another and another…

Moreover, the novel is not just a series of crime scenes. Gómez-Jurado manages the internal timing of the novel very well. As an example, I suggest that the reader pay close attention to the explosion scene in chapter 29, crafted with such detail that it slows down the pace of the narration.

4. Red Queen will launch on Prime Video in 2023 

Amazon Prime acquired the TV rights for the novel, and filming for the series began on August 18th, 2022. The series will likely appear on the digital platform in the second half of 2023. 

Here is an excerpt from the press release by the producers.

With an IQ of 242, Antonia Scott is officially the smartest person on Earth. Her intelligence earned her the nickname “Red Queen” in a secret and experimental police project. However, what seemed like a gift became a curse, and she lost everything. When the son of a powerful magnate is grotesquely murdered in his mansion, and the daughter of the richest man in Spain is kidnapped, the Red Queen organization is set in motion. Mentor, Antonia’s former boss, turns to Jon Gutierrez, a temperamental Basque police officer on the verge of being expelled from the force, to reactivate Antonia. The twisted cat-and-mouse game that Jon and Antonia find themselves in during their investigation also reveals that they admire and complement each other almost as much as they irritate each other.

5. Great Translation

Red Queen is a best-selling book in the Spanish-speaking world, having sold more than 2.5 million copies. So it is no surprise that the novel has been translated into over 23 languages. 

I read the book in Spanish a couple of years ago and always wondered when the English version would come out. The day has finally come. Nick Caistor is the translator, and he did a great job because he captured the essence and excitement of the original Spanish novel. 

The translator put a lot of effort into ensuring the story reads smoothly and naturally in English while staying true to the author’s style and voice. Furthermore, as I said while talking about Gómez-Jurado’s style, the original novel has a direct, easy-to-follow language, which helps the translation.

Something that contributes to the good translation of Red Queen is that the characters’ names and places are simple and easy to remember, such as Antonia, Jon, Clara, Mentor, Marcos, and Sandra, and many others. This makes it easier for readers to follow the story without getting lost in complicated or unfamiliar names. 

More about Juan Gómez-Jurado

Born and raised in Madrid, he studied journalism at the Complutense University of Madrid. Before becoming a full-time writer, he was a journalist for several Spanish newspapers and magazines. He’s known for his gripping thrillers that are often compared to the works of Dan Brown and James Patterson.

He has published a dozen novels in Spanish, five of which have been translated into English. His books have been translated into over forty languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. He has been compared to Dan Brown and John Grisham for his ability to keep readers on the edge of their seats.

He is the ideal author for publishers due to his prolific writing, high sales, outgoing and charming personality, and enjoyment of public attention, simplifying promotion efforts. He even has a very popular podcast! Check out Gómez-Jurado’s Instagram and see for yourself.

Opinion

Personally, I absolutely loved the novel, and I highly recommend it. I am certain that English-speaking readers will really enjoy it. The structure, character, and plot development are all familiar, only the setting is different. 

This is one book that leaves you wanting more, especially because of the characters. Antonia and Jon form a lovable couple, and by the end of the book, you feel like they are your friends.

This is a great chance to enter the world of Gómez-Jurado.