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In the Dark (Jonathan Stride) Mass Market Paperback – March 30, 2010

Book 4 of 6 in the Jonathan Stride Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Edgar-finalist Freeman's fourth thriller to feature Duluth, Minn., police lieutenant Jonathan Stride (after Stalked) may be his most ambitious—and accomplished—work to date. As the title suggests, even those involved in the closest relationships can be kept in the dark about a loved one's past. When a woman shows up in town and informs Stride that she's writing a book about the 30-year-old mystery surrounding the murder of the older sister of the girl who grew up to become Stride's spouse, he's forced to re-examine the validity of his bond with not only his late wife, Cindy, who died of cancer five years earlier, but also that involving his current love interest, a former Vegas cop turned PI, Serena Dial. Powered by darkly poetic atmospherics and deep character development (especially Stride, whose understated intensity, dignity and resilience are emblematic of the Twin Ports area itself), this harrowing and heartrending novel will leave readers guessing until the very last pages. Author tour. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Eighteen-year-old Laura Starr was beaten to death the night of July 4, 1977. Her killer was believed to be a transient who got away. Thirty years later, Jonathan Stride (Immoral; Stripped; Stalked), the head of the Major Crimes department in Duluth, MN, finds that everything he thinks he knows about the case is not quite true when a friend of his late wife comes home to write a book about the murder. As alternating chapters excerpt the proposed book and follow the current-day story, Freeman builds a suspenseful tale of terror and secrets kept too long. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 12/08.]
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Jonathan Stride (Book 4)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; Reprint edition (March 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780312363321
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312363321
  • ASIN: 031236332X
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #818,787 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Brian Freeman is an international bestselling author of psychological thrillers, including the Jonathan Stride and Cab Bolton series. His books have been sold in 46 countries and 20 languages and have appeared as Main Selections in the Literary Guild and the Book of the Month Club. He is widely acclaimed for his "you are there" settings and his complex, engaging characters and twist-filled plots.

His seventh novel SPILLED BLOOD won the award for Best Hardcover Novel in the annual Thriller Awards given out by the International Thriller Writers organization, and his fifth novel THE BURYING PLACE was a finalist for the same award. His debut thriller, IMMORAL, won the Macavity Award for Best First Novel and was a nominee for the Edgar, Dagger, Anthony, and Barry Awards. IMMORAL was named International Book of the Month, a distinction shared with authors such as Harlan Coben and Lisa Unger.

Freeman's newest novel is SEASON OF FEAR, the latest to feature Florida detective Cab Bolton. Bestselling author Linda Castillo says: "SEASON OF FEAR has everything: unexpected plot twists that keep on coming, a smart and charming hero, and a setting that's as sultry and dangerous as a tropical storm. It will blow you away."

His books include: IMMORAL, STRIPPED, STALKED, IN THE DARK (also called THE WATCHER overseas), THE BURYING PLACE, THE BONE HOUSE (the first book in his Cab Bolton series), SPILLED BLOOD, THE COLD NOWHERE, and SEASON OF FEAR. He also has two bonus stories in his Jonathan Stride series, the short story "Spitting Devil" and the novella TURN TO STONE.

Top bestselling authors recommend Freeman's novels. Lisa Gardner calls him "a master of psychological suspense." Michael Connelly says, "This guy can tell a story."

Freeman was born in Chicago and grew up in San Mateo, California, before moving to Minnesota. You can write to him at and find him on the web (, Facebook (, Twitter (@bfreemanbooks), and Instagram (bfreemanbooks).

Customer Reviews

It's a long wait for the next book in this thrilling series.
D. Love
Freeman does such a great job developing his characters and story lines, and always seems to leave the reader with a few twists at the end.
Anne M. Winters
I have purchase a stack of his books and can hardly wait to read the next one.
Tom McGee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Desiree on April 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I recently discovered Brian Freeman and have eagerly read everything he's written! I was looking forward to reading IN THE DARK for quite some time and Brian certainly did not disappoint! This is his best work yet. I found it VERY hard to put down. IN THE DARK was full of twists and turns and kept me reading long into the night! I recommend this book to anyone looking for a great page turner from a wonderful new author.

