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The Blue Edge of Midnight (Max Freeman #1)

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  903 Ratings  ·  95 Reviews
On a night that will haunt him forever, ex-cop Max Freeman killed a twelve-year-old child in self-defense in a Philadelphia shootout. Since then, he has lived on the edge of the Florida Everglades, where he answers to no one but the demons gnawing at his conscience. But when he finds a corpse of a child along a riverbank, he's pulled back into the twisted maze of law and o ...more
Paperback, 265 pages
Published April 1st 2003 by Onyx (first published 2002)
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Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
Edgar Winner 2002

Former Philadelphia Cop Max Freeman has fled to an isolated cabin in South Florida's Everglades to forget. But he can't forget the night he was shot answering a Robbery in Progress Call. The memory of being shot and fatally shooting the 12 year-old accomplice haunts him to the point that he rows his kaiak nightly to his exhaustion point. This loner lives austerely: no television, no telephone, no electricity, and almost no human contact. But when he sees a bundle in his belov
May 12, 2011 Qazyman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like crime/thrillers, you know the feeling of following a character into the twilight zone, that place where no one ever really goes.

The character draws you in, and you identify with them and want to see them succeed. Then, out of the blue, they are with the hottest women/man on earth, while destroying evil greater than can be imagined in ways that are beyond belief.

Not in "The Blue Edge of Midnight". In this first series novel what you find is a well developed believable story, with str
Victoria Allman
Jul 17, 2011 Victoria Allman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could not put The Blue Edge of Midnight down.

Jonathon King has created one of the truest 'sense of place' in his depiction of the Everglades that I have ever read. I was sucked into this story by the authors knowledge of the Glades and the world he enters in the first chapter. The mystery surrounding Max Freeman's part of the river of grass is tight and well-thought out. My heart ached for the main character as he tried to solve the crime encroaching on his sanctuary in the wild and battled th
THE BLUE EDGE OF MIDNIGHT (Former Cop-Florida-Cont) – G
King, Jonathon – 1st book
Dutton, 2002- Hardcover
Max Freeman, while a policeman in Philadelphia, killed a young boy in a self-defense shootout. Now retired, Max has moved to a shack in the Everglades. When he finds a child's body, it takes him back to the shooting. But other young children have recently, and still are disappearing and Max is being set up as a suspect.
*** The character of Max is interesting, but unrelentingly depressed and no
May 25, 2016 Lisa rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-like
The storyline was too slow Which was unfortunate the blurb got me in but not for long the author concentrated too much on the scenery & highways he was travelling on more than the murder of the little girl just average for me i am afraid.

There was no tension build up in each chapter to like a book there has to be a WOW factor this did not have it i DNF
Mar 17, 2013 Joan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
actually maybe 4.5 stars. why can't we do halves? have had this on my shelf for a long time. really enjoyed it. set in Florida everglades. very atmospheric. once i went along with the premise by which the main character gets sucked into the situation (which was better explained later in the book, at least well enough for me) i got carried away. finished in one day. and given the length of time it has taken me to finish some of my books lately that says something.
Jan 13, 2016 Ben rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was drawn to this book because I dig dark crime stories, and I also dig stories that take place in intimate, rural settings. Odd preferences, I know. But this book fit both bills. You had your evil dude murdering kids, and you had the Florida Everglades. It couldn't go wrong. Plus, the novel won an Edgar award. I felt it'd warrant AT LEAST 3 stars.

Unfortunately, it didn't deliver.

There were numerous faults. The writing style was fine - in fact, that's what I enjoyed most about the book. Good w
Aug 29, 2015 ElaineY rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Narrator: Nick Sullivan

I saw a review or two that likened King's writing to Connelly. I didn't see the similarity but this could be due to my listening to the audiobooks, read by different narrators, than reading the print book. Nick Sullivan, whose narrating I like, did not give Max Freeman the tortured feel to the character that Dick Hill and Len Cariou did for Harry Bosch.

The story was just ok to me. I can't give it 4 stars because it lacked that indefinable
Kimberly Smith
Aug 30, 2014 Kimberly Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun setting in the Everglades. Intriguing flawed hero/detective. Really enjoyed it!
Nan Williams
This was pretty good, pretty enjoyable. It was definitely a page turner. I appreciated the fact that foul language and gore were kept to a minimum and there was no graphic sex. This book had a lot going for it. It also had a very sympathetic hero. I enjoyed reading about the Everglades and the history there the past 100 years although I never was able to pinpoint the places on a map.

