Brian Freeman

Spilled Blood

"..a rising star in the crime genre"


On a March night outside the river town of Barron, Minnesota, three teenage girls gather in a ghost town to play a terrifying game of Russian roulette. For nearly a year, two communities on the river have been plagued by vandalism and violence. Young people have been bullied and beaten. Animals killed. So far, the crimes haven't spilled over into murder, but that's about to change. By morning, one girl will be dead, and another in jail. Olivia Hawk claims she didn't pull the trigger on Ashlynn Steele, but no one believes her. For the people of Barron, this is the latest act of terrorism directed against them by the small town of St. Croix.

Olivia's best hope is her estranged father, an attorney from the city, who she barely knows any more. He'd been working hard to make a life for his family, but it turned out they wanted him at home, not in the office and his wife took his only child away. If he's going to prove Olivia's innocence, he's going to have to learn everything about her public - and private - life, however much she might like to keep it hidden.

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'Spilled Blood' opens with what seems as a teenage argument getting out of hand. A few teenage girls, that are not particularly easy to warm to were either being killed, or being accused of killing. As the story developed, as did the personalities behind these girls, all was not as first seemed. Hidden depths started to be revealed and so the characters and the plot started to become much more interesting. Some of the characters were, in my opinion, too obvious to be the killer, although were guilty of other crimes which were uncovered during the book. Not every suspect had a motive, but Freeman did write in such a way that there was some guessing as to who was guilty of what. There is a large cast in 'Spilled Blood' to try and work out who amongst them is the killer. And even if you guess the killer, I believe you would be hard pressed to uncover the motive. 'Spilled Blood' is not as fast paced as his previous books but nonetheless this is still a great read from a rising star in the crime genre.

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