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Sitting alone in a maximum-security prison ...
Sitting alone in a maximum-security prison cell, Abby Maddox is a celebrity. Her claim to fame is the envy of every freak on the outside: she’s the former lover of Ethan Wolfe, the killer who left more than a dozen dead women in his wake and nearly added Puget Sound State professor Sheila Tao to the tally. Now Abby, serving a nine-year sentence for slashing a police officer’s throat in a moment of rage, has little human contact—save for the letters that pour in from demented fans, lunatics, and creeps. But a new wave of murders has given Abby a possible chance for a plea bargain—because this killer has been sending her love letters, and carving a message on the bodies of the victims: Free Abby Maddox.
Jerry Isaac will never forget the attack—or his attacker. The hideous scarring and tortured speech are daily reminders that the one-time Seattle PD officer, now a private investigator, is just lucky to be alive. Abby Maddox deserves to rot in jail—forever, as far as Jerry’s concerned. But she alone may possess crucial evidence—letters from this newest killer—that could crack open the disturbing case. With the help of Professor Sheila Tao, seasoned police detective Mike Torrance, and intuitive criminology student Danny Mercy, Jerry must coax the shattering truth from isolated, dangerous Abby Maddox. Can he put the pieces together before Abby’s number one fan takes another life in the name of a killer’s perverted idea of justice?
" This book freaked me out – in a good way. In a word, “frightening.” Jennifer
Hillier creates a truly scary killer in Abby Maddox, the female version of Hannibal Lecter – smart, cunning and wickedly evil. I was engrossed on page one, couldn’t put the book down and breathless at the ending.
Be prepared for a late night's reading. Then sleep with the lights on –
if you can. This one blew me away."
--Robert Dugoni, New York Times bestselling author of Murder One
“Freak is an exhilarating serial killer thriller…fast-paced…a shocking final twist.”--GumShoe Review
“Freak is difficult to put down.” --National Post
Posted November 11, 2012
There is going to be a reckoning for author Jennifer Hillier someday. One day, when her days are up on this mortal plain, she is going to have to answer to the dark gods with whom she made a deal to get her incredible writing powers. That's the only answer I can come up with for how she writes such gripping, approachable, moving and bold fiction.
I'm an avid reader of many genres; modern crime or psychological thrillers, are not within those categories of 'personal favorites'. Yet when it came to FREAK, I did not read it for a review, I did not read it because it was assigned to me, I did not pick it up as soon as I could because anyone wanted me to. I read it purely because I loved CREEP so much.
What Hillier does in this sequel is nothing short of breathtaking. Whereas CREEP was a story of madness, murder and the undefeated human spirit, FREAK is one of calm control, of inevitable outcome, of logic versus cunning guile...and then of madness and murder.
From the start we know what's coming. The reader spends the entire book right with the characters of Jerry and Sheila. We scream at them, beg them to run away from the madness of (soon to be legendary) villain Abby. But like us, they are powerless against the forces amassing.
Like us, they know right from the start, Abby Maddox is in control.
They stumble blindly through a series of grizzly murders, red herrings and personal drama that distracts them, and the reader, from the bigger picture.
The bigger picture? We're all just a moment away from madness, either in ourselves or in the very real possibility of the people around us.
I was skeptical when I heard Hillier was writing a sequel to CREEP. I was unsure she needed to continue the story left off with Dr. Shelia Tao (the most flawed yet relateable protagonist in the history of modern fiction)seeking rehab for her sex addiction and Abby Maddox taunting her from afar. But Hillier, another example of the most wonderful people being able to write the most horrible things, pulled together a master story that lays the groundwork for what could be even more in this series or, at the least, a strong sophomore entry into a burgeoning career.
In CREEP it is Tao's secrets that lead her down a dark path of destruction only after her lover, Ethan Wolfe's, own secrets come out. In FREAK, there are no more lies and secrets from our heroes. No more ducking about to hide anything. In this story, our villain has all the secrets, and in that way, all the power. It's an odd feeling of helplessness that stands in stark contract to the first book. As a reader, we didn't realize the power we had with our character's perspective. We were with Tao, strengthened by her will to survive, be it through attempts to protect her career, or flat out trying to stay alive. But now, we're all in this together.
And 'they' hold all the cards.
I'll leave this review with this thought. What is most bothersome about FREAK is that while the horror of CREEP takes place mainly in dark alleys and locked basements, FREAK's nightmare unfolds in hotels, jail waiting rooms, TV interviews. There is light, there are witnesses, there is hope and there is a strange feeling of security that is only mildly undercut by a knowing feeling of dread. We're never alone in Hillier's world, yet we're always vulnerable, we're always a target. We're always a potential victim.
Well done Jennifer Hillier. If you have the number of those dark gods, shoot it my way.
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Posted March 29, 2013
Posted February 24, 2013
Posted January 25, 2013
Posted January 24, 2013
Posted December 10, 2012
Posted September 14, 2012
Ms. Hillier has written Creep and now this novel, Freak. I have to say I was a bit more impressed with Creep. I had already pegged the "freak" I will say, in the beginning, and I was hoping I was wrong, so that was a bit of a let down. But only a bit.
