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Publisher's Summary

This is one case that has haunted Jonathan Stride for 30 years. In the summer after his junior year of high school, he fell in love with Cindy Starr, the girl who would become his wife. But that same summer, Cindy's sister, Laura, was brutally murdered. The police suspected a vagrant of committing the crime, but Stride and Cindy were both convinced that the killer was someone close to Laura.

Thirty years later, Laura's best friend, Tish Verdure, returns to Duluth to write a book about Laura's death. Tish knows secrets about Cindy that leave Stride questioning his entire past.

©2009 Brian Freeman; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"[M]ay be his most ambitious - and accomplished - work to date....Powered by darkly poetic atmospherics and deep character development, this harrowing and heartrending novel will leave readers guessing until the very last pages." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Overall

Minnesota native objects

Let me start with this: any reader who doesn't know how to pronounce "Ole" -- as in 'Ole and Lena jokes' -- has no business reading a Minnesota book.

But second, if the reader had parodied African American accents like he does Minnesota accents, he'd be charged with unmitigated racism. The reading is way beyond atrocious. The caricatures are embarrassing and insulting to everyone from the Upper Midwest -- his rendition of North Dakota farmers is even worse. Fortunately, they have fewer lines.

The book itself? I love reading Freeman's books because I know the locale and remember it with fondness. That's what I'll do in the future -- read the books.

I imagine Brian Freeman himself is tearing his hair out over this assault and battery on his work.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Lia
  • Sutton, Australia
  • 10-25-17

3.5 Lost A Little Of The Spark

This book seemed to have lost the spark that his previous works had. Though it is still very good, this one was just a bit off.

Tish Verdure returns to Minnesota to write about a case that is just too personal for Detective Jonathan Stride. This book will be about the night 30 years ago that Jonathan and his late wife Cindy thought would be the most wonderful of their lives, the night that they would make their most personal commitment to each other. But when Cindy's sister Laura never comes home and is found murdered, and the town is readily able to believe that it was the black vagrant that did it, and all was easily swept under the rug. But that was just too easy. This is the case that sent Jonathan into police work.

Now Tish is back to write a book and expose the truth. A truth that has too many people wanting this story to stay hidden. A truth that will set some free, but will bury others.

Freeman writes a tightly wound thriller that has multiple storylines and has the reader rapidly turning pages to see which conclusion will answer the questions the Jonathan has been trying to solve. Did his beloved Cindy keep secrets from him? Why didn't he know about Tish?

Freeman slowly unfold more depth to his continuing characters. Slowly, but sure, we begin to see the inner workings of these characters and what makes them tick.

Joe Barrett and Carrington MacDuffie were outstanding with the delivery of the story

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

IntricateRelationships

Laura Starr is brutally murdered. 30 years later Tish Verdure, Laura's closest friend, returns to Duluth to write a novel, "Who Killed Laura Starr?" This story within a story is told from the point of view of Laura's sister, Cindy. The books go back and forth until eventually "Who Killed Laura Starr?" is abandoned. It is difficult to determine if this is with intent or not. The central character in both books is Jonathan Stride, husband to Cindy. Jon was there at the murder and typical of a small town is enlisted by Ray Wallace, the sheriff, to help with the murder investigation. This puts Jon on his career path and he eventually becomes a detective in Duluth. When Tish returns, she speaks to Jon first and Jon unofficially reopens the case on the strength of evidence that Tish withheld. This is the first of multiple secrets that abide within the adults who were teenagers at the time of the murder. They are revealed slowly and substantially impact a family who never even heard of Laura. The drama of Clark and his daughter, Mary, who is developmentally disabled, draws the listener further into the web. Clark is key to solving the mystery. The ending is somewhat unexpected and quite sad. Freeman does not allow everyone to live happily ever after; although some characters do. There is a scene at the end which requires the listener to suspend belief because it's a little beyond the pale, but forgivable. Don't buy this book if you are looking for tons of action. You will be disappointed. The book is a cold case and the investigation is slow. Most of the action is at the end. Character development, intricate relationships, and inequities within the criminal justice system are the primary pieces of this book. The mystery does get solved, but in its own time.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Another Great Freeman Work

And it never hurts to have great narration either.

In this series we are blessed with realistic, great police work, an engaging group of characters and clever mysteries.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Suspenseful!

Descriptive, entertaining, and well acted out! Very hard listen to put down! This author and narrator combo has sucked me in to six books in a row... On to the next!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Lindora
  • Corralitos, CA United States
  • 05-12-09

Mediocre

Not a thrilling thriller. The characters failed to engage my interest--I couldn't care about any of them. The narrator, while adequately capturing the Minnesota accent, detracted from the story. His voices for the female characters were especially grating, making them sound developmentally challenged. Most of the action sequences came off as ridiculously melodramatic, and the "romantic" passages were just cringe-inducing. Very amateurish.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Best of the best...so far?

Fantastic character development, narration, descriptive narrative that puts you there, hearing and feeling the wind, the weather, the emotions, fears, anger and love. Brian Freeman's books bring me right back to the Duluth I spent parts of my life growing up in. So far, this is the best of his "crop" of the best!

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good book

great book. keeps my attention. thats not always easy. I really hate that they make me write a 15 word review.