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Spitting Devil

(Jonathan Stride #5.5)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  1,508 ratings  ·  113 reviews

A third woman dead in two months.

And for the third time, Alison Malville isn’t sure her husband was home all night.

When the killer sends the usual photo of his victim to the press, she sees an item of her clothing left with this body, too.

Could you believe your own husband was capable of murder? Would you turn him in?

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Kindle Edition, 42 pages
Published March 12th 2012 by Quercus
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Average rating 3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,508 ratings  ·  113 reviews

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Aug 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Out of the mouths of babes…at the age of ten, Evan Malville isn’t exactly a baby, but he blames a broken figurine on “the spitting devil.” The empty juice container in the fridge? That must’ve been the spitting devil too. His mother Alison thinks her son is lying, acting out because of the stress in the household. In Brian Freeman’s short story, Spitting Devil, Alison and her husband Michael are sleeping separately, their marriage strained.

Meanwhile, Detective Jonathan Stride and his partner Mag
Oct 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audio Edition - Freeman is a wiz at capturing and holding a reader's interest from beginning to end. A great twist is nearly always delivered. Had me guessing and changing my mind throughout the book. The narrator was excellent, and really kept the story moving at a great pace. This was a short audible mystery at 1 hr 41 min. Earns 3.5 STARS, rounded up to 4, for the great narrative. ...more
Linda Strong
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Women are being murdered. When found, they are wearing clothing that doesn't belong to them. The killer sends pictures to the media. Is this a personal message to someone?

Detective Jonathan Stride receives a phone call one night from a woman who says that the clothes the murdered women are hers. They've disappeared out of her closet.

What she doesn't tell him is that her husband was not home the nights they were murdered.

If you suspected your husband of murder, what would you do? Would you turn h
Brian Freeman
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
My 16,000-word Jonathan Stride short story “Spitting Devil” is now available in the U.S. Kindle store!

This story actually began in Spain. My Spanish publisher Circulo de Lectores was preparing a crime anthology, and they asked me to submit a short story to the collection. The theme of the anthology was “the perfect crime,” and I decided to take an unusual twist on that idea. In this case, what’s been stolen is someone’s perfect life.

Alison Malville seemingly has it all. Happy marriage. Beautiful
L Cherry
This Jonathan Stride novella is another amazingly eerie mystery! In my opinion the story is good as a stand alone. Reading at least a few of the full length novels earlier in the series gives more character meaning as far as Jonathan Stride and his new girlfriend Maggie who is also his fellow detective. The mystery and the spitting devil are so creepy that it is hard to forget.
5 creepy creepy stars!!
Oct 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
I have read and loved all of Brian Freemans books and particularly love his 'Stride' series.

I was excited to get my hands on this short story hoping it would be sufficient to keep me going until the next exciting 'Stride' installment, sadly it did not.

The entire plot was just plain weird and I didn't care for any of the characters.

That said I fully intend to read the next 'Stride' story as once it is released.
Sep 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: finished
I have seen movies and read books with the same concept as this story. Although it was a short story, it was a complete story. It's strange how the mind equates ants with mental warnings in this story. Narration was good. I think the story could have been a little better if it was longer and went into a little more depth. ...more
Kristen M.
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, audio
Super short, super thrilling read. I've never read anything from the Jonathan Stride series, but I like Brian Freeman's Frost Easton series. I *definitely* plan on reading a full-length Stride book now! ...more
Nov 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this audiobook read by Joe Barrett detailing the period between Serena and Maggie as Johnny investigates a creepy mystery happening inside a home, driving the occupants apart and crazy. Another winner by Brian Freeman!
Apr 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012, kindle, crime
A freebie from the Kindle store, I approached this optimistically, there were some sparkling reviews, both of this and the series generally.

It's fast paced, and whilst there's an attempt to lay red herrings, they just didn't really work effectively for me.

I found it hard to relate to the main characters, and was surprised at how little detail there was about the main detectives, who are apparently stalwarts of the series!

