Alter Ego: Brian Freeman
Imagine living within yourself with two separate identities each one controlling your actions yet neither one knows the other exists. But, what happens when a person’s second self or identity is the total opposite of the person’s real personality. As you enter the pages of this book and meet the major characters you will realize that many of them are leading a double life. Each personality has a different behavior, response to situations and whether a fictional character or a real person their thoughts are purposely might even mirror the author. What would have happened if Dr. Jekyll met Mr. Hyde in person? Good vs. Evil we learned can exist within the same person and the conflicts that arose from between them as one became stronger than the other. Within this novel you will meet the head of a movie studio that is producing a movie based on a real life incident that happened when Jonathan Stride was solving a serial murder case of The Caged Girl. As Edward Hyde represents the evil side of Dr. Jekyll, who does not conform the mores and rules of society, when you meet these characters you will wonder where one person starts and the other ends. Do they have split personalities? Are they so able to hide their true persona as you enter the world of movies and meet Chris Leipold, the son of the man who was considered the mass murderer and whose son is trying to create a movie that will bring him back not alive but in a different way. Dean Casperson is playing Jonathan Stride using another name for the character to recreate what happened when the fourth victim was placed in the cage left with no food, water or even room to move.
The opening scene of this book focuses on an auto accident killing the driver on a remote road outside of Duluth. The victim has no identification and it’s as if he never existed. Nothing to help learn his name, where he came from but he might be a phantom but events will unfold that will link him to murders that will blowback to the women murdered in the cage. A gun is found in the car but who fired it? Haley Adams is an intern on the film that Dean and Chris are working on so what happened to her? She was sent there for a reason. But, first the other Haley Adams is a college student and has disappeared and found dead is this related to the unidentified man? Was he somehow involved in the deaths of both women and someone wanted him eliminated? Was he a gun for hire? When the imposter Haley disappears and the film crew in Duluth focuses on this case from Stride’s past we get to know Dean up close and too personal and what we learn will help readers understand the true meaning of Alter Ego. Dean is powerful, Hollywood royalty, award winning icon and manages to flirt, engage and capture the hearts of his leading ladies and other young girls using them for his own pleasures. When it comes out that he might not be that honorable and any of these women dare to reveal the truth about him, it’s amazing that they disappear or are found dead.
Just who is Dean really? What about his lifestyle and demeanor has Stride wondering about the possibility of this man having a darker side than shown on the screen or to the public? As Stride enters the world of this man and tries to bring him down, a reporter corners him and decides to use his past against him and the article is anything but flattering but Stride and his wife Serena will work together to find out more and bring him down but not before someone close to them is placed in the crosshairs.
Maggie Bei and Stride have a past even though they are partners. Entering Haley Adam’s apartment they find very little other than the usual clothes and things in the medicine cabinet. Cat Mateo and Serena Stride are about to enter the world of movies as Serena allowed her to attend but Cat was given certain rules. But, 17 year olds listen with one ear at times and often forget the rules when they are flirting and attended to by Jungle Jack. Aimee Bowe is the actress playing the role of the fourth victim and she wants to feel the part, live what the person did and yet not able to perfectly recreate what happened at least in her own mind. Aimee wanted to become Lori Fulkerson at all costs. Cat meanwhile was offered 12 drinks, drugs, groped and one marriage proposal and was about to wind up in the doghouse after she allows Jungle Jack to convince her to take a drink. When Serena finds her with Jungle Jack and sees what she did Cat realized that she was in serious trouble. Chris Leipold was very into Dean and Jack overlooking anything they did that was inappropriate or wrong. Meeting Dean’s wife readers will learn more about him and realize that someone is not what she seems and the marriage was not exactly how the tabloids would showcase. Sometimes money, power and connections speak volumes.
Aimee wanted to meet Lori and Lori’s mother supposedly encouraged her to create a connection of some type. Hoping the Lori would come to the studio and watch her rehearsal and give her the pointers she needed to become that girl in the cage and feel the anguish and pain that she endured. Sometimes when you wish too hard your wish is granted but is it what you really want?
Author Brian Freeman takes readers into the minds of several characters whose demeanor is presented in different ways in different situations.
Cat and her friend Curt are constantly together and although he’s a good friend when she decides to do someone over the top in order to help Stride or Serena the end result just might place her in danger.
JoLynn Fields was the reporter that was digging into Stride’s personal life and even though she managed to get him to talk with her he had to be on guard at all times and asking her about Dean’s place in Captiva and about his wife Mo. The conversation got heated and she tried blocking his departure but the end result would be an article that might ruin him. While he was dealing with the reporter Cab Bolton and Maggie were getting more acquainted and each one talked about their former relationships. Peach Piper was the girl pretending to be Haley. She went undercover for Cab at the movie set and spied on Dean. What did she go to get herself killed? She had been spying on Dean, watching his house at night behind the lenses of a Moonraker telescope. With the help of Guppo they managed to learn more about Peach and yet nothing on John Doe’s identity. Rochelle Wahl’s death was related to the investigation but why was she at the party if not part of the cast or crew? Things went from bad to worse when the reporter brought out many of Stride’s mistakes starting with Mort Greeley, more about Art and worse about his past relationships. While Cab and Maggie got closer he went back to Duluth with her to help work on the case with Serena and Stride
Cat just wanted to do something to help even though she did not know what but when she and Curt decide to stake out Dean’s house what she sees is incriminating but will they believe her? With no direct ties to Peach’s murder, suspects lined up the truth behind Dean and Jungle Jack’s relationship might shed some light.
Aimee Bowe was in trouble and what Cat had seen when spying on Dean just might have saved her life as she was becoming closer to Lori, the last victim and reliving the events in her mind as she did and she dreamed or thought that they were going to put her in the box. Aimee claimed to sense things and that seemed to impress Cat. Going through Art’s things one more time they found something missing that might shed light on the murders. Photos can tell the story and what Cab and Maggie see might send one person to jail or at least hopefully have that person give up the mastermind but who is behind the murders of so many girls and what was the motive?
Jungle Jack, Dean Casperson, Mo, Chris, Art, who’s guilty or was framed whose alter ego comes shining through at the end? John Doe murdered Peach Piper and a woman in Florida named Haley Adams. Rochelle was 15 what would have happened if that came out? Was that why she was left in the snow to die? A confrontation that would give away the killer and the mastermind but you won’t believe who or why? Tarla is Cab’s mother a colorful character who fell prey to Dean’s wiles and threats. Just how far would young girls go to become a star? Why wouldn’t anyone come forward? The ending will stupefy you and you will hold your breath hoping Cat is saved and the killer is caught. Stride comes face to face with a coldblooded killer: Shoot to kill or not? What happens many so many hide their personality and reveal their other side? Who is your secondary self? While Aimee was placed in the cage and hoping that when she said STRIDE SAVE ME it won’t be too late to learn the truth behind The Caged Girl? Once again author Brian Freeman takes his novels to an even higher plain and brings Stride and Bolton together to take down a killer, a sex offender and a manipulator. With what is happening in the news this story fits right in letting those out there that if you are a victim of sexual abuse you need to some forward! Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde: Which one are you?
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine