It is every parent’s worst nightmare—A son or daughter accused of murder.
In Spilled Blood, award-winning author Brian Freeman skillfully weaves several plot lines around this disturbing premise, and in the process, creates a heart-pounding psychological thriller.
When lawyer Chris Hawk arrives in the small Minnesota town of St. Croix, he is ready to defend his teenage daughter, Olivia, who has been accused of murdering Ashylnn, the beautiful daughter of wealthy Florian Steele. While he believes in her innocence, others—including his estranged wife—have their doubts.
In the prologue, Freeman introduces myriad reasons for this gruesome crime. As Olivia plays Russian Roulette with Ashlynn’s life, we are privy to the victim’s thoughts: “All of the hurt, loss, jealousy, bitterness, humiliation, frustration, and anger of the past three years had converged on this moment. It was Kimberly dying. It was the lawsuit failing. It was tit-for-tat violence that had erupted between the two towns over the past year. Olivia had found someone to take the fall for everything she’d suffered.”
While investigating, Chris uncovers many secrets that lie within the two rural towns linked by the Spirit River. Chilling threats from a psychopath known only as Aquarius. A pornography ring. A cancer cluster. An unwanted pregnancy and the resulting abortion. The author leaves a trail of clues leading to an unexpected but logical climax.
Freeman likes to put ordinary people in situations that force them to cross lines. While reading, I wondered just how far the minister would go to protect his son. Would the brother of a notorious thug say or do anything to protect the girl he secretly desired? Why would a rich man’s daughter drive alone through a ghost town?
The pacing is superb. Brian Freeman ends each chapter with a twist or cliff hanger, compelling many of us to read well beyond the midnight hour.
An excellent read!