Negatives would be that both good guys (especially our protagonist) and bad guys were just too, too super-human to
Oct 27, 2013 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is written in similar style to Michael Connolly. In fact the author mentions a painting by Hieronymus Bosch. It is a fast read as it keeps you on the edge of your seat. Max Freeman is a disabled former cop who is a suspect /investigating a series of child abductions and murders set in the Florida Everglades. Vivid descriptions of the atmosphere in the glades. Some interesting characters as well.
Feb 18, 2010 Deborah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Max Freeman, former Philadelphia cop, moves to a shack in the Florida Everglades to escape his past. He discovers a child victim of a serial killer and is forced back into the world of police investigation as a suspect. I liked the book, even though some of it is a bit far fetched. The writing is descriptive and filled with atmosphere. It kept me reading all weekend.
Mandy Gilbert
Jul 07, 2013 Mandy Gilbert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great writing style, intriguing book. I enjoyed learning more about Max and his friend Billy, different, interesting characters that I would like to read more about. I loved the backwoods Florida setting and how it contrasts to the commercialism and over-developement Max must reluctantly venture into. I will definately be reading more...
Apr 24, 2008 Evelyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wounded in a shooting in which he killed a 12-year-old boy, Max Freeman leaves the police department for a secluded shack in the Everglades. Trouble follows him when he finds a child's body deep in the swamp while canoeing.

A great effort for a first novel. good character development and tight plotting. Highly recommend.
May 14, 2008 Marsha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A former Philly cop relocates to desolate area of the Everglades to meditate upon his life and his losses. He is unfortunately pulled into everyday life when he finds the body of a murdered child while out in his canoe. An outsider and a suspect, he must take an active part in the investigation in order to survive.
Pretty standard stuff with nothing to make it standout from the billion other similar books in the genre. I also didn't like the prose or the very painful attempts at being poetic that did not jive with the rest of the blunt style. Possibly the worst moment was when the female detective was being described and I couldn't help but say it aloud "There's the love interest." I mean, there was no way the super hot icequeen was going to be the love interest. Never, that's never been done to death and ...more
Apr 25, 2015 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book kept me interested and turning the pages. It is about a wounded cop, who shot a 12 year old boy in self defense. He quits being a cop and moves to the Florida Everglades. He paddles his canoe through the glades at night to keep from thinking too much while lying sleepless in bed. He discovers the body of a child and gets involved in a fast paced investigation. Is he a suspect or lending a hand? I liked this author. So many cop stories have such bad language, I can't stand to read them. ...more
Catherine  Mustread
Jun 24, 2016 Catherine Mustread rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Catherine by: 2003 Edgar
Action, suspense and the Florida crime scene reminded me of both John D. MacDonald's, Travis McGee series, and the more recent (and more humorous) Mick Stranahan books by Carl Hiaasen. Max Freeman, a former Philadelphia cop who has escaped to the Florida swamps, finds himself embroiled in some horrifying crimes in which he is being set up as the perpetrator. With help from his (interesting character) friend, a Miami lawyer, he manages to track down some clues, identifies several possible suspect ...more
Jul 25, 2011 Wendy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ex-Philadelphia cop, Max Freeman, has become somewhat of a recluse in his stilted shack "in a swamped lowland forest" of the South Florida Everglades. On his daily therapeutic ritual of canoeing, he finds the body of a young child and whispers, "Not again." Over a year ago back in Philly, he shot and killed a 12-year-old boy who was helping to rob a convenience store. Now Max is reliving the nightmare that's been haunting him ever since. Being the first to find the child's body makes Max a natur ...more
May 15, 2010 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
When I began reading this book I experienced a sense of deja who and had to close the book to look at the authors name to confirm who had written it. Jonathon King writes in a style very similar to Micheal Connelly, which is not a bad thing. For fans of one author it is easy to get very comfortable with the other authors books. This is a very well written story of a retired Philly P.D. officer just trying to take a step back while living deep in the Florida Glades. Only if life were so simple. I ...more
Former Philadelphia police officer, Max Freeman, is in his canoe on a river in South Florida. He seems something that doesn't look right. When he gets closer, he realizes it is the body of a young girl. He later finds that it is six-year-old Milissa Marks, who had been abducted and killed.

