Review ~ Spilled Blood by Brian Freeman

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: SilverOak (May 1, 2012)
Genre: Mystery
ISBN-10: 1402798121
Buy: Amazon, IndieBound, The Book Depository 


A taut thriller about two rural Minnesota towns locked in a deadly feud–and a teenage girl caught in the crossfire.

Linked by the Spirit River, the two towns couldn't be more different: in affluent Barron, a powerful and secretive scientific research corporation enriches its residents, while downriver in blue-collar St. Croix, victims of that company's carcinogenic waste struggle to survive. The bad blood between the communities escalates into open warfare when the beautiful Ashlynn, daughter of the corporation's president, is found shot dead–and a St. Croix girl, Olivia Hawk, is accused of the crime. Reluctantly, Olivia's mother summons her estranged husband Christopher, a Minneapolis lawyer, to come defend his daughter. As Christopher struggles to unravel the mystery of Ashlynn's murder and save his own daughter, he uncovers some ugly truths that endanger the residents of both towns. And looming over everything are the chilling, apocalyptic threats from a murderous psychopath known only as “Aquarius.”


First there was the Hatfield’s versus the McCoy’s. Now there is Barron versus St Croix. Two small towns in Minnesota, divided  not only by the river that runs through them, but by the potential harm the residents believe is coming from the runoff of Mondamin’s Research Center into the water supply.  There are those who are all for Mondamin being in their town, the ones who have gotten jobs there, the ones who have benefited financially. Then there are those who are vehemently opposed to it, who  are part of the cancer cluster they claim has been caused by the runoff from Mondamin. And even though an independent investigator has proven Mondamin is not to blame, these two warring towns will not stop their feuding.
Late at night, in the old ghost town, Ashlynn Steel (daughter of Mondamin CEO Florian Steel) finds herself stranded with car trouble. Olivia Hawke and her friend, Tanya, are hanging out in the nearby ghost down drinking and remembering Kimberly, Olivia’s best friend and one of the victims of the cancer cluster, on the anniversary of her death.  When Ashlynn and Olivia collide, the results are deadly. Ashlynn is killed and Olivia is charged with her murder. 
Chris Hawk, Olivia’s father, returns to town, after splitting with her mother Hannah, to defend his daughter. While criminal law isn’t his specialty, he will do whatever it takes to prove his daughter’s innocence, no matter how damning the evidence against her seems to be. But as an “outsider,” it won’t be easy for him. Lines are drawn, secrets are kept.
Spilled Blood delivers a rock-solid performance. From the mysterious Aquarius who leaves foreboding messages of things to come, to the drugs and porn tapes that several people would kill to keep quiet. From the shocking teenage pregnancy that stuns everyone, to the hopes of rekindling an old relationship. From a cancer cluster that is taking far too many innocent lives, to the catastrophic ending that could literally end it all.
While I was a bit disappointed to find out that this latest release from Brian Freeman was not a Jonathan Stride novel (Immoral, Stripped, et al), I was not let down by even one word. The grab-you-by-the-throat suspense will keep you firmly planted on the edge of your seat the moment you open the book.  The characters are strong, the storyline is intense, the likelihood that this could happen to you is extremely high and incredibly frightening. Spilled Blood is a cutting edge, tour-de-force that will rock you to your core.  
About the author ~ 
Brian Freeman is the international bestselling author of psychological suspense novels featuring detectives Jonathan Stride and Serena Dial. His books have been sold in 46 countries and 17 languages and have appeared as Main Selections in the Literary Guild and the Book of the Month Club. Brian currently lives in Minnesota. 
Visit Brian's website
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Email ~ brian AT bfreemanbooks DOT com
Jonathan Stride Series

Spitting Devil (Nook Book)


Writing as Ally O'Brien

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  1. Tina B says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this book. I have not read anything by him and need a new thriller to read. This sounds like a good addition to my TBR. 🙂

  2. Gisselle says:

    This Spilled Blood by Brian Freeman looks definitely very interesting for me.. I guess I should try this out too.. Thank you!
    Gisselle recently posted..Overcoming Panic AttacksMy Profile

  3. Marcia says:

    Lori…thanks for the very kind review…and glad you liked Brian’s book. Just one quick little note for you (and I’m not sure if you can change this)…Brian lives in Minnesota, not Pennsylvania.

    Thanks again,

    Marcia (yes, I’m Brian’s wife.)

    • I loved this book! I am a HUGE fan. Have been since his very first book.

      The post is all changed, and my sincerest apologies. I actually copied & pasted that from his author info on Goodreads, so you might want to contact someone there to have it changed. I didn’t think it sounded right when I was posting it, but I figured they double checked their info. Lesson learned for me to make sure I do it myself from now on. Again, my apologies!

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