Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Cold Nowhere (Jonathan Stride #6) by Brian Freeman

Book: The Cold Nowhere (Jonathan Stride #6)
Author: Brian Freeman
Narrator (if applicable):n/a

Release date (if applicable): Published

Synopsis: Ten years ago, six year old Cat Mateo hid under her porch as she listened to her abusive,  convict father slaughter her mother and then shoot himself in the head in a murder suicide. After running away from her guardians, she lives her life on the streets as a prostitute. Problem is that someone is determined that she doesn't live another day and has made multiple attempts on her life that she has so far escaped. She remembers something that her mother told her about going to Jonathan Stride if she ever got into trouble.

As Jonathan tries to figure out who wants this teen dead as the bodies keep piling up, is he looking at things as clearly as he should? His team doesn't think so. 
My rating: 5 stars
My opinion: There is a reason why Brian Freeman is on my short list for favorite American authors. The Cold Nowhere is an excellent example. 

I was very nervous about this book. The last full Jonathan Stride novel was released in 2009. Mr. Freeman has had some excellent stand alone novels, but not a Jonathan Stride. When I saw this on Edelweiss, I blinked my eyes a couple of times. I, then, went in like a kid opening Christmas gifts and proceeded to PLEAD with the publisher to let me review. I became giddy as a school girl when I was granted permission to the ARC. Then, noticing the release date, I had to shelve it. That didn't thrill me!

After a much too long absence, Jonathan Stride is back and he is back strong. This book sucked me in IMMEDIATELY and left me guessing until the end. 

What I love about this series is that even after 6 full length novels and a couple of novella releases, Mr. Freeman is able to keep his protagonist and supporting cast strong. His characters remain approachable, flawed yet inviting. This is not an easy feat. The storyline, as usual, was well developed with twists and turns that left me guessing at what was real, what was perceived and where was I having my head played with. After almost 5000 books under my belt, I love when an author can accomplish this, as very few can. Furthermore, I think one needs to look deeper into the storyline as I noticed that there were repetitions made, but had deeper psychological meanings of the characters behind them. 

There was something about this book that reminded me of a great French horror film called High Tension. Again, it was the determining what was real and what was not.

I started this book at 7pm last night and forced myself to put it down at 9pm. I woke up at 4 am with a strong desire to get back to it. I grabbed a cup of coffee and picked up my Nook. I didn't put it down until I finished it.  After devouring THE COLD NOWHERE, I looked at the last page with a sadness. I had to wait 5 years for the next book in the series. Alas, now I feel like a kid who finished a Popsicle way too quickly and is looking at the used stick. The only thing in my case is that I don't know when there will be another Popsicle! 

I will say that I think this is my favorite book in the series. All others received 4 stars from me. So maybe that wait wasn't so bad. Nah! Who am I kidding? It was torturous! 
Source:   Quercus for review
Would I recommend? : I have a list of 5 authors that when I am asked for recommendations for mystery series I offer to readers. Mr. Freeman's Jonathan Stride series is on that list. 

As my standard practice, I scrolled through some of the ratings on this book. One thing that stood out to me on the lower ratings was that most focused on the fact that they had read this book as a freestanding novel versus as part of a series.  I will say that this series is incredibly character driven. There are quirks and histories that can only be picked up on by someone who has read and ingested the entire series. Do yourself a favor and start with book one. It is worth the time and commitment. I PROMISE!!
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Number 6 in series

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