Friday, January 2, 2009

"Immoral" By Brian Freeman

I remember sitting back on my easy chair and beginning Brian Freeman's "Immoral." I sighed, "aah" this is gonna be a good one. I hope there's nothing scheduled because I'm going to be reading this gem of a mystery for as long as I can without putting it down.

It's no wonder that it was a finalist for the Edgar Award.

When the comparisons to Michael Connolly and Dennis Lehane were made I knew there had to be something grand about this novel and it didn't disappoint.

Lt. Jonathan Stride is brought in to help find missing teenager Rachel Deese who is described by one of her classmates as "...a bigger slut, you're not likely to find."

Rachel knew how to get her way with her father but when her father died she told her mother " was you who killed him." She is a difficult if beautiful teenager who vanishes. Lt Stride is pained by the possible connection with the disappearance of Kerry McGrath just 14 months earlier. He feels he's lost Kerry to t monster and is determined to do what he can to find who has taken these teenagers and to possibly rescue Rachel.

Stride is emotionally numbed by the death of his wife, Cindy, who passed away from cancer within the year. Her death has taken his heart and he goes through the steps of the investigation robotically, as if the fates have already been drawn for these teenagers and there's nothing that can be done to save them. He struggles and through his efforts the reader feels that he is searching for his lost wife as well as these children.

The characters are well drawn and likable. The setting in Superior, Wisconsin makes this reader feel the resemblance to "Fargo." So much so that I could almost see him riding shotgun across the frozen cornfields with Frances McDormand behind the wheel.

Highly Recommended.

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