A Funeral for a Friend: Brian Freeman
Memories are precious except when they haunt you every night and bring back an incident you would rather forget. But did what Jonathan Stride dream in this nightmare really happen? Did he shoot Ned Baer in the head and leave him for dead? Was he himself hurt?
When his best friend Steve takes his last breath right before Jonathan leaves his room, he blurts out that he covered for him, he’d never tell what happened to Ned and now Jonathan has to face off on what might have happened, report what Steve says and learns the truth behind Ned’s death? Investigated and interviewed by his own partner, Maggie Bei, he faces serious consequences if they hold him for the murder of Ned. Did he really kill him and what happens when they dig up Steve’s backyard and find the remains of this man?
When the remains are uncovered and the identity is revealed, Stride faces his own demons and must learn what really happened to Ned and who killed him.
His ex-wife Andrea is at the heart of this novel as she later reveals what happened with Congressman Devin Card years ago. A party that got out of hand and a rape that cost her more. Memories flood back as she recounts what happened and yet she cannot exactly remember because she was drunk. Ned Baer learned about her and what happened and was going to print the story to derail Card’s election. Someone wanted him out of the way.
Hear Derek Card and Steven Stanhope discuss what this will do if it comes out now. One rich backer and one Senate hopeful will someone else pay the price?
Cat is friends with Curt who deals in drugs and much more, yet she is drawn to him. Going out to meet him and some of his friends someone leaves her a message on the outside of her car and more. This is the second time this person brought himself/herself to her attention. Fearful she told Stride and protection is provided but will Cat listen and not go anywhere without her guard?
As Serena and Stride talk about Andrea they have to focus on 30 years ago, her rape and backtrack what might have happened to Ned and who shot him in the head and why Steve buried his remains in his backyard thinking Jonathan killed him.
Added in Stride is suspended from the Duluth police department and his partner questions Serena and wants her to feed her information to help solve the case. Will she?
Things flash back into Stride’s mind as author Brian Freeman takes us back to the Deeps and we meet Stride and Ned learning the truth about what happened that night and that Stride left Ned there alive. Andrea in the present is being haunted by someone from the past leaving her messages and trinkets to remind her he is still out there but who is that and why?
Cat is out with her police guard, Brayden, sees Curt and his girlfriend and meets Wyatt his friend so why does she have a message once again in green marker? How can this person stalk her in public and is Curt’s friend the one? Cat realizes that she must be more careful but when she sees Wyatt, Curt’s friend she is sure he is the one stalking her and sending her the messages, but Brayden warns him to stay away. Is she just hoping to find out who is doing this and not thinking through that the person is still out there?
Serena talks to Stanhope and he creates a perfect picture of Card and claims that he was not the one that raped Andrea she was lying or imagining the incident or did not point to the right person. Speaking to Denise, her sister, Serena gets another picture of what might have happened and now she and Jonathan must sort it out before it is too late. Added in Maggie must work with Dan Erickson who is the lead on the case and will do anything to get at Stride and she is placed in a delicate and tenuous position.
Andrea relives the incident even now 30 years later and someone is still stalking her and leaving her messages letting her know it is far from over. Why is she keeping silent?
Events are revealed as Maggie and Dan interview witnesses that were at the party crawl that night and the truth behind what happened comes out. Did Devin rape Andrea? Who was the real rapist and why? Why was Ned so bent on revealing the story and taking her down?
Adam Halker and her sister Denise were close until she decides to use her wiles in front of everyone with Peter Stanhope. Lives are in danger and someone is stalking Cat and sending her messages. You will not believe who as another life is taken and a killer might go free. With Cat in the crosshairs and someone stalking her, Andrea is about to reveal it all in front of a huge audience ready to hear Devin Card speak. But thinks get out of hand and violence comes to light she finds herself in the crosshairs of what is about to come.
Lives are at stake; a killer is pointing a gun at both Stride and Cat and Andrea gets in the way of the crossfire and her life is lost. Guilt, fear, hate and the truth about Andrea and who is leaving her the sun catchers comes out. Someone close by is hiding a deep secret. Someone close by is the one who took Ned’s life but was it murder or an accident?
The ending leaves you wondering just where Stride will wind up as he takes a fatal bullet, the prognosis is uncertain, Cat has to try and save someone she cares about and Serena is scared of losing him.
A dream scene that will bring tears to your eyes, going toward the light and seeing those that have passed, will Stride remain in the darkness and leave this world or will he decide to come back to Serena. A heartfelt scene and an ending that is tension filled, heartbreaking and leaves you wondering where Stride will decide to be next. As he envisions his own life passing him by, hears the voices of those he loved and cared for in the past, Steve Garske and so many are all gathered for the final farewell for a Funeral for A Friend! But is it?
Heart breaking, tensions filled, characters that are strong and one-man Jonathan Stride whose life is about to take a different turn but where? Author Brian Freeman takes us on many journeys in the minds of Jonathan, Maggie, Cat, Brayden and Andrea as we hear their voices, listen to their stories and realize that each one has something to hide but when it’s revealed lives and perspective will change.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews