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Monday, December 30, 2013

The Cold Nowhere by Brian Freeman

Lieutenant Stride goes home to his cottage on the shore of Lake Superior, where he is confronted with a crime he cannot ignore. He discovers a young woman, Cat Mateo, hiding in his bedroom, scared and dripping wet from a desperate plunge into the icy lake.
 The girl isn’t a stranger to Stride; she is the daughter of a woman he tried and failed to protect from a violent husband years ago.  When Cat asks Stride for protection from a mysterious person she claims is trying to kill her, Stride is driven by guilt and duty to help her.
 Stride’s police partner Maggie Bei doubts the homeless orphan, who has been supporting herself as a prostitute and living rough on the streets of Duluth. She marvels at how easily the hard-bitten young girl, who sleeps with a knife under her pillow, has won Stride’s trust.
As Stride investigates Cat’s case off the record, Maggie’s suspicions solidify and a single question haunts the void between them: should Stride be afraid for—or of—this damaged girl?
THE COLD NOWHERE is the sixth novel in the Jonathan Stride detective series which is primarily based in Duluth Minnesota - a town that Brian effectively uses the elements of cold, wind, and the roar of Lake Superior. I definitely recommend reading the series in order of publication which starts with the book IMMORAL.
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. The Cold Nowhere made me eager to solve the mystery. I definitely developed an appreciation of how well all the pieces came together by the end of the book. The strong plot and characterization, as well as past works in the Stride mythos, will keep readers anticipating --- and returning to --- future works for some time to come.

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