Night Bird: Brian Freeman
When darkness falls and they were all alone a voice was heard in their head’s and the song that they was played lured them to their deaths. Within the pages of this novel you will hear a somber song that will change the destination of lives of several woman as they are no longer able to control their defenses, their thoughts or actions when taken over by someone that is called the Night Bird.
Frankie Stein is a well- known therapist and she has been able to change the course of direction of many of her patients by eliminating their past and tragic memories and restoring only ones that they can deal with. Imagine having your memory wiped clean and places and times erased when you can no longer handle them. Imagine what happens when you have a phobia a fear and it can be erased or you can learn to overcome it with the proper treatment that involves hypnosis, some drugs and the power of suggestion. Would you do it? What happens when these suggestions go haywire and the patient cannot control his/her actions and the final scene is right out of a science fiction or Alfred Hitchcock movie? When several women die out of nowhere after being seen by Frankie Stein what happens will set off a chain reaction and lead Homicide Detective Frost Eaton on a road that is filled with mountains, cliffs, dark places, torture chambers, strange visions and a man who considers himself playing God you might say as Brynn Lansing and her friend Lucy were traveling home after a night out when all of a sudden Lucy panics when they get stuck on a bridge. Smiling, singing and get lose Brynn tries to get Lucy’s mind off of where they are until something strange and wild happens that changes it all. As the music gets louder in her head and a song is repeatedly heard why does she get out of the car and with her arms out wide and jumps over the bridge to her death? Brynn was afraid of cats and in order to keep her relationship with her boyfriend alive she sought the help of Dr. Stein. The therapy worked but no one noticed the eavesdropping equipment or the fact that someone was listening in on his or her conversations and knew exactly what was going on. Monica far lost her children and was in the same room when it happened. Recurring nightmares and dreams made it hard for her to work until Dr. Stein helped her to erase those pictures and memories and think about her daughters but not how they died? As Frost tries to piece it all together he and Lucy seem to hit if off but she is afraid of her own shadow and dealing with her will take time and patience. But, these two are not the only woman that died at the hand of the Night Bird or that heard the somber song of The Nightingale lure them into a trance and listen to the voice over the phone telling them what to do and how they would die. The investigation brings out many things about the victims but one constant if Francesca Stein and she is not willing to share what she learned about her clients with anyone even the police. So, things spiral more out of control as Darren Newman comes front and center into the limelight having gone to Stein accused of murdering Merrilyn Somers and the evidence was strong and the DNA there yet he manages to get off with the help of Dr. Stein.
Frost has his own secrets and crosses to bear every time he remembers the death of his sister Katie who died young and would be the same age as Lucy is now. But, phobias are at the heart of this novel as Christie Parke is next but the author takes us inside the torture chamber of the Night Bird as we see her fear rise with the needles sticking her from all sides and her hope of living dying every second.
Despite his warning Lucy decides to see if Stein can help her overcome her fear of bridges yet not realizing the danger it will put her in. As the Night Bird steps up his reign of terror he begins sending text messages to Frankie letting her know he sees all and that in order to save someone from dying she has to find them and the voices of the victims come through loud and clear.
Each time the phone rings the song plays and each victim hears the voice of the Nightingale: The song sets the stage as we hear the words that tend to blend into the plot and the person who feels cheated, distraught and is acting out his own revenge on people that he feels wronged him. But, is he getting someone else to take the fall or is there a chameleon out there that is fooling everyone? They’ve killed his confidence. As we get to know Darren we also get to know Todd Ferris who comes to see Frankie claiming he has had visions of the murders and sees what has happened to these women and is frightened and needs help. “ He was strong, but he was taken, by the thought of his success.” As you hear his voice you will understand that he needed to fulfill his own quest and watch as the spotlight shadows lured him and took him like all the rest.” The killer is haunted by his past and as the scenes are very graphic and the screams are real what happens when Lucy decides to take on Frankie for help will change it all as someone was listening and her worst fears come true as Lucy becomes a possible victim of this killer. Darren Newman had a record and as you get to know him you wonder why and how he got away with murder and the things he did. Why does Frankie feel it is her fault and did he really murder Merrilyn and why did the killer want him next?
As Frost and Lucy try to piece it together Frankie comes face to face with her past and the things that her father did to her each time they were together. Questions, tests, verbal abuse and taunting never good enough for him and her profession beneath his standards as her sister learned that she was not worthy of his time. Lies, betrayals, deceits, murder and much more as Frankie learns some harsh truths and the people she thinks she can trust she can’t. As she confides in her husband, Jason, you can feel the coldness and their disconnect at times and you wonder why she stays with him and how she wound up with someone so cold and judgmental. Why did she allow her sister Pam to live with her when she is using her inheritance for drugs and nothing good? What happens will enlighten her when the killer, Lucy and Frost come to grips with what could be a tragic ending for not only Lucy but Frankie too.
When the Night Bird finally comes into focus and the real killer is unveiled what happens next is terrifying as Lucy receives a phone call which puts her life in danger and when Frost tries to stop her from doing what she was told to do can he safe her before it’s too late? As Frankie comes to terms with what was happening right in front of her and has to lean on Frost for support things will never be the same for her as the truth behind her father’s death comes in her face like a curve ball by a picture who throws 100 mile an hour pitches, Frankie Stein might find herself on the same cliff they her father went over. Can she start over again or will she continue on this path trying to safe people from themselves? But, can anyone save her? Only author Brian Freeman can deliver a mystery/thriller so filled with characters that are riddled with flaws, fears and phobias they might never overcome and the hope that someday the song of the Nightingale will bring soothing joy and tranquility to those who hear it and hopefully silence the voice of the Night Bird.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine