“enjoyed both of his stand alone books..waiting for the next Stride..”see full review » see other reviews »
“enjoyed both of his stand alone books..waiting for the next Stride..”Gregory L wrote this review Tuesday, September 17, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Carleton author”Ellen M wrote this review Monday, September 30, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Thought I'd like this better. Mystery set in MN (MN author), but the town's name was St. Croix, and I struggled throughout the entire book because this town was set in the western part of the state (i.e. Red River). My MN roots was the St. Croix to be where St. Croix is in reality! Deals with toxic waste from a company and its coverup and cancer of townspeople. ”JKJohnson wrote this review Sunday, September 8, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I am a fan, have been from the beginning. He knows how to tell a story and set a scene with visionary backgrounds. I will always read his books”Jolene S wrote this review Saturday, August 18, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“8”Joni H wrote this review Monday, August 6, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“When two towns are at war over some unexplained cancer deaths, a local industry is thought to be at the center of the controversy. Murder, deceit, corruption, missing witnesse...oh, and love....Good book!”Kevin wrote this review Wednesday, July 25, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is my first time reading this author and it won't be my last. Great story. Lots of mystery and suspense. I had 1,2,3,4,5 suspects that kept changing throughout the story and when I finally figured it out, it still wasn't right. Love his style of writing. ”Arlene C wrote this review Sunday, July 15, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“It kept my attention but I wasn't riveted...I could put it down. I'd give it 3 1/2.”charrod wrote this review Monday, June 25, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This was so scary, so full of tension, it made my stomach hurt. This man can WRITE. I so hope this isn't his only effort. ”Linda S wrote this review Monday, June 25, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Spilled Blood: Brian Freeman
Two small towns divided by hate so horrific that it spilled over from the adults to the children. One young girl would pay the ultimate price for it as Ashlynn Steele met her fate at the hand of someone playing a deadly game of Russian Roulette. A town decimated, destroyed and ghostlike with no one living there no one alive, a town filled with ghosts one young girl named Ashlynn driving through would learn the true meaning of fear. Stopping her car, tired and daydreaming about the past and why she was there she did not hear the two silhouettes that were about to approach her. Tanya Swenson and Oliva Hawk each standing and blocking her way one trying to escape what was about to happen and the other facing Ashlynn head on. Olivia Hawk did not give Ashlynn a chance to explain or even hear what she was saying. Rollie Swenson let the charge to take down and close Mondaimin Research. Rural Minnesota was not like Middle America or any other place you might visit. Barron Minnesota was on one side of the river and St. Croix on the other. This court case started the feud and the events are about to spiral out of control even more.
The author starts the novel with a warning from someone who calls himself Aquarius. Threatening the town of Barron almost in an edict that they better stop what they are doing and face their punishment that would soon deliver. Bone chilling and frightening to say the least.
A father estranged from both his ex-wife and daughter has been summoned back into their lives. Olivia Hawk as you learned in the prologue was at the scene at the time of Ashlynn’s murder holding a gun and pulling the trigger. Christopher Hawk was the only person Olivia wanted and although it has been three years since he left St. Croix and he sees little of his daughter, he did not believe she was guilty.
Christopher Hawk came to the town of Barron to do one thing: Defend his daughter and prove her not guilty of Ashlynn’s murder. An outsider just likes the motel owner he is warned not to take the case and allow a local attorney to defend Olivia. But a father’s love in this case is stronger and his belief in her innocence even more as he takes on more than just the entire town. At the center of the feud is a biotechnology company called Mondamin Research. This company the people of St. Croix feels contains pesticides killing many of their children sparking off a chain of events between the teens of both towns ending in vandalism, hate messages and now murder. Facing his daughter in a small room, cuffed as she was brought in Christopher Hawk has to be making an instant decision about his daughter’s guilt or innocence. Drinking, mourning her best friend Kimberly and carrying a loaded gun, the evidence points to her as she was playing a deadly game so everyone thinks. From meeting her friend Tanya in the ghost town to the midnight encounter with Ashlynn the author gives the reader much pause for thought as to whether Olivia really pulled the trigger or dropped it on the ground like she claims she did. Lawsuit filed by her friend Tanya’s father against the Research Center and the father of her deceased best friend as plaintiff it destroyed more than just the town when the suit was thrown out of court.
Michael Altman is the attorney for Spirit Creek and would go up against Christopher Hawk. As the county attorney relates the events that have led up to where they are now you hear the sadness in his voice, the frustration of both lawyers and a town that has been plagued by violence on both sides of the river they he discusses strategy and how he thinks he should proceed.
The author leads the reader and Christopher Hawk through a town he ahs not visited for four years and graphically describes the lack of warmth, devoid of trees, the moldy dankness of the water, smells, the lonely scene and the sadness of St. Croix. In front of Hannah’s house something would snap him back as shots were fired, glass broken and saw the teens head back toward Barron. Warning that they wanted them gone or worse.
