cover image The Deep, Deep Snow

The Deep, Deep Snow

Brian Freeman. Blackstone, $16.99 trade paper (354p) ISBN 978-1-0940-7132-9

The first part of this enthralling standalone from Thriller Award-winner Freeman (the Jonathan Stride series) focuses on the disappearance of 10-year-old Jeremiah Sloan, whose abandoned bike is found one day on a remote road in Mittel County, of which the book’s eloquent narrator, Deputy Shelby Lake, says, “This being Mittel County, we say we live in the Middle of Everywhere, but the truth is that we’re closer to the middle of nowhere.” The boy’s parents demand that the FBI be called in to handle the case, and Shelby becomes the local liaison. In the course of the investigation, Shelby uncovers family secrets and hidden tragedies, some of which affect her own life. Jeremiah’s abduction remains unsolved, though evidence discovered in the search for the boy incriminates a local man in the shooting death of his wife. When the boy’s backpack is found 10 years later, his case is reopened. Freeman brings all the characters to life, highlighting their strengths as well as the darkness that lies within each of them, thus adding a delicious sense of uncertainty as to their motives. Readers will have a tough time putting this one down. Agent: Deborah Schneider, Gelfman Schneider/ICM Partners. (Oct.)