RED IS FOR RAGE:
RED IS FOR RAGE, by Connie Corcoran Wilson (www.redisforrage.com), 256 pp., $10.95. ISBN 978-0-98244-481-8 (click to purchase).
In RED IS FOR RAGE, Pogo the Clown, also known as serial killer Michael Clay, vows revenge on the kid who can “see the future” and who got Clay into a load of trouble in the previous book of the series, THE COLOR OF EVIL.
Pogo is in pursuit of Tad McGreevy, who has a special gift that allows him to see into the future and identify killers – this talent has something to do with a latent sense, “tetrachromatic super vision,” a genetic mutation that allows the 2 percent of those who possess it to see not a million variety of colors (typical with most humans) but 100 million.
From page 201: “Tad was the first male with this special sight. But researchers had not yet discovered that facet of Ted’s super powers, though they eventually would. They were still whispering about ‘the boy who sees the future,’ even though, so far, that was just an untrue attention-grabbing tabloid-style misnomer.”
From page 202: “In Tad’s case, his tetrachromacy had rendered him especially sensitive to colored auras around others and had granted him a certain uncontrolled precognitive ability. In addition to experiencing colors so intensely that it almost hurt, he ‘saw’ the actions of people who possessed one particular aura: gray-green. The evil-doers. They were the only ones.”
Meanwhile, Stevie Scranton, newly rescued from his abuser, doesn’t get along with his dad, Earl. Earl, however, discovers Stevie’s journal, and the abuse he’s received from a Scoutmaster, the school principal, and a whole plethora of pedophiles in Cedar Falls. Earl vows to avenge his son.
Wilson brings to life – in ways unmatched – the quirky, ugly, bedeviled underbelly of suburbia like no other. All the warts, blisters, and physical (not to mention emotional) bruises of common folk and their often irrational behaviors. And Wilson brings to us the many ways in which they learn to love and care for each other, despite the rampant mental illnesses and festering pasts and broken homes. Wilson makes all this count and mixes the ugly and the good in ways that, for moments at least, can turn out to be rewarding for readers.
Though at times the narrative is hurried and sometimes feels like it is listed, almost like an outline, and some characters are simple cardboard cutouts, there are moments of a real gift here for the author. While having an idiot such as Earl Scranton advance the plot (his motivations just don’t feel true), there are deft touches here, especially between Stevie and his “rescued” girlfriend that are quite touching and even inspired.
So I remain happy to follow this series, as Pogo is still hell-bent on finding Tad . . . I am assuming this series will reach a conclusion and I cannot wait to see how Wilson writes it.