The Cold Nowhere

The Cold Nowhere

At the start of Thriller Award–winner Freeman’s masterfully plotted sixth novel featuring Duluth, Minn., police detective Jonathan Stride (after 2010’s The Burying Place), a half-frozen 16-year-old hooker turns up in Stride’s cottage on Lake Superior late one winter night. Catalina “Cat” Mateo needs Stride to protect her from a stalker, but the detective carries some psychological baggage: 10 years earlier, he failed to save Cat’s mother from being butchered by her brutal husband, who then shot himself as little Cat cowered under their porch. Maggie Bei, Stride’s longtime police partner and onetime lover, warns him that Cat could now be unstable, even homicidal, but Stride, a strong man whose weakness is rescuing women, can’t abandon the teenager.Freeman shows how those endless North Shore winters have toughened and aged Stride, closing him off from the

world, but the author also convincingly makes Stride break out of his icy, self-imposed shell. Author tour. Agent: Deborah Schneider, Gelfman Schneider Literary Agents.

Edgar Award finalist and international bestselling author Brian Freeman brings the long-awaited return of Lieutenant Jonathan Stride to the bitter cold of Duluth, Minnesota.

Sixteen-year-old Catalina Mateo shows up unannounced one night in Detective Jonathan Stride's home, dripping wet from a desperate plunge into the icy waters of Lake Superior. Her sodden clothes stained with blood, Cat spins a tale of a narrow escape from a shadowy pursuer.

Stride decides to trust this girl, but his judgment may be clouded by memories of Cat's mother. Ten years earlier, Cat hid under the porch of her family home while her mother was brutally butchered by her ex-con father. Stride still blames himself for not preventing the slaughter.

But is Cat telling the truth? Stride's police partner, Maggie Bei, doubts the homeless girl, who has been living rough on the streets of Duluth since her mother's death--and now sleeps with a knife hidden under her pillow.

As Stride investigates Cat's story, more violence trails in the teenager's wake--and Maggie's suspicions about her deepen. Now a single question haunts the void between them: Should Stride be afraid for--or of--this terribly damaged girl

Jonathan Stride fans worldwide will be thrilled by the Duluth detective’s return in what is very much a back to the future episode from one of the better writers of psychological suspense novels. The past – and Stride’s own part in it – holds the key to both the present and to his future and that of those nearest to him.

When he finds a soaked, bloody and terrified teenage hooker hiding in his house, Stride is plunged back ten years to the first time he saw the girl when he investigated the brutal murder of her mother and her unstable father’s subsequent suicide. Her story, that she is being pursued by an unknown killer, strikes a chord with the veteran policeman who offers his protection, but his partner and former lover, Maggie Bei, is not so sure about a clearly damaged girl who sleeps with a knife under her pillow. As they investigate her story further they uncover their own failure to recognise a series of killings going back for more than ten years, political corruption and cover-up, and in a dramatic climax find their own lives are in danger.

That attention to detail is again obvious – and should drag in new readers eager to discover what makes Stride tick and follow his sometimes almost chaotic processes of detection all set amid the paranoia and isolation of small town America struggling to come to terms with the aftermath of recession. Duluth, a failing steel town and port on the Great Lakes, is hardly the most glamorous setting for a detective story and Freeman exploits this with a ruthlessly downbeat style which accurately captures both town and times and puts some fairly explicit and brutal descriptive writing into a realistic and believable context.

Stride himself remains an enigma, devoted to his work, fiercely supportive of his colleagues and fearless in his prosecution of a case. At the same time he is almost pathologically unable to commit on a personal level, uncertain and frequently indecisive and it is those all-too-human failings, which this story forces him to face. If you haven’t come across him before, he’s well worth a read – a very different sort of policeman – and if you like your crime hard and brutal there’s plenty of graphic action.