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Thief River Falls Hardcover – February 1, 2020
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Harrowing loss, psychological trauma, and a deadly mystery test the human will to survive in this electrifying novel from award-winning author Brian Freeman.
Lisa Power is a tortured ghost of her former self. The author of a bestselling thriller called Thief River Falls, named after her rural Minnesota hometown, Lisa is secluded in her remote house as she struggles with the loss of her entire family: a series of tragedies she calls the “Dark Star.”
Then a nameless runaway boy shows up at her door with a terrifying story: he’s just escaped death after witnessing a brutal murder―a crime the police want to cover up. Obsessed with the boy’s safety, Lisa resolves to expose this crime, but powerful men in Thief River Falls are desperate to get the boy back, and now they want her too.
Lisa and her young visitor have nowhere to go as the trap closes around them. Still under the strange, unforgiving threat of the Dark Star, Lisa must find a way to save them both, or they’ll become the victims of another shocking tragedy she can’t foresee.
“[In] this strong standalone from Thriller Award–winner Freeman (the Jonathan Stride series),…Readers will admire the skillful way Freeman plays tricks with thriller conventions.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Brian Freeman’s new stand-alone psychological thriller, Thief River Falls, [is] a twisty story that keeps the reader off balance until the surprising conclusion. First you’ll read it, then you’ll go back to see how the heck he did it.” ―Pioneer Press
“This page-turner has more twists than Duluth’s Skyline Parkway or even San Francisco’s Lombard Street. It’s a helluva journey, and it has an I’m-not-crying, Shutter Island-like shocker surprise at the end.” ―Duluth News-Tribune
“A thrilling, nonstop adventure…” ―The Real Book Spy
“Thief River Falls reads like a whirlwind and ends way too soon for readers like myself who wanted to remain glued to these pages. The finale is brilliantly crafted and even brought a sniffle to my nose. This is highly recommended for those who enjoy their psychological thrillers infused with plenty of smarts and non-stop action.” ―Bookreporter
“Freeman does a masterful job creating a nightmare scenario of never-ending darkness, roads that go nowhere with bogeymen at every intersection. A disturbing yet compelling thriller.” ―Booklist
“Smart, wickedly suspenseful and full of truly shocking twists, Thief River Falls is also a moving tale about family―and with a thriller writer at its center. How could I help but love it?” ―Alison Gaylin, Edgar-winning author of Never Look Back
About the Author
Brian Freeman is an Amazon Charts bestselling author of psychological thrillers, including the Frost Easton and Jonathan Stride series. His books have been sold in forty-six countries and translated into twenty-two languages. His stand-alone thriller Spilled Blood was named Best Hardcover Novel in the International Thriller Writers Awards, and his novel The Burying Place was a finalist for the same honor. The Night Bird, the first book in the Frost Easton series, was one of the top twenty Kindle bestsellers of 2017. Brian is widely acclaimed for his vivid “you are there” settings, from San Francisco to the Midwest, and for his complex, engaging characters and twist-filled plots.
Brian lives in Minnesota with his wife, Marcia. For more information on the author and his books, visit http://bfreemanbooks.com.
- Publisher : Thomas & Mercer (February 1, 2020)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 318 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1542093368
- ISBN-13 : 978-1542093361
- Item Weight : 15.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 1 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #71,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on February 9, 2020
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Top reviews from the United States
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Every literary nuance is ticked: characters are highly developed, dialogue is cracking good, the plot lines and storytelling weave together at such a pace that these 300 pages feel like a short story and race by at break neck speed; I’m exhausted. Rarely do I reread a book but this one would be on the list - even knowing the outcome, it would be worth it just to take the ride!
Lots of tension, minimal violence, 3 soft expletives and zero sexual content give this volume a PG rating. This is the best First Reads Psychological Thriller in a very long time📚
This time, the central character is female and one that I connected with instantly. More than anything I love level-headed protagonists, who don’t lose their presence of the mind even in the most extreme situations and don’t make it even worse for themselves through rushed decisions, and Lisa Power was just that kind of a protagonist. When she has just discovered an injured boy on her property, she could have taken the easy way out and called the police despite the boy’s protests (I mean, how many adults in a similar situation would have believed a child claiming that the police are the ones who would harm him?); yet, Lisa decides to listen to the boy and investigate his claims about the police being involved in something sinister. What starts off as an innocent inquiry, soon turns into a veritable cat and mouse game with Lisa and little Purdue (as she nicknamed him) in its center. From that point on, I couldn’t turn pages fast enough - the deeper Lisa was digging, the more she realized that the boy wasn’t imagining things and some tragedy indeed occurred which he had the misfortune to witness. The creepiest part about this entire mystery was the fact that what happened to the boy basically imitated what Lisa described in her latest bestseller - seriously, I couldn’t imagine suspense getting better than that!
The small town full of secrets; the ghosts of the past that come alive to haunt Lisa; the murderer who could be someone familiar; a totally unexpected ending that you'll never see coming - all this made “Thief River Falls” a truly fascinating read! Dark and haunting, this psychological thriller/suspense is a perfect choice for all fans of the genre! Highly recommended!
The pacing was great, the good guys were likable, the bad guys harbored intriguing secrets and the few side plots were interesting and not distractive to the main story. Once I started reading it was difficult to put this book down. It was a perfect thriller that I was going to award a glowing 5 stars review. That was until I read last 20 % of the book. I just hated the ending! I felt cheated and all joy from reading through first 80% of the book evaporated. I felt like I just wasted my time. Single star for the ending! But I cannot tell why without the spoilers. You have to read book yourself to find out what happened. And do not take my word for it, you just may love the ending (as most reviewers seem to do).
Top reviews from other countries
From the start, I felt there was something amiss. Later events occurred, and I thought is this foreshadowing. Slowly, the destination emerged from the windmills of her mind. Then came the ending. It was one big info dump, like a Christie Poirot finale. He explained everything. Shame, before this the book might have been worth reading again to see how all the foreshadowing, events and plot twists fitted together. I am sure a reader who enjoyed this thriller the first time would find the second reading equally as good. The author took this away from us.
This book is so perfectly written, and the scenes are so well described that it was entirely possible to imagine yourself there in Thief River Falls. The characters were totally believable and the plot was extremely well thought out. I have never read any of Brian Freeman’s novels before but I am eager to read more now. I give this book 5 stars but I so wanted to give it more.
The plot, though, leaves a lot to be desired. It is obvious from the start that the parallel between the novel and the action is too good (bad?) to be true and that Lisa has lost the plot - pun intended.
The emotions are laid on with a trowel, to the extent that they become tedious. Possibly this is because it is an obvious ploy by the author to try to manipulate the reader's sentiments. It soon becomes obvious that the only character not telling the truth is the protagonist. From there on in, the end becomes all too predictable.