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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 13 June 2010
I recently read, 'The Watcher' and reacquainted myself with Jonathan Stride and his team with a great deal of enjoyment. So much so that I quickly found this latest book and, again, enjoyed pretty much every page.

Stride is well created by the author. In this outing, he is recovering from his near death experience in the previous book and it's not a happy process. Whilst he tries to overcome his flashbacks and keep his love life intact, there is the question of a serial killer on the rampage and a baby kidnapping to solve. The author keeps us guessing until the very end and I, for one, was glad to be caught out with just who was responsible.

There are several characters in this book (and the earlier ones, of course) who are now developing their own personalities, no longer overshadowed by Stride. This opens up the storyline whilst not taking away the suspense as they track down the guilty.

It's a great thriller; I hope the next one remains as taut and as readable as this. I rather fancy it will.
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VINE VOICEon 22 August 2010
This is the 5th book in Brian Freemans Stride & Serena series, and personally I found it to be the most exciting yet. Kasey is a small town cop, working hard to support her out of work husband and young child. She is driving home one night when she unwittingly stumbles across the latest victim of the North lands killer who has been the subject of a statewide search by local police, headed by veteran cop Maggie Bei. Soon enough Kasey finds herself straight in the middle of the investigation, and it's soon clear that the killer has his sights set on her.
Meanwhile Stride is recouperating after his fall from a bridge in the last book;The Watcher in his remote house on the lake. Unfortunately he's not coping well and is also growing distant from long term girlfriend, and fellow cop, Serena Dial. One night Stride & Dial are confronted by a fellow officer in need of help. An infant has gone missing from the large house of a wealthy surgeon and the twosomes expertise is needed on the case. While Stride struggles to decide wether he is ready to get back on the force, Serena jumps straight in, embracing a new challenge that doesnt involve her relationship.
This book is frighteningly fast paced. I read it in two days and I simply couldn't put it down, even turning up for work a few minutes late just so i could finish a chapter. The regular characters that we have been following for quite a few years now are finally all coming to the forefront, meaning it's no longer just a Jonathan Stride book. We get to indulge in the lives of both Serena and Maggie also, including a cast of beautifully portrayed secondary characters. The only thing letting this one down is the fact that I think the storyline itself could have done with a bit more tightening up, but thats really the only fault I could find. A full throttle juggernaut of a thriller, can easily be read by itself as well as part of the series.
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VINE VOICEon 24 January 2011
This is a detective thriller following the dual investigation of the disappearance and probable murder of three women and the disapperance of a child, all set during a winter in Minnesota. The detectives and their interrelationships play a significant part of the story. There's lots good with this book but also some bad and that ends up taking alot away from the overall story.

Freeman has brought together a complex plot here with lots of twists and turns and some you could see but some genuine surprise's that will have me re-reading a few sections. It makes for a very effective page turner. What was expecially good was the unpeeling of many characters secrets, some of the terror/suspense/action parts and the authors voice.

However the plot is let down where several police procedures seem very slack and appear to be there to let the plot go in the direction it needs too. Simple personel checks, no back up for police offices, people left alone and not radioing in movements are some examples. I was going to give the book 4 stars but these issues piled up, especially toward the prolonged (good) climax, and I got a bit fed up with them. There was a major and minor incident were police where searching / on the look out for people/things in dark places and neither bother taking a torch. Meant some excellent tense action but was a bit daft to be in that position in the first place.

Another claring issue is the lead detective only vaguely remembers being a partner with Denise for FOUR years and doesn't seem to know the basic's of her family.

Quick comment on the level of gore. There are a few yukky bits in the book but probably on a bar with Connelly (only read one) rather than the higher level of Karin Slaughter but its certainly well above Agatha Christie.

