Goodbye to the Dead by Brian Freeman is the 9th book in the “Jonathan Stride” thriller series. Publisher: Quercus, March 2016
Detective Jonathan Stride’s first wife, Cindy, died of cancer eight years ago, but her ghost hangs over Stride’s relationship with 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.
Convergence. A fast-paced, riveting drama that converged on my soul as this page-turning thriller pulled me in and didn’t let go until my emotions were spent in the manner that has become the reading of a Brian Freeman novel. The pacing, the tone, the dialogue, the action, the mystery- all meshed together in this character-driven narrative where the past meets the present and the consequences of one’s action becomes the story. The author did an excellent job in crafting a dynamic story where I watched and waited for the culmination of how this would all play out knowing what I suspect will be the key to an ending worthy of a journey that was meant to happen. This is by far the best book in this terrific series and I cannot wait to see where we go next with Stride, Serena and Maggie.
FTC Full Disclosure – I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book from Quercus