Synopses & Reviews
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.”
"Two small Minnesota towns, St. Croix and Barron, are divided by a river, literally and figuratively, that turns them into warring camps in this harrowing, melodramatic stand-alone from Freeman (The Bone House). Barron, the home of Florian Steele's company, Mondamin Research, has flourished, while St. Croix has withered. The death of five St. Croix teens from leukemia resulted in a lawsuit that absolved Mondamin from blame. Late one night, drunken 16-year-old Olivia Hawk, whose best friend was one of the leukemia victims, confronts Florian's 17-year-old daughter, Ashlynn, on a lonely road outside St. Croix. Ashlynn's subsequent murder, with which Olivia is charged, threatens to trigger more violence. A mystery man calling himself Aquarius who promises retribution, a vicious thug who keeps things stirred up, and a missing Mondamin scientist each play key roles. Freeman ratchets up the suspense steadily, and then provides a cataclysmic ending that wraps things up almost too neatly. 10-city author tour. Deborah Schneider: Gelfman Schneider Literary Agents. (May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Suspense doesn't get more excruciating than this...Freeman keeps building the psychological tension, both in raw scenes and in the ways he hints at and layers his characters' defenses and motivations... Reading this novel is like walking a tightrope in a high wind. Don't miss it." --Booklist (Starred Review)
"Harrowing... Freeman ratchets up the suspense steadily, and then provides a cataclysmic ending." --Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Often likened to Harlan Coben and David Baldacci, award-winning author Brian Freeman is an internationally bestselling author of psychological suspense novels. His books have been sold in 46 countries and translated into 20 languages. Brian's debut thriller, Immoral, won the Macavity Award and was a nominee for the Edgar®, Dagger, Anthony, and Barry awards for best first novel. Since then, each subsequent novel has been published to similar acclaim. Freeman lives and writes in his native state of Minnesota.