Years back, Stride, a police lieutenant in Duluth, Minnesota, apprehended a serial killer by the name of Art Leipold. A reporter by day, Art had killed multiple young women before Jonathan Stride was able to bring him down, ending a high-profile case that caught the attention of some major Hollywood players. Now, a movie is set to begin filming in Duluth, and Stride is just one of many local residents who want nothing to do with reliving the evil experience.
On a remote back road, a deadly car accident leaves Stride feeling like a bigger game is afoot when the driver, who was killed in the crash, turns out to be an experienced hitman in possession of a gun that’s linked to another murder. The following day, Haley Adams, a college student in Duluth who was working as an intern on the film set, goes missing.
His gut tells him that the two incidents are connected, though Stride isn’t sure how. He begins his investigation by visiting the set, where A-list actor Dean Casperson is portraying him in the movie. Rather than becoming starstruck, though, Stride leaves with an uneasy feeling towards Casperson, who, by all accounts, is a nice, charming, and sought-after megastar with a huge fan base and serious box office appeal. However, his intuition is later proved to be right on the money when it’s revealed that Haley Adams isn’t actually Haley Adams, but someone else using a fake ID to get close to Dean Casperson. . . which causes Jonathan Stride to wonder what, exactly, the star actor is up to that someone would go to such lengths in order to spy on him.
It turns out that beneath his thousand-watt smile and charming demeanor, Casperson has a dark alter ego, and Stride soon finds himself going toe-to-toe with the man playing him on the big screen in what quickly becomes the most dangerous case of his career.
Brian Freeman took a really unique and compelling story idea and absolutely knocked it out of the park. All the characters, including the villain, are well-developed, and Freeman does so in a way that doesn’t bog the story down or sacrifice pacing. Filled with nonstop surprises around every corner, and twists most readers will never see coming, Freeman ramps up the suspense on his way to delivering an exciting ending that’ll stay with readers long after turning the final page.
Brian Freeman ups his game with his latest offering. . . Alter Ego is the kind of you thriller you don’t want to end, and one you won’t be able to stop talking about once it does.
Author: Brian Freeman
Series: Jonathan Stride #9
Pages: 400 (Hardcover)
Release Date: May 1, 2018
Book Spy Rating: 8.0/10
Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck (“The Godfather of the thriller genre” — Ben Coes) has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.