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Virgil Cain must clear his name in Brad Smith's 'Red Means Run' mystery

Virgil Cain Mystery
Simon and Schuster

Red Means Run by Brad Smith


"Red Means Run" is the first book in Brad Smith's Virgil Cain Mysteries and its worth a read for the enterprising main character and for Smith's spare writing and clear prose. Cain, a former ballplayer turned farmer, who helped out his old coach, who was suffering from Lou Gehrig disease, and is now the owner of the horse farm. Cain has also been helping out the feisty vet Mary, who has been seizing horses from other horse farms and bringing them to Cain for refuge and care.

Despite his good deeds, he finds himself on the wrong side of the law fairly quickly. Mickey Dupree, a successful criminal defense lawyer, has been found stabbed through the heart with the shaft of a 5 iron on the difficult 7th hole of the local golf course, his par round ended very abruptly. The killer has even raked the sand.

Joe Brady, a local cop, without a shred of proof, immediately arrests Cain, because Cain had a motive. Dupree successfully defended Alan Comstock, a wealthy record producer, against charges that he murdered Cain's wife.

Cain, who has a record in Canada, is not sure that he is going to get a fair shake and has a lot of experience with the law and its consequences.

Given a chance, he escapes from lockup and tries to clear his name. But while he is on the run, Comstock also ends up dead, riddled with bullets from his own gun. Now suspected of two crimes, Cain is left to try to figure out who is the actual killer.

He is helped by the beautiful Claire Marchand, a police detective, who believes that Brady acted too quickly in arresting Cain. Cain also intrigues Marchand because rather than running for the hills, he is staying around trying to clear his name.

Marchand and Cain will work separately and then together to try discover the killer before the killer can strike again.

Smith has a clear voice and captures the essence of this little town, with its wealthy horse traders, who sometimes are not adverse to cutting corners to make money, their wives, be it trophy wives or long suffering wives with their own agendas, and a rich pageantry of interesting characters.

Its a pretty good read.

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