Review: Goodbye to the Dead

Goodbye to the Dead

by Brian Freeman   

Reviewed by Judith Reveal | Released: March 8, 2016

Publisher: Quercus (416 pages)

Brian Freeman’s novel, Goodbye to the Dead is drop dead good. His hero, Detective Jonathan Stride wrestles with the loss of his wife Cindy to cancer and struggles with subsequent relationships that can’t seem to get off the ground.

The story is a little baffling at first when Freeman opens with a prologue set in current day, when Stride’s partner (both police and personal), Serena, enters a bar looking for Cat, the pregnant young woman who is living with them, and stumbles into a deadly shooting of a young, attractive girl, obviously far from home.

The story then moves immediately away from this tension filled event that is so well spelled out, to events a decade earlier when Stride’s wife, Cindy, was still alive. She and her friend, Dr. Janine Snow, leave a party and Cindy drives Janine home. After Cindy leaves the house, Janine’s husband is murdered, and everyone except Cindy is convinced that Janine is the guilty party.

The story progresses through the inevitable search for evidence and the subsequent trial, when Janine is found guilty. One of the jurors has become obsessed with Janine, and although he is convinced to cast his vote as ‘guilty’ he spends the next decade tracing clues to prove her innocent. A side trip from the story involved a disturbed young man who goes on a shooting rampage at a shopping mall where Cindy is caught in the crossfires.

Once Freeman moves the reader into this murder that occurred nine years earlier, he wraps us up in a fast paced maze of twists and turns that keep us turning the page. 

This book review was prepared for the New York Journal of Books and is reprinted with their permission. Please visit their website: www.nyjournalofbooks.com for a complete listing of book reviews.

Reviewer: Judy Reveal lives in Maryland. She is the author of Around Greensboro and the Lindsey Gale Mystery series including Cheating Death, The Music Room, A House to Kill For, and historical fiction (2013) The Brownstone.

© Roy Bartels 2012