Brian Freeman follows up his gripping standalone novel Spilled Blood with the equally impressive The Cold Nowhere, sixth in his popular Jonathan Stride series. Here, the lieutenant, feeling guilty about the death of one Michaela Mateo a decade prior, tries to help her 16-year-old daughter, Catalina. Cat, appearing on the doorstep of his Park Point, Minnesota, home out of nowhere, informs him that she narrowly escaped being murdered the night before. Feeling protective of the beautiful, homeless orphan who has taken to prostitution to survive, he decides to look into her allegations. Even though he sympathizes with her plight, he can’t be sure he’s getting the entire story out of the street-toughened teen. His investigation leads him to question whether she is a victim or a perpetrator, and he begins to question whether she might be responsible for an unsolved murder which occurred a few months prior.
As evidenced by his numerous, and well-deserved, award nominations, Freeman knows his way around a thriller, evidencing a consistent mastery in creating, and sustaining, gut-twisting tension—the author keeps both his protagonist and his audience on their collective toes, forcing them to stay alert for the clue or the incident that might blow things wide open at any moment. Even though both have been around for a few years now, neither Freeman nor Stride show any discernible signs of slowing down, good news for thriller fans everywhere.