Also look for "The Agency" by Aly O'Brien, Brian Freeman co-authors this book!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Schiariti on February 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Brian Freeman's Jonothan Stride novels are quickly becoming my favorite on going series. His deftness at writing engaging characters, broaching adult subjects without going overboard, and mixing wonderfully interesting plots with great twists and turns is really hard to beat.

Stride loved his late wife Cindy fiercely. Thirty years ago events happened in their lives that would change them both forever, especially Stride. As it happens, on the first night Stride and Cindy decide to take their relationship to the next level, something dreadful happens; the brutal murder of Cindy's older sister Laura. These are not only events that would decide Stride's career path, but would also come back to haunt him in his present life.

Turn the page to today and someone from Cindy and Laura's past comes back to town in the form of Laura's best high school friend, Tish. Tish is writing a book. 'Who really killed Laura Starr'. Tish's arrival in town after nearly three decades will make Stride question everything he thought about that fateful night when his would-be sister in law was murdered out in the cold woods as well as how well he thought he knew his late wife.

As if that weren't enough, a series of peeping tom incidents have occurred in their jurisdiction and none other than Maggie Bei lands the case.

This is a fantastic look into some of Strides earlier years and some of the events that shaped him into the character that he's become over these four novels. As with any Stride novel, just when you think you have the mystery solved and the culprit picked out, Freeman pulls the rug out from under you. The thing that makes it so satisfying though is that Freeman never makes it cheap or out of the blue. It always makes sense and is completely plausible.

I can't recommend In the Dark or Brian Freeman's body of work as a whole enough. Just Grade A fantastic writing. With another novel right around the corner, color me excited!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. ONEILL on April 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Brian Freeman has been climbing the ranks as one of my favorite authors over the past few years. His first three books really impressed me so I was eagerly anticipating IN THE DARK and had heard it was going to be the most emotional book of the Stride/Dial series. Often I find myself a bit disappointed after reading a long-awaited book because it just doesn't live up to the hype.

IN THE DARK was NOT one of these books.

Every Brian Freeman book has a "killer" prologue and this one screams chapter one as soon as you finish it. The book effectively builds multiple sub-plots at a good pace and mixes in razor-sharp psychological suspense, mystery, action, and twists. IN THE DARK challenged me to solve the multi-layered mystery then engaged an appreciation of how well all the pieces came together by the end of the book. It usually takes me about two weeks to read a novel but this gem was virtually pageless at 5.5 days.

Brian Freeman has developed an endearing base of characters through vivid, descriptive scenes of first rate quality. If I had to choose a single new release to read from any author right would be one from Brian Freeman. His collective series of IMMORAL, STRIPPED, STALKED, and now IN THE DARK elevates him to my #1 favorite author to read...hands down.

I can't wait for the next one.....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on June 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Within a relatively short time, Brian Freeman has amassed an enviable list of nominations and awards in the mystery and thriller fields. He takes some chances in his latest novel, departing from the tried-and-true elements of his previous works even as he returns to the familiar scenery of Duluth, Minnesota, and Detective Jonathan Stride.

IN THE DARK focuses on events that took place primarily in Stride's distant past, but that threaten to jar the relative complacency of the present. The catalyst arrives in the form of Tish Verdure, a journalist who comes to Duluth to research a book that deals with an event that in some ways shaped Stride's life and career. Some 30 years ago, Stride was at the beginning of the summer before his senior year of high school, a time when he fell in love with Cindy Starr, the woman he would later marry and tragically lose to cancer. What we also learn is that it was the summer when Cindy's sister, Laura, would be brutally murdered by an unknown killer. Tish claims to have been Laura's best friend, though Stride can barely remember her from high school and has no recollection of the two of them ever being close.

Tish believes she knows the identity of Laura's murderer, placing the blame squarely at the feet of Peter Stanhope, a local attorney whose family has represented wealth and power in the Duluth area for decades. The accusation creates a complication for Stride from a number of perspectives. His relationship with Stanhope has never been warm and fuzzy; Stanhope is a major political supporter of the local District Attorney; and Serena Dial, Stride's significant other, is weighing an offer of the extremely lucrative position as Stanhope's private investigator.
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