Thriller Review: Spilled Blood by Brian Freeman (Check It Out)

Posted May 30, 2012 by Felicia S in 2012 Read, 3.75 Wine Glasses / 15 Comments


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A taut thriller about two rural Minnesota towns locked in a deadly feud–and a teenage girl caught in the crossfire. Linked by the Spirit River, the two towns couldn’t be more different: in affluent Barron, a powerful and secretive scientific research corporation enriches its residents, while downriver in blue-collar St. Croix, victims of that company’s carcinogenic waste struggle to survive. The bad blood between the communities escalates into open warfare when the beautiful Ashlynn, daughter of the corporation’s president, is found shot dead–and a St. Croix girl, Olivia Hawk, is accused of the crime. Reluctantly, Olivia’s mother summons her estranged husband Christopher, a Minneapolis lawyer, to come defend his daughter. As Christopher struggles to unravel the mystery of Ashlynn’s murder and save his own daughter, he uncovers some ugly truths that endanger the residents of both towns. And looming over everything are the chilling, apocalyptic threats from a murderous psychopath known only as β€œAquarius.”

Requested from Edelweiss
Overall Rating: 3.75
Story Rating: 4.00
Character Rating: 3.50

First Thought when finished: What a great way to wrap up this fantastic thriller!

What I Loved: Brian Freeman weaved a thriller full of twists and turns that made me question almost everyone involved. I really didn’t figure this one out till about 3/4 of the way through and then I loved watching the characters figure it out for themselves. So much about this story was compelling and moving. The fact that a death of the a teenager is what started this tale of two towns was both sad and very poignant. How far would you go to prove that your child was not a killer? How far would you go if you felt something truly wrong was happening? How much does group thinking play into violence? All of these things come into play with Spilled Blood.

What I Liked: The characters that Brian Freeman created were all multi-faceted and interesting. I didn’t connect with all of them but each of them played a role in the story. There were no “unimportant” people and each had a story to tell.

What made me go huh?: I really wish there would have been more of the story involving how the murdered girls parents were feeling/what they thought. They were part of the “villains” (the feuding in the town was caused because of their company) but I felt they were too one-dimensional. I don’t want you to think they are the “who did it” because that was not what I was referring too.

Final Thought when finished: I will read more Brian Freeman. The thriller part of this story was outstanding. I love great twists and turns–this story was full of them!

Felicia S
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15 responses to “Thriller Review: Spilled Blood by Brian Freeman (Check It Out)

  1. I’m so glad I found your blog – I am a vivid reader and always look for new books to read.

    It sounds like there are some truly intense and disturbing elements of the plot. I think I will try to read it or listen to the audiobook. It might be too much for me, but I’m willing to give it a try.

  2. I was just thinking the other day that I would like to try more books like this but they just do not work for me..but perhaps on

    • I think thrillers actually work well in audio if the narrator is good. Mostly because you don’t get the character connection in thrillers that you do from other genres so the audio adds an “acting out” quality to the story.

  3. I am all about twists and turns, I love the unexpected. This sounds riveting. The cover is fascinating as well. Thanks for the recommend!

  4. Another one I have to check out! I do like a good thriller and mystery (even though some of the characters were one-dimensional). Great review!

  5. Normally in a mystery/thriller I never connect all that much with the characters, it’s all about the plot and whether or not the author can surprise me. Sounds like Mr. Freeman does a good job with the mystery and casting suspicion over the whole cast!