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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
22
Stalked
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on 16 August 2017
Fantastic story with surprising twists and turns and found it difficult to put the book down! Can't wait for the next instalment!!
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on 16 September 2017
Excellent read
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on 30 April 2017
Excellent read.Couldn't put it down.
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VINE VOICEon 22 October 2007
Stalked is Freeman's 3rd novel featuring Detectives Jonathan Stride and Serena Dial, who are also lovers. Serena, ex-homicide Detective, has now turned P.I. and has accompanied Stride back to his hometown of Duluth, Minnesota in the Winter months, when there are roaring winds and blinding snow storms.

Stride becomes involved in a missing person case at the same time as his partner, Maggie Bei, needs his support when tragedy strikes for her and puts her under suspicion. Serena becomes involved in a private case involving blackmail.

As their individual investigations unfold, connections are made and they are both haunted by their past - in differing ways.

This is a modern strong psychological suspense novel. Freeman's writing is stylish, and you find yourself drawn into the story from the very first page. He has created convincing characters with flowing dialogue and is introducing some good light humour through the character of Guppo.

I do admit that I guessed the twist at the end but this did not spoil the enjoyment - this is a real page turner - Read it!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 23 November 2008
The third in a crime fiction series built around Stride, Serena and Maggie and back in Duluth, Minnesota by Lake Superior after an excursion in Vegas in the previous novel Stripped. In this tale, cop Maggie's suspected of killing her husband, P.I. Serena's assisting a sleazy DA with his blackmail pay-offs and cop Stride's investigating rapes and murders all over the place. In the background there's a stalker who's involved in most of what's going on, a convicted murderer who recently escaped from custody and who now has his eyes bent on revenge - the ultimate focus of his attention being the woman responsible for his incarceration.

I enjoyed Brian Freeman's first two novels (his debut being Immoral) and I was rather disappointed with this one. It's full of incident and complex plot twists, but there's a surprising shallowness to it that stems, I feel, from the settled-down and therefore secure relationship between Stride and Serena. They're living together and that's almost all there is to say about it. Yes, there's an edge-of-your-seat rescue involving the pair of them which is generally well written, but I would have liked to have seen something unrelated to all the criminal investigations that could have provided some alternative entertainment. In a way, Freeman becomes almost obsessed with cramming as much as he can into the story, with kinky sex, several rapes both wanted and unwanted, numerous murders of course, and a bit of blackmail for good measure. There is possibly at least one plot strand too many because I felt a little confused at times as to who's doing what to who and why, yes I know this added an element of mystery and suspense to the story but in the end I got the impression that the finished product was worth less than the sum of its many parts.

In a series such as this, of which there are so many these days, the critical feature for durability and long-term brand survival is the characterisation and the appeal of the lead character/s. The template for the Stride/Serena/Maggie series reminds me a little of Karin Slaughter's Grant County series, which also features a male/female lead with each having independent roles, and a female detective partner supporting the male lead. And again, just as Tolliver and Sarah have an interesting sub-character in Lena Adams, so it is in this novel in that Maggie Bei often comes across as the most interesting personality despite her supporting role. From the outset she's right in the thick of things, being the only suspect in the murder of her husband. She has some unusual secrets that she is relectant to share with Stride, and I found it slightly disappointing that her story and her background wasn't more fully developed because the book promised to do just that but gradually changed direction slightly and moved on into events involving characters of less significance and therefore people the reader is less likely to care much about. Some potentially juicy stories are almost completely abandoned or overlooked, not least that surrounding the dirty County Attorney Dan Erickson and his wife Lauren who tolerates his kinky affairs but has ambitions of her own that she manages by exploiting her husband's political status. Lauren's destiny within the context of this novel was slightly low on credibility given her previous astuteness, while Dan seemed to just disappear from sight.