Hate is a terrible word and what has happened in this town will create more than just vandalism and graffiti as author Brian Freeman takes readers on a journey to two small towns so different yet the same. One quite affluent and the other poor and a ghost town in between as we learn more about Olivia, that night and why she was really there.
First-degree murder is what the county attorney is going to ask for. The judge released Olivia and the war has just started. Florian Steele and his wife Julia made it clear just with their stares alone how they felt about Olivia. The town has turned against her even before the trial begins as vandals take shots at her house, destroy his laptop at the motel and wreck his room and one research lab is at the heart of it all but there is much more behind the wars, the feud and why the kids are reacting this way than everyone knows: but does Olivia? Speaking to Tanya after the fight broke out in the high school and one young man named Kirk Watson seems to be holding both towns in the palm of his hands and is quite dangerous to say the least and untouchable by the law and even Florian Steele. As Tanya relates the facts as they happened the same way Olivia did are they both lying, was Ashlynn still alive when she left her or did she pull the trigger? Johan Manus and Kirk Watson got into it and one got away and the other was trying to protect a friend. Two towns whose morals and ethics seem to have disappeared and whose teens are out of control and whose parents are either looking the other way or afraid to stop what is inevitable. But, added to the fear are Aquarius and his messages of doom, threats and more destruction before all is said and done as Olivia falls prey to Kirk and his sadistic warning to Chris and the entire town. Just how far will this go and when will it end?
Florian Steele and Chris Hawk met years ago yet now they sit in the same room far apart from the wide spectrum of hate between them and the towns they represent. One lost a child and the other is fighting to save his. One claiming his company is the end result to help feed the world and replenish the corn and soybean market using nanotechnology and other state of the art methods. Florian Steele paints a picture of his daughter quite different than the painting or portrait would be if it depicted her life as it really was. Christopher Hawk was learning more about Olivia and his portrait of her would change too as he learns more about his daughter’s life while he was gone. From Hannah he learns some startling facts about Ashlynn, which creates more of a spark of, hate in Olivia who decides to approach the one person she thought she could trust and learns more about deceit and lies. Danger ensues during her encounter with Johan and two fathers learn a clear and hard lesson about their town and their children.
Chris returns to the hospital after Olivia’s assault and a warning is placed on his windshield by the elusive Aquarius as the author let’s us in on his plans and shares his inner most thoughts with the reader so we get some insight into who this person is and why he is making the threats. As Chris learns more about the inner workings of the town, the county attorney and the people he realizes that some information has been withheld and the computer that belonged to Ashlynn never found. Olivia shares with Chris that night and the reader experiences it first hand. While all of this unfolds one young man reenters the picture and receives a flash drive that will set in motion events that will impact more than just the creator of the drive.
Kirk Watson seems to have no reason to fear anything or anyone. He seems to be holding people for ransom in more ways than one as he makes a phone call that would change one man’s life even more than it has been already. Just who is this person he refers to as Daddy and what are the plans that he insists he follows.
Ashlynn has many secrets buried along with her and as they resurface we learn more about why she terminated her pregnancy, the reaction of her parents who really did not know her as well as they thought and the truth about something that happened that night. Could she have found out something that would affect her father’s research company? Did she learn the truth about what was really happening there? Did she learn the reasons why children were getting sick and was her father allowing it to happen? Who was Vernon Clay and why did he disappear and why was his land burned? Why is everyone so afraid of Kirk Watson and who is Lucia? Why was Olivia so heartless leaving Ashlynn alone in a deserted ghost town?
As the pieces and clues come to light we learn more about the environmentalist who wrote the report concerning Mondamin and realize there was a cover up and she is now dead. Kirk thinking he is home free digs up a body and who it is will not be revealed as some secrets need to lie beneath the ground for readers to learn for themselves. The key to what was happening is with Ashlynn and what she learned about her father and his research center. Just what she learned and was it the reason why so many kids were getting sick and did he cover it all up? You won’t believe the answer to that question or what happens next.
The end result you just won’t believe as more lives are lost, more are in jeopardy and just who committed all of these murders is revealed. Sometimes those in plain sight are the most dangerous and you won’t believe who is behind much of what happened in Barron and why Aquarius wants his revenge. But, sometimes nature takes it own course and its revenge can be worse and the floods came as they did when Noah had to protect everyone in the Ark. The ending will surprise the reader and the reasons behind the murders will make your skin crawl as so much is lost, two towns destroyed and the faith of one man in his daughter never failing. Loyalty, distrust, deceit, hate, fear and prejudice all rear their heads in so many different ways as once again author Brian Freeman takes the reader inside two towns that will never be the same but whose residents might learn some life lessons hopefully there will be no more Spilled Blood.
Fran Lewis: reviewer