The Night Bird by Brian Freeman

Brynn had both hands clamped like a vise around the wheel. Her knuckles were white. Beads of sweat formed like raindrops on her forehead, below the silk of her blond hair. Her mouth hung slack and open. Her blue eyes were huge. Something was wrong.

The Night Bird cover image

A young woman on a road trip with a friend suffers a sudden, violent and seemingly inexplicable psychotic break. At first glance this appears to be an isolated tragedy, but as Detective Frost Eaton delves deeper into what happened to Brynn that day, he finds a disturbing pattern of other women who have died in eerily similar circumstances. Frost discovers that the link between these women is brilliant psychologist Francesca ‘Frankie’ Stein, who specialises in manipulating, even erasing, the traumatic memories of her patients.

As Frankie and Frost learn more about this twisted killer calling himself The Night Bird, they are both determined to stop him before the body count rises any further. But, as the case becomes increasingly personal, both Frost and Frankie must be prepared to face their own deepest fears.

I am always on the look-out for my next detective fix, and not having read any of Brian Freeman’s previous novels, I was intrigued by the premise of The Night Bird. I found Frost Eaton a likeable protagonist with enough interesting quirks to compel me to read more about him. Frankie Stein I felt was somewhat less likeable, but still a compelling character who helps to drive the plot forward at a good pace.

This was a well plotted crime thriller with a satisfying conclusion, and I particularly enjoyed the supporting cast of characters who help to shape the reader’s understanding of Frost and Frankie, and just how deeply The Night Bird’s crimes can affect them. If there is to be more from Frost Eaton I’ll be certain to give it a go.

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