Freak

Freak

4.1 27
by Jennifer Hillier
     
 

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From suspense author Jennifer Hillier, whom Jeffery Deaver has praised as “top of the line thriller writing,” comes Freak, a sequel to her debut novel Creep.

Suspense magazine chose Jennifer Hillier’s “truly frightening” debut, Creep, as one of 2011’s best novels, while #1 bestselling author Jeffery

Overview

From suspense author Jennifer Hillier, whom Jeffery Deaver has praised as “top of the line thriller writing,” comes Freak, a sequel to her debut novel Creep.

Suspense magazine chose Jennifer Hillier’s “truly frightening” debut, Creep, as one of 2011’s best novels, while #1 bestselling author Jeffery Deaver cautioned “you better call in sick—you’re not going anywhere until you finish reading.” Now, Hillier returns to the Pacific Northwest college town where one killer’s stranglehold has ebbed . . . but another sick mind has waited for the perfect moment to pick up where the terror left off.

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?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Readers are advised to read Hillier’s frightening 2011 debut, Creep, before this so-so sequel, which features many of the same characters. In the previous book, Abby Maddox, the girlfriend of serial killer Ethan Wolfe, went to prison for nearly cutting the throat of PI Jerry Isaac, a former Seattle policeman. In the year since that assault, the authorities have been trying to link Maddox to Wolfe’s murders. With both the mental and physical scars still all too fresh, Isaac is horrified to learn of a new horror from his former Seattle PD colleagues. After strangling a young woman with a zip tie, someone carved “Free Abby Maddox” into her torso. The search for the killer inevitably connects to the previous crimes. Efforts at humor (“There was one simple reason Jerry didn’t like cemeteries. They were full of dead people”) do little to enhance a familiar serial killer story line. Agent: Victoria Skurnick, Levine Greenberg. (Aug.)
Kirkus Reviews
"Free Abby Maddox, 2/10." Carved into the back of a murdered prostitute, these words resurrect a violent story that everyone thought had ended. Picking up where Creep (2010) left off, the latest from Hillier reassembles a cast of characters facing the aftermath of serial killer Ethan Wolfe's death. Dubbed the Tell Tale Heart killer, Wolfe had seduced and tortured psychology professor and recovering sex addict Sheila Tao. Now that Wolfe is dead and his girlfriend, Abby Maddox, has been incarcerated for attacking Detective Jerry Isaac, Sheila believes she can rebuild her life. Retired from the force and estranged from his wife, Jerry struggles to regain his confidence after Maddox's attack. The scar she left on his throat is simply the physical manifestation of the scars within his psyche. Suddenly, the wary peace is shattered, and Jerry's partner calls him back to help with a murder case. The corpse bears a strong resemblance to Maddox, and the killer has strangled her with a zip tie. The message carved into her back prophesies nine more victims. Who is willing to kill for Maddox's freedom? Twists and turns reveal a website devoted to freeing Maddox, a trash bag full of fan letters to Maddox and a mysterious young man hiring prostitutes online. Jerry isn't quite ready to cope with this case, particularly when the only leads seem to lie in Maddox's hands. Even more strange, Maddox wants to talk to Sheila. Luckily, Jerry has a new intern, Danny. Studying to become a criminologist, Danny is, of course, intrigued by the case. Her fresh-faced interest, energy and technological skills rejuvenate Jerry's hunt. Yet as the kill count mounts, he has to begin to wonder: Is someone orchestrating everyone's every move? The second book in this series leaves readers hungry for the next. Taut and fraught with surprise twists, Hillier's thriller is addictive.
From the Publisher
"The second book in this series leaves [fans] hungry for the next. Taut and fraught with surprise twists, Hillier's thriller is addictive." —Kirkus

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781451664546
Publisher:
Gallery Books
Publication date:
08/07/2012
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
5.92(w) x 8.54(h) x 1.13(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“The second book in this series leaves readers hungry for the next. Taut and fraught with surprise twists, Hillier’s thriller is addictive.”—Kirkus

" 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

Meet the Author

Jennifer Hillier made her fiction debut with Creep. Originally from Canada, she has also lived with her husband in the Pacific Northwest. Visit her on the web at JenniferHillier.org.

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Freak 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Mr-March More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am so in awe of this author! This is thrill writing at its finest! Sequals can be hard, especially when the first act is so good. Creep was insane, but the twists and turns in this one were even better! Without writing a book report or giving spoilers, if you enjoyed Creep, Freak is a phenomenal followup! The ending also is just hazy enough that the story could end here, or the author could carry on with more from this cast of characters. Brilliant! Warning: this is not a book for the young, easily offended, or faint of heart. Contains topics of sexual addictions, murders, and cursing and the story line is dark and twisted. If these things bother you, you have been warned here. Thank you Ms. Hillier for a night of no sleep and fingernails down to the quick! You are amazing! Can't wait for The Butcher! -- SPeeD
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Um, the free sample is just two pages. One page is the cover and the other page is blank. Why offer a free sample that's blank?
quaintinns More than 1 year ago
Jennifer Hillier’s FREAK, is definitely freaky and fast paced, full of suspense for a psychological thriller, as readers get to return to the Shelia Tao series, and characters from her debut novel, CREEP. Hillier’s fans are in for a real treat, as if you enjoyed these two first books, readers are going to devour THE BUTCHER, (7/15/14), as read an ARC, and definitely a thriller 5-star read and one I would highly recommend! Jerry Issac, the PI is back from his near fatal encounter with crazy Abby Maddox, girlfriend of the late serial killer, Ethan Wolfe. Jerry is struggling with the aftermath of Maddox’s attack and is now thrown back into the middle of the investigation. In the meantime, (Jack the Zipper), a killer is loose, carving words about Abby, a psycho blogger, love letters, and they want her to go free. Shelia Tao, the professor is back from CREEP, as she was the victim of Wolfe and was planning her marriage to investment banker Morris. With all the publicity surrounding the case, and her former sex addiction past being front and center, the wedding plans have been put on hold. Shelia and Jerry team up to uncover the killer and deal with the crazy Abby Maddox. Morris of course, is not too happy about this. I enjoyed both books as highly recommend the audiobook as Talmadge Ragan, the narrator had a pleasing voice and kept the suspense high. Jennifer is a pro at maintaining suspense, surprising you at the end for a twist you do not see coming. A talented author you will want to follow. Read all three books, you will not be disappointed!
TiredNurseEducator More than 1 year ago
A very good book but not as good as Creep.
Anonymous 6 days ago
Down loaded the book and payed over $7 for it and only got the two page sample!!!!!!! Veryfrustating, want my $ back!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Freak and creep had me on the edge of my seat a must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good and creepy
stephabo44 More than 1 year ago
Not as good as the first book, Creep, but still spine tingling. Could not put it down. Hope #3 comes out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this series!! Keep up the good work.
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ZKNMOM More than 1 year ago
Great sequel to The Creap! Couldn't put it down.
shopaholicDE More than 1 year ago
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!!
surroundedbybooks More than 1 year ago
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!
DMGee More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved "Creep", and loved this one just as much! It was worth the wait.
LisaRegan More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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! @Casey_L_Clark
tiaPB More than 1 year ago
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 ! Patsy. B
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Disgrace. Annabeth if you want to be accepted use another way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi.