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The Blue Edge of Midnight (Max Freeman #1)

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  948 Ratings  ·  94 Reviews
The Edgar Award–winning debut of the bestselling Max Freeman mystery series: A tormented ex-cop’s mission to solve a grisly murder and earn redemption for his dark past

After a shootout during a convenience store holdup led to the accidental death of a twelve-year-old, Max Freeman left behind the Philadelphia police department for a life in exile in the Florida Everglades. 
ebook, 260 pages
Published October 14th 2010 by Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller (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
Mar 16, 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.
May 25, 2016 Lisa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 24, 2015 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
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.
Mandy Gilbert
Jul 03, 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...
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
Jul 24, 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
Aug 26, 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
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
Catherine  Mustread
Jan 18, 2009 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 suspe ...more
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
Apr 30, 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
Aug 23, 2011 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
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
Feb 11, 2013 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
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
Aug 09, 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
This one was decent to listen to; yet another “crime” novel (courtesy of my step-mom) but engaging enough. It’s about Max, an ex-cop now living in the swamps of South Florida, who stumbles across the body of a dead child (the latest victim of a serial child killer) while out canoeing one night. He becomes first a suspect and later involved in solving the case. As with other novels of this genre, there are some intriguing characters and sub-plots going on. But, frankly, given the “ruggedness” of ...more
Aug 11, 2012 Papalodge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Had to think a bit as to what this book was about, short term memory just about shot these hot steamy days.
Wow, what a good story - made all the better with King's background as a juornalist with the Philadelphia Daily News. (A good newspaper which I rarely read.) Having recently entered a local canoe race, with a bunch of inexperienced locals, Max's river trips in the Glades were very well written...made you want to apply mosquito repelant if you were reading the story outside. All the characte
Oct 04, 2009 Quinnjl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First in a series of mysteries that take place in South Florida. Hard nosed detective with a past escapes to the Everglades to heal his wounds, but trouble is never far behind. King makes you feel like you are in the middle of the 'Glades with beautiful, descriptive prose that only someone who loves the area could write. Good, page-turning plot. What I particularly like about this author is that while writing fiction, there is usually a real event somewhere closely tied to the plot. He covered t ...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
Sage Streck
This book was okay, but it didn't draw me into the story or into the lives of the characters in any meaningful way. King has a writing style that's a little too gritty for me, although sometimes that is the only way to tackle the tough issues. The ending of the book disappointed me a little, because it felt too contrived, and I couldn't reasonably connect kidnapping and murdering little kids as any motive for a random group of activists to make a statement.
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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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