I like my thrillers to be exciting and page turning , which this book was but I also like story to be tight with very few holes. This had a few to many holes, without them it could have been on par with the one Micheal Connelly I've read which was much tighter.
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on 31 March 2010
This is Brian Freeman's most recent book, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. He takes his flawed characters, and exposes their flaws, while showing their human side, and the ending has a twist Jeffrey Deaver would be proud of. The plot focuses on an egomaniac doctor and his wife who has mental health problems whose child goes missing. Stride, Serena, Mags work togheter to try and find the child. Freeman introduces new members of the Duluth police force who turn into integral parts of the story. I look forward to reading more books from Brian Freeman soon.
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on 2 August 2013
This is the first book that i have read by Brian Freeman and i will definitely be getting hold of the rest of the Jonathan Stride series.It was really lovely to read a book about a cop that does not spend the whole book arguing with his bosses and having to cope with the normal jerk that you find on most police teams in books these days.The book rockets along and it was a genuine shock when it was revealed who took baby Callie.a real thrill ride with lots of twists and turns,one of the best books i have read all year and i read a lot of books
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VINE VOICEon 22 December 2009
I thought the first book in the series, Immoral, was a really top class crime novel. Then in the next book the author tries to take his main 2 characters to Las Vegas and for me it didn't quite work. I enjoyed Stalked, missed out on The Watcher and came back to the series here. And I have to say that I am starting to admire Brian Freeman more and more. He is excellent at writing really gripping plots and is managing better than I thought to keep his character's love relationships plausible and interesting.

Jonathan Stride is really good creation and although the storylines can (for my taste) be a little too heavy with the complications brought about by the women in his life, I'm finding that my impatience in that area has more or less evaporated. Freeman is such a good writer and gets the balance about right. As a consequence this is a series that I shall now stay with.
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on 1 July 2011
The author Brian Freeman reminds me more and more of Harlan Coben. Impossible not to compare the two writers, they have similarities that are hard to miss. Fast-paced, twisted story-lines, mostly entirely believable, that keep you glued to the pages. Tension and puzzlement building up from page 1.

The protagonists change but the main characters are still here. Lieutenant Jonathan Stride, still physically weak and emotionally depressed after the traumatic fall from a bridge (in "The Watcher"), his life partner Serena, struggling to understand his feelings, long-term colleague Maggie trying to help out. Their personal problems aside, they must deal with a puzzling case, the disappearance of a baby from her own home where no intruders seem to have broken into. And one after the other, women from different backgrounds start disappearing without trace. Two different cases that seem to have no connection but...

A great book for fans of fast-paced, intriguing mysteries.
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This is the first book I have read by the author Brian Freeman and am now going to get any other by him, as I really enjoyed the book. Has all the ingredients of a great thriller.

The beginning is quite fast paced, a little blood thirsty, creepy and one that is an opener I didn't expect.

A great thriller with lots of suspense, a murderer, a child that disappears without trace ..... Stride being on leave after an incident is now back in place and trying to tie up all the pieces. This is even more fraught and close too home for him as it is his niece that has disappeared. The blurb on the back of the book gives you an eye opener of what is in store, but it doesn't give the whole game away.

A great read for readers that like Karin Slaughter, Cobhen, and Tess Gerristen.
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If you have read previous books, you'll know all about the complexity of Stride. He's a detective with serious issues! This book really focuses on the latest ones. The triangle between him, Serena and Maggie takes a turn which I didn't expect to see in this book and I was dissapointed that it did so I want to find out what happens in the next book! As for the plot, I wasn't so sure if I am honest. Apart from Stride, there were two actual plots in this book and the missing baby was fairly predictable. I won't go into too much detail but it was almost thrown in just to link it to the main plot. I still enjoyed this book as it usually focuses onthe characters. I am hoping the next book goes back to the strong writing we know and love.
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on 30 January 2011
This is the first book I have read by this author and I was really surprised by how good it was, a small town with a lot happening i had not read the book before this but have ordered it now but it doesn't stop you from reading this one - a small baby taken from her rich parents house, the mother out of town and the father who is a suspect right away (with good reason) a house keeper who is really strange, a cop with a problem (no surprise there) but this guy is likeable which is good, and another killer on the loose, as i say a lot going on you really have to concentrate but a great read, a nice twist at the end which is did not expect so all good, yes read this you will enjoy it
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