Im new to Brian Freeman after having his books recommended to me I am now on my third of the Jonathan Stride series. One word fantastic. Twists and turns all the way. Mystery and suspense and so well written. Reminds me of my favourite authors Montanari, Deaver, Patterson, Child and Gardiner and equally as good if not the best. Had me gripped from the first page and did not want to put it down. Luckily for me I was on holiday when I started this book so left me free to carry on reading without having to put down to go to work. Will absolutly carry on and read all his books. Just hoping the rest are as good as the Jonarhan Stride trilogy.
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.
The first time I read this, the mystery, the characters and most of all the court scenes, were just crammed with tension and blew me away. The second time, I enjoyed it but could see flaws- Stride is not that original as the troubled wifeless cop, and he seems to have quite unbelievable powers of attraction. Freeman's writing style is mostly smooth but with occasional lapses. I don't have time to go on too much- bottom line is if you like this sort of thing, this book is a fantastic purchase, really good, brutal story to keep you guessing.
Don't get me wrong - this isn't a bad thriller. It just isn't a very good one. My main gripe is that the plot is entirely derivitive. If I had a pound for every thriller I've read featuring the same gnarled, hard-boiled, single/divorced, cop/private-investigator then I'd have...well, about seven pounds by now. I'm not a huge fan of flashbacks but these are pretty well handled in Immoral. I also struggled slightly with the jump in the timeline, and found the scenes in Nevada and Las Vegas to be less competent and convincing than those on the Great Lakes. I guess I have to give credit for the skill with which Freeman keeps you guessing (I think I guessed wrong on two occasions) and some of the minor characters are pretty rounded. On the whole, however, it felt like Freeman was trying to do too much, resulting in a somewhat complicated and bumpy ride. Again, in the absence of a 3.5 option, I'm rounding down - it's the sort of story you'd quite happily watch on a TV detective show but not quite polished enough to absorb a critical reader.
This is the first book by Brian Freeman I have ever read but it certainly will not be the last. Absolutely loved it. Others have written a synopsis so I won't but sufficient to say I will now be reading the next books in the Jonathan Stride series as this book had me hooked. Love it when I find an author as good as my favourites, Connelly, Coben, Childs, Lehane etc. Mr Freeman now joins that list.
I'm a big fan of James Patterson, Patricia Cornwell, Tess Gerritsen, but I am now a HUGE fan of Brian Freeman. This book was very fast paced and I never wanted to put it down (in fact I couldn't). The twist at the end was amazing....I have never before been compelled to contact an author but I did. If you haven't read Immoral....then DO SO!
I enjoyed this book enough to want to read the next in the series. I liked the way it developed and spread out involving a much larger number of people and places than seemed the case at the beginning. I think you need to read it slowly to make sure you understand it properly,
Liked the read up on this book so purchased. Great read. Have since purchased 2 others. As they say "real page turners". Not quite up there with Vince Flynn, Stephen Leather or Connelly. but on the way. Will get all his books eventually.
Great first book lots of twists and turns left you thinking you had it figured out and then another twist . I would recommend this to anyone who likes books that keeps you guessing to the end hence the rating