In the Dark: Brian Freeman

In the Dark

Brian Freeman



Cindy Star was married to Jonathan Stride despite his mother’s apprehension and fears that she would lose her son to this young girl. Cindy died five years ago but author Brian Freeman has decided to allow readers to get to her know, how she and Jonathan connected the first time and what happens when she wants to share her experience with her sister, Laura. Coming home in total disarray and not wanting to even wash away one shred of evidence that she and Jonathan were together, she goes in search of her sister. Close to a point but not confidants she decides to trust her sister. Going up to her room she finds she is not there. Other alarms go off in her head and she immediately leaves the house in the middle of the night in search of Laura. What she finds would change her life and that of her family as Laura has been brutalized and murdered. Cindy finds her body.


Fast forward to the present as Serena, Maggie and Jonathan meet to work on a case that involves a peeper. But, someone comes into the saloon where they are and changes everything. Someone who knew Cindy in the past and someone who claims to have been friends with Laura. As this reporter does more than approach Jonathan things begin to change and she wants him to reopen the case and find out who killed Laura. Evidence that she kept hidden for over 30 years, notes that were never revealed and photos that never came out because Laura did not want anyone to know. A stalker for sure but who remains to be seen. But, Jonathan does not trust this reporter named Tish and just what is she holding back and not telling him? Why after 30 years does she want to bring this out? Why wouldn’t Laura let Cindy help her and why did she think the notes and photos were a prank?


As Jonathan revisits the police reports and the files in the case he finds that some of the evidence is missing and his suspicions fall on the officer in charge. As we hear both Cindy and Laura’s voices on a night filled with thunder, storms and fear. Just what or who was lurking in the wood and why did Laura know she was being watched? As the author brings us back to Tish who finds that not only does Serena not really want her around but when she returns to her room where she is staying she finds someone else has left her a different kind of calling card letting her know she is definitely unwanted. Someone does not want this case solved and what does it have to do with a man named Peter Stanhope, friend from the past and someone who wants Serena to work for him as an investigator. Why does he appear to be a suspect? How did the bat from 30 years ago belonging to Peter wind up at the crime scene?



Cindy’s voice comes through loud and clear as does Laura’s as the author brilliantly takes the reader back to where it all happened, why Laura was alone that night and the guilt that not only harbored with Jonathan for over 30 years but within Cindy too before she died.


But, within this plot there is a subplot that deals with a peeper that seems to be preying on young blonde teens. One young girl named Mary who is learning impaired sees figure outside of her window and screams for help. Not the first time it happened but recurring so her father reports it to the police and the investigation heats up hopefully to find this man.



Cindy’s voice is heard as the detective on the case along with Jonathan questions her before he entered the force. Questions are asked, innuendos made, references to the Stanhopes and the end result you won’t believe as the one man who took him under his wing was the one man who might have made some of the evidence disappear and then took his own life. Why? Remains to be seen but there is much more as the young mentally challenged young girl is killed in what is supposed to be an accident but was it? Could this murder from 30 years ago have something to do with the vagrant they think killed Laura? In the Dark brings to light many questions about teens, their behavior and desires. This is a great book to teach young girls what not to do when getting involve with a young man and how to act like respectful young adults. Peter Stanhope feels that money talks. He is immune to the law and that although he claims that his behavior was anything but respectful he says he never killed Laura? But evidence does point to him but is he really the killer? Her parents divorced but devastated the circumstances unusual as the author relates what Donna Biggs remembers about the incident that resulted in her daughter’s death. Guilt for many reasons as Maggie and Stride try to link the cases together. More flashbacks about the man named Dada and his real role in what happened to Laura and the truth about Peter Stanhope. Just who is Finn, why was he there the night Laura was killed, what did he see, why didn’t he go for help and what really happened? What happens next will surprise the reader as Tish is awakened by a loud noise in the middle of the night and a piece of evidence appears between the spokes of her steering wheel.


Tish then reveals her mode of delivery as she tells Stride as the reader knows the story and the book is told in Cindy’s words and through Cindy’s eyes.


When all of the pieces finally come into place you will not believe just how far back all of this goes and who was involved and why. Tish finally reveals her secret and many lives would definitely be changed and Jonathan’s opinion of her will let the reader know that she interfered with the case, claims to have gotten a confession and her motive for returning to Duluth a lie. As the reader hears what really happened between Tish and Laura we learn more than just a deep dark secret. But, Tish is relentless and won’t give up until she solves the case for the police. What will Mary’s father do to get justice for her death? Author Brian Freeman brings to light child predators, abuse, murder, lies, deceits, parent abuse of a child, rape and many other issues that makes this book one that so many parents and teens can learn from. What happens when emotions get carried away and young girls do not think about the consequences of their actions? What happens when a mother abuses her son and he turns into a peeper or stalker? An ending that will reveal more than just the killer but a secret that was buried within someone he loved. Read In the Dark and learn what happens when the truth comes into the light. Once again Stride keeps you riveted to the printed page and hoping for the next chapter in his life along with Serena and Maggie.


Fran Lewis: Reviewer



Haven: My review

Haven: Kay Hooper


Can you dream in vivid color and actually experience someone running for his or her life and seeing him or her die? Nightmares, visions, colors within the darkness can plague your inner most thoughts like a mirage on an oasis as you hope to see the water in the hot desert as a young girl envisions a woman’s life hanging in the balance. But, was it real? Did she really see her running for her life? What does this all mean?


