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Posted May 2, 2010
The LAST Jonathan Stride novel I will ever read. Predicable, lacking originality and just plain boring!
I had been a HUGE fan of Brian Freeman, I loved his Jonathan Stride novels so I was anxiously awaiting the release of the fifth book in the series, The Burying Place. Unfortunately, not only did I waste my time waiting for the release but I also wasted my time reading it. This book lacks originality. It includes an irrational and predictable string of events which lead to a boring and foreseeable ending. The Burying Place picks up three months after Stride falls off the Superior Bay Bridge (see In the Dark, the fourth book in the series) so Stride is recuperating from his physical injuries and suffering from PTSD. The plot begins with a kidnapping based in Grand Rapids, a small town ninety miles from Duluth, and yet Duluth-based homicide detective Stride is called in to head up the investigation. This hardly seemed plausible, particularly since there was no procedure or protocols followed, just the Itasca County Deputy Sheriff (and former Duluth PD employee & Stride buddy) visiting Stride who is recuperating in a remote cabin and asking him to lead the investigation. Simultaneous to the kidnapping case there is a string of murders taking place north of Duluth. With Stride and Serena Dial (his girlfriend of three years) working the kidnapping case and Stride's Duluth-based homicide partner, Maggie Bei, working the murder case, it's only a given that the plot is neatly wrapped up in the end with the two crimes being connected. Suffering from both physical and emotional injuries, Stride has all but removed himself from his romantic relationship with Serena but rather than exploring the issue of PTSD and thus further exploring the relationship between Stride and Serena, Stride's PTSD is suddenly healed after he cheats on Serena by having a 'quickie' with Maggie. As one would expect, the book ends with Serena leaving Stride and relocating to Grand Rapids while Stride and Maggie are left to ponder where their relationship goes after their one-night stand...hmmm...details to be predictably ironed out in the next book in the series. There are many other characters in The Burying Place that we've read about before. Two sisters: one beautiful and rich while the other is the financially-strapped ugly duckling and as one might expect, the beautiful sister has an affair with the ugly duckling's husband and becomes pregnant. This 'twist' was thrown into the book, seemingly last minute, with no conclusion as to how the sisters intend to move forward although at this point I truly didn't care. "Enough Already" is a phrase I found myself repeating over and over throughout the 338 page book. For Jonathan Stride fans, re-read the previous four books in the series as The Burying Place will only leave you frustrated. For me, while I may reread the previous books I will no longer read any future Stride novels as life is way too short and there are too many other inventive authors who write books with interesting plotlines to choose from.
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