cover image The Night Bird

The Night Bird

Brian Freeman. Thomas & Mercer, $24.95 (362p) ISBN 978-1-5039-4356-8

San Francisco homicide detective Frost Easton, the hero of this taut crime novel from Thriller Award–winner Freeman (Spilled Blood), looks into the death of Brynn Lansing, a salesperson at Macy’s. One night, while stuck in traffic on the Bay Bridge, a panicked Brynn got out of her car and took a fatal plunge into the bay. Two months earlier, another young woman died under bizarre circumstances. Both women were patients of psychologist Francesca “Frankie” Stein and underwent a controversial treatment to alter traumatic memories. As Frost and Frankie investigate, the killer’s carefully orchestrated plans put Frankie, her practice, and more patients in jeopardy. Stymied by the doctor’s reticence and refusal to discuss her patients, Frost must wait for the next victim’s breakdown and descent into madness to try and catch a ruthless, increasingly cruel assailant. Freeman’s command of pace and plot is assured, his prose artfully layered with the sinister and serene. This one will keep you guessing, but read it with the lights on. Agent: Deborah Schneider: Gelfman Schneider Literary Agents. (Feb.)