cover image Funeral for a Friend

Funeral for a Friend

Brian Freeman. Blackstone, $27.99 (300p) ISBN 978-1-9826-6372-8

In Thriller Award winner Freeman’s deftly plotted 10th Jonathan Stride novel (after 2018’s Alter Ego), the Duluth, Minn., police lieutenant’s best friend, Steve Garske, admits to Stride on his deathbed to burying a body to protect Stride. Stride immediately informs his superiors, knowing if it turns out to be the body of reporter Ned Bauer he’ll be implicated in Bauer’s death, since the police know he was the last person to see Bauer alive. Shortly after Garske dies, the police dig up Bauer’s remains in Stride’s yard. Bauer, who came to Duluth seven years earlier to investigate 30-year-old anonymous rape accusations against a prominent politician, has a bullet hole in his skull. Bauer was believed to have drowned at the time, and Stride is now the prime suspect in his murder. Meanwhile, Cat Mateo, a teenage runaway Stride and his wife have taken under their wing, has been receiving a lot of unwanted attention resulting from the publicity surrounding her surviving a sexual assault attempt by a Hollywood celebrity, who came to town to shoot a movie in the previous book. Grateful MeToo survivors have sent Cat messages, but she’s unnerved when someone local sends her a threatening picture of herself. Surprising connections between her case and Stride’s soon emerge. The undercurrent of misogyny in this tale about the effects of sexual violence may put off some readers. Fans of grittier crime novels should be satisfied. Agent: Deborah Schneider, Gelfman Schneider Literary. (Sept.)