Emma Rayburn’s dreams are filled with death, dying and are so graphic she becomes enveloped in the events that she sees and literally experiences them. Hers are so real, so vivid that she often awakes in a cold sweat with an elevated heartbeat and a fear of doom knowing that someone is dead. Night terrors or reality? Catherine Tolbert was 21 years old. Is she dead or did Emma just imagine it? Emma witnessed the outcome and heard the screams. Was it a dream? Each time she witnesses these events she records them in a journal. Someone unknown to her has died. In the time span of about two years a violent hand has struck down a dozen girls and none reported. Did this really happen? Emma had an accident causing her to have these dreams. Riding on a guided horse trail on horseback something or someone spooked her horse and she was thrown. But, what most think would have been the end result did not occur. The only side effects of this fall are the dreams.


Jessie Rayburn is haunted by nightmares that she has been dealing and is staying with a group of psychics run by an organization called Haven. John and Maggie Garrett with the help of Special Agent Noah Bishop created this organization to train assist and help psychics, who have had difficult experiences, need more training or have to recoup from a job. John and Maggie created this privately owned organization to train operatives to do investigative work. The fact that they have specific psychic powers makes Haven unique. Maggie’s powers are geared to healing emotional and physical traumas (empathy). Jessie Rayburn is about to return to her hometown and leave the confines and safety of Haven to face her demons and her past. Special Agent Noah Bishop is the Unit Chief and the third member of this group working with Haven and as Special Crimes Unit of the FBI. They created the group. Noah has special psychic powers called precognition and he knew that Jessie was returning home. Baron Hollow is her home filled with ghost story tours, paranormal research and strange things happening. Emma and Jessie are about to reconnect after a long time. There is a voice we now meet that seems bothered by Jessie and knows why she is there and what she is hiding.


A voice is heard and the torment within the character real as Jessie sees a spirit before her. Only viewed by her this spirit appears transparent in body yet wearing outdated winter apparel. Jessie receives a disturbing message from this spirit and if she does not find out whom the killer is that has lived in Baron Hollow for years more will die and disappear. So, why haven’t the police looked into these murders? Why don’t they know about them? Reporting to Maggie as requested her findings and what happened she will no longer be operating alone in order to find out why she left or ran away from this place, her inner memories and what about the dreams? Nathan Navarro will descend on Baron Hollow, unknown to her, and hopefully uncover more of the mystery. Skilled in finding the remains of the deceased, drawn or pulled to them will he succeed where others might fail? Who is behind the other murders and threats related to Haven as Noah Bishop and Tony Harte, two special agents try and find out more about why Miranda’s task force if being targeted.


Let’s listen to the voice of the killer as this person watches Jessie, tries to find another prey within this small town of unsuspecting residents and tourists to fill his need to kill but why? Secrets that he harbors, lies that he wants to reveal, truths about so many he wants to tell and yet he bides his time. Just what will Jessie remember about one party that caused her to leave? What happens when Emma and Jessie attend church? Why did she want to attract the attention of everyone? Why stir the pot?


A vivid revelation gives her a clue to the killer’s appearance. The events so graphically described you feel as if you, the reader are experiencing each nightmare along with Jessie and each vision too. The author continues with the killer’s thoughts, tracking his new prey and his creating a whole persona or name for this as he states “worthy prey.”



The author explains many of the characteristics of different types of psychic abilities and how each of the investigators uses their powers to help solve a case. But, sometimes they call “wall up,” or block others from knowing what they see, hear and find. Jessie blocked her thoughts form others and when she finally decides to take on a killer the end result will leave many wondering just where she is and why she went alone. As the puzzle pieces seem to fit together Emma and Navarro learn more about her past, piecing more together as the town’s festival draws Jessie’s attention and the paranormal researchers sense danger but where. As Jessie makes her way to a cabin that is owned by her cousin Victor what she uncovers would change things radically and what she finds there will give up more than just chills. As Navarro reveals to Emma what he senses, seeing the spirit of a woman warning him to find the killer and protect Emma, Nellie’s blood stained note will this person win in the end or will they finally stop him?

Hearing his voice loud and clear we learn that each body becomes a plant in his garden or Roses or death you might say. Justifying in his own mind for the killings and wanting to eliminate all loose ends leaving no one there to remember what happened 15 years ago when Jessie left town and Emma’s traumatic past. Nellie decides to investigate and learn more about Jessie from a reporter’s viewpoint; the town becomes involved when Jessie goes missing. Victor comes clean but is it too late.


Storms that affect the powers and mental acuity of both Navarro and Emma whose powers seem to falter when the weather is harsh. A town filled with secrets, lies, betrayals and deceit and many who would rather leave the past buried in the same garden with the bodies. One man who is bent of making the past and Jessie disappear forever. One spirit who will not rest until the killer is found and stopped. Rayburn House: Just what really lies behind the closed doors? What secrets are tormenting Emma that she has blocked them out forever? Why does Jessie feel responsible? What is the final fate of Baron Hollow? Why do paranormal researchers and ghost hunters flock there?


Author Kay Hooper keeps the reader glued to the printed page and hoping to join in the investigation as she brilliantly allows the reader to experience the dreams, the nightmares, the killer’s thoughts and the hunt for one man who has decided to create not a haven for people to live in but a nightmare for those living. What finally happens and who survives? What is Bishop’s role in this and what does Navarro learn about Jessie, Emma and will they be in time to save her? Unless you have your own psychic powers the only way to find out the answers to these questions is to read Haven. Let’s see what the author has in store next for our team of psychics. The author includes a glossary of psychic terms and abilities at the end plus other abilities that are unnamed too. She also includes a list of the characters and their bios for those who have not read her series before to learn more about these outstanding and interesting characters. Can you see someone dying in your dreams? Can your nightmares come true? Read Haven and then decide!



Fran Lewis: reviewer