Max has been living with the memory of a child he shot in self defense while Max was on duty in Philadelphia. His motivation for being a cop ended with the remorse he felt for taking the life of a twelve-year-o
Nov 12, 2012 Sharon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Loved this! A wonderful setting in South Florida that goes beyond the borders of metropolitan Miami and explores the "Old Florida" cultures-- moonshiners and watermen, fishers and gator hunters, outlaws and folks who just want to disappear who occupy the swamps and waterlands. Max Freeman is a newcomer to this crowd, a former Philadelphia cop who retires after he kills a 12 year old boy while responding to an alarm call in a convenience store, an encounter that almost cost him his own life when ...more
Max Freeman ist ein Ex-Cop, der nach einer Schießerei im Dienst, bei der ein Junge starb, sich in die Everglades von Florida zurückgezogen hat. Doch auch hier findet er keine Ruhe. Als er die Leiche eines Kindes im Sumpf entdeckt, steht er auf der Täterliste der Polizei ganz oben. Nun liegt es an ihm, seine Unschuld zu beweisen. Das kann er aber nur, wenn er den wahren Täter findet.

Ich fand, dass einige der Personen relativ farblos blieben, nicht ausreichend voneinander unterscheidbar beschrieb
Jun 29, 2013 Larry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Max Freeman was a smart but uninspired foot patrolman for the Philadelphia police department. Shot in the neck by a young gang-banger in the course of a robbery, Freeman returned fire and killed a twelve-year0-old accomplice. Now, retired on disability, but really in retreat from the world, Max lives on the edge of he Everglades in a one-time research station. He spends his night canoeing long and hard, and lives like a hermit, until the night that he finds the body of a child a mile or so from ...more
Oct 12, 2011 Swanbender2001 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I waffled on this one's rating. I was very absorbed in the character of Max Freeman - his introspection and basic character and motivations - and while getting absorbed I realized something about myself and my natural tendency to be attracted to these dark, mysterious men who don't talk. But that is a whole different book or volumes, for that matter!
I think the author did a great job in creating Max and his lawyer/friend Billy as two characters I want more of; giving me connections that run dee
Interesting book set in S. Florida, particularly interesting to me because the book told of the development of S. Florida. This is a new author for me, and I probably enjoyed this book enough to think of obtaining some more of his books.

Enough said . . . . I never discuss the plot of the book as I do not want to spoil it for anyone else. It's not a book report after all!
Mar 04, 2014 Paula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, so kind of at a loss memory-wise on how I came across this book. I "think" I read a shortened version or something at one point, liked it, looked the books up on my kindle, the whole Max Freeman series was on sale so I purchased all of his books. Then I got on to reading other books and forgot about them, until I was looking through my list the other day and decided to start reading this first one.

The first thing that happened was I thought, gee I have read this before, but then I'd continue
Frank Ogden
Jun 03, 2015 Frank Ogden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent new mystery series. Set in the Everglades of Florida, King has created an unique PI character. Max Freeman is an ex-policeman from Philadelphia who had enough crime & violence in his life. So he checks out of the rat race and begins to hibernating in a cabin in the Everglades.

Mickey Hoffman
The setting is a huge part of this book and unfortunately, I am not at all captivated by the Everglades. If you are, you will probably like this book much more than I did. There are good characters and there's plenty of suspense. The writing is solid and is slightly marred by the typos.
Jeff Dickison
Sep 13, 2014 Jeff Dickison rated it really liked it
Good story of a Philadelphia police officer who retires to Florida after he gets into a shootout with a twelve year old. In Florida he becomes involved in a child serial killer case and must prove who is responsible while protecting himself. Well written first novel. Recommended.
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Edgar-award winning author Jonathon King is the creator of the Max Freeman crime series set in the Everglades and on the hard streets of urban South Florida. In his previous career as a journalist, he was a police and court reporter for 24 years with the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale and the Philadelphia Daily News.

More about Jonathon King...

Other Books in the Series

Max Freeman (7 books)
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  • Shadow Men (Max Freeman, #3)
  • A Killing Night (Max Freeman, #4)
  • Acts of Nature (Max Freeman, #5)
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