Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Burying Place

5/23/10 Strong female characters abound in The Burying Place by award-winning crime novelist Brian Freeman (Minotaur, $24.99).

This psychological suspense tale opens with Duluth police Officer Kasey Kennedy lost in a rainy, foggy area. She stumbles into scene where a serial killer is chasing a distraught woman.

Meanwhile, Duluth police Lt. Jonathan Stride, who's recovering from injuries sustained in an earlier book, begins looking into the kidnapping of Callie Glenn of nearby Grand Rapids. The 11-month-old girl was taken from the home of Marcus Glenn, a wealthy, arrogant surgeon, and his wife, Valerie.

Denise Sheridan, a deputy sheriff in Ithaca County, requests Stride's help in solving the case. Valerie is her sister.

Stride is joined by Serena Dial, his lover, who's had 10 years experience as a Las Vegas homicide cop. His partner, Maggie Bei, is also investigating a serial killer who's been murdering women in the surrounding farmlands.

Glenn is a prime suspect in the first case - his distraught wife was out of town. Both have emotional baggage and secrets that raise suspicions.
Valerie and her sister have numerous conflicts. Valerie is used to a life of luxury while Denise and her husband are struggling, trying to raise children.

As Stride and Dial ask more questions, few clues surface regarding Callie's disappearance. The relationship between the pair is slowly disintegrating, while other entanglements cause complications.

Stride's recovery from his fall is causing more challenges, as well. Maggie wants to speed his recovery and has good intentions.

Freeman throws in intriguing minor characters, including an illegal housekeeper and a nosy, dedicated television reporter. There's a quirky nurse added for good measure, but Freeman ratchets up the tension when the devious serial killer makes Kennedy his next target.

Freeman delves deeply into the psychological background of many characters, deftly shifting viewpoints.

This is a top-notch atmospheric thriller. To fully appreciate the characters and their behavior, it would help to read the earlier books in the series: Immoral, Stripped, Stalked and In the Dark.

Ray Walsh
This article also appeared in the
Lansing State Journal on May 23, 2010

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