As for the bad guy in the middle of all this, there was a mild surprise when his real name was revealed and which added a little edge to proceedings, but he lacked any original evil charisma and it was possibly a mistake on the writer's part to keep him out of sight for the majority of the pages because we know who he is from page one so there was no benefit to keeping him concealed later. In fact at 500 pages I think the story was at least 100 too long and could have done with some more ruthless editing.

So despite my being a keen supporter of Brian Freeman's ability as demonstrated by his first two novels, I closed the last page of this one slightly relieved that it was over. Action and suspense, yes, but not a lot of depth, and sad to confess I found it rather forgettable. In fairness, despite the title I gave for this review, it isn't actually as dull as dishwater because there's quite a lot of action and the rescue scene near the end was modestly scary - it's just that once I turned the final page and absorbed all that had gone before, I felt slightly numb and my primary conclusion was that Brian Freeman can do better than this. I still have enough confidence in him to order his next novel The Watcher.
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VINE VOICEon 18 August 2009
This is the third Brian Freeman novel about Lieutenant Jonathan Stride. I have read them in the correct sequence which makes a change for me. Freeman is a good thriller writer generally about the seedier side of life and this one is no exception. When Stride's partner Maggie Bei discovers her husband Eric dead in their home shot with her gun things certainly look grim for her, in fact it appears that she is the murderer, but Stride does not believe it and she has got something she is keeping secret from him. A beautiful woman Tanjy has gone missing after having a meeting with Maggie's husband, both of them have left behind cryptic messages. Stride's lover, ex cop turned private investigator Serena Dial is working for a client who is being blackmailed. Soon the investigations into all these crimes reveal rapes and private sex clubs and the fact that someone has an obsession for Serena Dial. The hunt for the killer and rapist takes part in the bitter Minnesota winter in freezing cold winds and snow. This novel moves at a tremendous pace, the characters are all fully fleshed out and the multistranded plot is engrossing. A real page turner for thriller fans.
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on 24 April 2010
Having read and really enjoyed Immoral and Stripped it was with mixed feelings that I gave this novel five stars. After an excellent and gripping prologue, the story itself got off to a rather flat start and - for me - the pace did not pick up until halfway through the book. In the first third there was far too much retrospective description. Whilst necessary,maybe, for anyone who had not read the two previous novels, I found that it spoilt the development of a storyline that had to evolve around a large number of characters. At one point I got bored and almost abandoned the book - something I very rarely do. Thank goodness I persevered, because halfway through everything changed and the remainder more than made up for the beginning, as a rattling good suspense-filled yarn with a truly gripping finale. Bring on the next one Mr Freeman!
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on 28 June 2008
I rarely give out any 5 star ratings as I believe that they should only be awarded to outstanding pieces of work, Stalked easily fits into this category.

The story has a bit of everything that makes an excellent crime novel, Murder, suspense, blackmail, obsession, sex and jealousy.

This is the 3rd installment involving Jonathon Stride and in my opinion Freeman's best yet. Stride's partner Maggie Bei's husband is murdered in their home in the middle of the night, shot with her own weapon. Maggie is prime suspect and has secrets she cannot even trust Stride with. With all damning evidence pointing towards Maggie, Stride has to work quick to solve the mystery before more people are murdered.

Excellent charecters, emotional storyline, strong dialogue, if you enjoyed Immoral and Stripped, you're guaranteed to enjoy Stalked!

Brian Freeman is becoming my favourite crime writer and i'm really looking forward to his next book, 10/10.
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on 1 July 2012
I would recommend this book for anyone who likes a fast paced detective story. I loved it. I had read all the previous books in this series and I think that helps the book be so good. I couldn't put this down, can't wait for the next one.
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on 9 October 2013
I LOVE this author. A great read. Personally I like the first in the series best but there is always a twist at the end. One big gripe though is I am reading the the Jonathan Stride series in order but number 4 does not seem to be available on kindle so have had to go to number 5. As they make reference to the previous book in the series am reading references that obviously pertain to number 4. Hoping this does not cause a problem. Definitely recommend
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