Let me get straight to the point. If you like crime fiction, especially the novels that really twist your mind in knots while you try to figure out what's going on, then you need to buy IMMORAL. If, like me, you read and enjoy the likes of Connelly, Gerritsen, Deaver, Coben, Slaughter, Connolly and Child and some pretty decent Brit writers such as McDermid, Billingham, Robinson and MacBride, then you will not be disappointed by this newcomer to the genre. He's good. He's very good, in fact.
This novel actually represents the first in a series featuring Lieutenant Jonathan Stride, later to be joined by Las Vegas Police Detective Serena Dial. Stride is based in Duluth, north Minnesota, a town on the edge of Lake Superior that I had never heard of before, and presumably not many others know it either as it doesn't even have a Starbucks (shock, horror). The story revolves around the disappearance of a rebellious, sexy and in many ways mysterious teenage girl named Rachel, whose behaviour affected several people before she disappeared and whose personality continues to influence others - including Stride - years after she was last seen. The tale also involves the love life of forty-something Stride himself, initially a widower having lost his wife to cancer a year before the story begins. His bedroom exploits are a little too graphically detailed for my own personal tastes, but it's fair to say that his romantic asides are very relevant to the plot and are not merely bolted-on to please a certain sector of the readership. Most importantly though the central story of what happened to Rachel is very well told and I was kept guessing right to the end. More than guessing, actually - at times I felt like shouting at the page demanding to know what's going on! The only disappointment was finishing it, because I simply did not want it to end. It more than held my interest at all times, there is never a dull moment and there is a complete absence of gratuitous violence. Brian Freeman has written two follow-ups to this debut novel and I'm going to buy them both. Definitely a crime fiction writer who knows his way around the courtroom and one to watch out for in the future.
This is Freeman's first novel but it reads as though he has been writing for years. It is an accomplished debut and whilst it does not entirely escape all the cliches of the genre offers a refreshingly original setting. The character of Lieutenant Jonathan Stride is well-drawn and satisfyingly three-dimensional, as is the context in which he operates. This really does keep you guessing until the end and is an exciting and worthwhile read.
Two young and beautiful teenagers disappear into thin air from Duluth, Minnesota. First it was Kerry, a few months later Rachel. Lieutenant Jonathan Stride is in charge of the investigation along with his colleague Maggie. Rachel has a wild reputation and as they look into her past, they uncover some uncomfortable facts, most of which seem to be disturbingly linked to her own family. However, without a tangible trace of either girl, Stride and Maggie seem to run in circles. After some painstakingly difficult further research and interviews to the related families and friends, some evidence does turn up (still, no girls) and a lawsuit ensues. This is as far as I can go without spoiling the tale, which takes us from the cold winter in Minnesota to the sweltering heat of Las Vegas.
Well, I was quite impressed by Mr. Freeman's style -this was the first book I read by him and I believe the first one he published-. Awkward and disturbing in more than one part due to the delicate nature of the main subject, it is however written well, every little details is taken care of and you are kept guessing until the very end, literally. I liked the character of Stride especially, very believable and down-to-earth. His private and personal life, along with those of all the other main characters, run on parallel grounds with the main story.
Immoral is a cracking story which will keep you guessing until the end. I normally pride myself on being able to work these thrillers out but there's so many twist's to this book that even Sherlock himself would struggle.
Immoral was the winner of the Macavity award for best first novel and understandably so. A cracking plot, strong charecter's, a genuine page turner! Well done Mr Freeman, more of the same please.
From business writer to skilled master of storytelling in one fell swoop. This psychological thriller/detective story gripped me from the very first pages, where we look in on the pivotal act of the book without being allowed close enough to identify characters or context. These facets of the book are beautifully drawn into vivid creations as the story progresses and the drama of the developments in the ensuing investigation is only emphasised by the brilliantly timed flashbacks. Once you start reading this book, you won't want to put it down and, unlike many novels in this genre, the ending will certainly not disappoint.