The story itself and the pace is engaging and I would defintely read anything else Ms. Hillier comes out with. For some reason even though the story moves at a somewhat obvious pace it kep me interested though she did concentrate on Dr. Teo and Jerry a lot and less on her fiance this time where I would have enjoyed more time with the fiance but hey, that's hardly a setback,,,wanting more is always good.
I liked it, plain and sinple.
I would definitely recommend this book to readers who have enjoyed Creep and the way the ending is set is seems as though it could lead into to yet another story involving the same characters as Creep and Freak and I think I would like to see just where everyone is going!!
Posted August 20, 2012
Obsession is taken to the next level in Jennifer Hillier’s FREAK. “Free
Abby Maddox” is what the killer wants, and that person is willing to do
anything, including killing women, to make that happen. Jerry Isaac
can’t forget Maddox’s attack on his life last year, but now he has to
ask for her help in solving these murders. As he and his former partner
delve into this twisted new serial killer, they are running out of time
not only to stop a killer but to keep Maddox behind bars. FREAK picks
up about a year where CREEP left off, yet the scars are still visible
between the main characters. I enjoyed visiting the characters from
CREEP as well as some new ones. Hillier creates sympathetic,
three-dimensional characters all around. The novel is fast-paced with a
quieter intensity. Hillier weaves a complex plot to a thrilling
conclusion. When I thought I had everything figured out, a new
revelation took me by surprise. I also loved how the author slipped in
her blog title, The Serial Killer Files, into the novel. Although not
as intense of a read as CREEP, FREAK by Jennifer Hillier keeps readers
guessing. I can’t wait until the next book!
Posted August 19, 2012
First, I would recommend reading Jennifer H., "CREEP" prior to
reading this book. CREEP was a great book and this is a great follow up,
suspense novel to it. After reading CREEP, I was very excited to know
that there was another book after it. I immediately got my hands on this
book and it was definitely a page turner full of suspense and constant
shockers...especially at the end! I finished this book in NO TIME! I was
absolutely IN IT from beginning to end. I do not believe in giving
spoilers in my reviews therefore I will NOT say what it is about outside
from the excerpt that's provided. I will note that the book was GREAT.
If you really enjoyed CREEP, you will enjoy FREAK just as much if not,
better! I really admire Jennifer H. as an author and cannot wait for
her next novel. I am a FAN!
Posted August 19, 2012
Posted August 18, 2012
It doesn’t get better than this. With Freak, the sequel to her debut
novel, Creep, Jennifer Hillier has reached new levels of greatness.
Freak picks up about a year after the conclusion of Creep. Jerry Isaac
is recovered from his near-fatal encounter with Abby Maddox, girlfriend
of the late serial killer, Ethan Wolfe. At least on the outside. Jerry
still struggles with the aftermath of Maddox’s attack on him and the
last thing he wants to do is get sucked into an investigation involving
her—but that’s just what happens. Maddox is in prison for what she did
to Jerry but on the outside, a serial killer is loose and that killer is
carving the words FREE ABBY MADDOX into the victims’ skin. Jerry soon
finds himself smack in the middle of the hunt for Seattle’s newest
serial killer and face to face with the woman he hoped never to see
again—Abby Maddox, who claims to be able to help said investigation.
Readers will be happy to see the return of Dr. Sheila Tao from Creep who
assists Jerry with the investigation against her fiancé’s wishes and her
better judgment. What follows is a twisty thrill ride that will leave
readers waiting with bated breath for the other shoe to drop right up to
the very last page. What Hillier does best is create and maintain
tension. Every single page crackles with it. Not one single word is
wasted in this novel. Taut is the word that comes immediately to mind.
The plot is tightly and expertly constructed, bolstered by characters
who are both flawed and immensely likeable. Hillier’s protagonists are
compassionately and honestly written and their counterparts, the
soulless, manipulative Abby Maddox and her legion of freaks are just as
fleshed out, their sociopathic behaviors laid out so perfectly by
Hillier that it will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
Just when you think you’ve got this novel figured out, Hillier turns
everything you know on its head. The twist at the end of this novel is
handled even more expertly than the one at the end of Creep. Everything
about this novel is exquisite. It is thriller writing at its absolute
best. Hillier’s sophomore effort shows that not only can she hold her
own in the big leagues but she’s going to be knocking them out of the
park for a long time to come. In fact, she makes it look easy. Fans of
the thriller genre will not be disappointed!
Posted August 18, 2012
A great follow up to her debut novel "Creep", it draws you quickly into the twisted tale... and keeps you guessing from begining to end.
I actually yelled "OMG!"to my e-reader at one point, eliciting some strange looks from my friends!
I highly recommend this to all thriller, mystery, and suspense fans!
Posted August 11, 2012
If your a fan of mystery/thrillers then your gonna love Jennifer Hilliers new book "Freak" which is a sequel to her very first book "Creep".(if you havent read creep yet, you'll want to when you read "Freak") "Freak" is an edge of your seat thriller. A true " can't put it down" book. A 'sorry honey dinners gonna be late" or call in sick to work" book. Ms. Hillier is up there with Patricia Cornwell and Karin Slaughter! "Creep" and "Freak" should be on your list of must reads. You won't be disappointed!
KEEP THEM COMING JENNIFER! My rating is 5 !
Posted December 26, 2012
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Posted February 9, 2013
No text was provided for this review.