A Denver Post Bestseller
Detective Jonathan Stride’s first wife, Cindy, died of cancer eight years ago, but her ghost hangs over Stride’s relationship with his current lover and fellow detective Serena Dial. When Serena witnesses a brutal murder outside a Duluth bar, she stumbles onto a case with roots that go all the way back to the last year of Cindy Stride’s life.
At the time, Cindy and Stride were on opposite sides of a domestic murder investigation. Gorgeous, brilliant Janine Snow—a surgeon transplanted to Duluth from Texas—was the prime suspect in the shooting death of her husband. Cindy believed her friend Janine was innocent, but Stride thought all the evidence pointed to the surgeon—even though the gun was never found. Despite Cindy’s attempts to help Janine, the case led to a high-profile murder trial in which Janine was convicted and sent to prison.
During the current investigation, Serena finds a gun used in the murder of a woman connected to an organized crime syndicate—a gun that turns out to be the same weapon used to kill Janine Snow’s husband. Two unrelated cases years apart suddenly have a mysterious connection. As Stride investigates the possibility that human traffickers are targeting women in the Duluth port, he begins to question whether he made a terrible mistake eight years ago by putting an innocent woman in prison—and whether he will ever be able to make peace with the memory of his beloved wife and give his heart to Serena.
“A twist-filled psychological suspense novel exploring the nature of good, evil, duplicity, obsession, love, and the power of past decisions.”
“This incredible author is perfect when giving clarity to both past and present. If there is a way to say ‘higher’ than ‘highly recommended,’ I wish I knew it. Because this is one of those thrillers that go above and beyond.”
“Master storyteller Brian Freeman knocks it out of the park with his latest Jonathan Stride crime thriller…This compelling police crime thriller should be on everyone’s must-read list.”
“An ending that will stupefy readers, surprises and twists that only author Brian Freeman can create…Once again Freeman raises the bar high.”
“Deftly plotted…Stride’s heartfelt memories of Cindy and his reluctance to fully commit to Serena, coupled with an in-depth look at the book’s supporting characters, make this police procedural a standout.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Freeman skillfully weaves together diverse story lines…with twists that build suspense, in this fine, character-driven addition to a strong series.”
Booklist (starred review)
“Joe Barrett’s sturdy narration sounds authentic for brawny Detective Stride, yet he also sensitively portrays Stride’s emotions as he recalls his beloved wife…This whodunit has more conversations than skirmishes, and the few action scenes are enhanced by Barrett’s intensity. Barrett does a mostly straightforward reading of the dialogue but provides enough nuance to allow the listener to understand which character is speaking.”
Joe Barrett has appeared both on and off Broadway as well as in hundreds of radio and television commercials. He has earned multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards and has been nominated for the prestigious Audie Award. He has narrated books by such authors as Trevanian, Brian Freeman, Don Winslow, and James W. Huston.