This was a relatively short tale and whilst the tension built well, the ove
Mar 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
I was up to date on the Jonathan Stride series and eagerly awaiting the next one which I believe does not come out until Spring 2013, so I was surprised and grateful to be emailed about this short story which I downloaded for free from Amazon to my computer kindle.
Brian Freeman is my favourite male author and I have read all the Jonathan Stride series within the past 6 months or so. He is an amazing writer and tells such a brilliant story.
This short story follows on from The Burying Place and St
This kindle freebie was my first taste of Brian Freeman. It's a good little crime thriller which kept me hooked all the way through and certainly made me want to explore a full size novel by this author. I won't give anything away, but given it's size be aware that there is little detail about the Minnesota based detective, Jonathan Stride, who is the hero of the series, but focuses on the husband and wife who are the two main characters caught in the middle of a triple murder spree. ...more
Helen Laycock
Apr 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
This had a promising start - the author has potential, but this was much too short to stand as a novel. I felt as though I had read a short story instead as it suffered from lack of character and plot development.
Sharon Gigliotti
Mar 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Freeman never disappoints! As always, his books are always hard to put down. This was a great short read
Jun 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Tight and quirky short from thriller-master Freeman.
Mary Mullane
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love Minnesota authors, and Brian Freeman is one of my favorites. This short novella is well crafted and keeps you guessing.
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2016
This short story was one of the best short stories that I've ever read. I'd say it's in my top 3. I'm impressed. Short stories rarely get 5 stars from me. Good job Mr. Freeman. ...more
Feb 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Brian Freeman always write a good book. This short story fills the gap between his books.
Nov 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
What if you realized that blouses missing from your closet are turning up on murdered women?
The only ones with access to your closet are you, your husband and your 11 year old son.
Alison Malville is discovering that situation. She and her husband are going through a difficult period and no longer sleep in the same bedroom. She begins to wonder if he could be the murderer and if he is what should she do?
Jonathan Stride is investigating the murders and having a little relationship problem himself
Micky Cox
Mar 24, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a twisted little short story from the Jonathan Stride series. While it was entertaining enough and had an interesting plot, it was short on meat and development as is sometimes common in short stories. I am glad that I listened to it as it filled in the storyline a bit of Stride and Maggie post the Serena breakup and I think it will make the next books to come a bit more cohesive as it bridges the gap in the personal storyline of Stride and the women in his life. I don't think it is vit ...more
G.J. Minett
Feb 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Never thought I'd be giving fewer than 5 stars to a novel in the Jonathan Stride series but this is so short (barely even a novella) and rushed that the format doesn't lend itself very well to the author's customary plot development and psychological insight. I'm sure a full-length novel would have served the Stride/Bei sub-plot better and made the main storyline much more convincing. Entertaining way to spend a couple of hours but no more than. Even so I remain a committed Freeman fan and would ...more
Sandy Adams

Because it was so plausible some might find it difficult to sleep after reading this short story. I would likely have given it more stars had I read it before a more recent book by this author. If you enjoy a good, often scary story that actually keeps you guessing, I don't think you can go wrong with Mr. Friedman's books.
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebook
I don't understand 42 page books. Not much of a story line to get hooked. I think this may have been better with a little more who done it to it. Next book only has about 100 more pages in it and makes me wonder if it's worth reading. ...more
Mike Kennedy
Jun 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: brian-freeman
Very short novella from Brian Freeman in the Jonathan Stride series. Not bad as novellas go, but not nearly as good as a full length novel. Worth the read to say you’ve read all of the Jonathan Stride series.
Jan 01, 2020 rated it liked it
A satisfying short genre piece.
Three women are dead, dressed in clothes which belong to Alison, deeply troubled wife of Michael. Her kitchen knife is missing too.
It takes Stride to sort it out; and he does not disappoint.
Kseniya Fyodorova
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great but too short

I would have had this story go on and on, I liked it, this family. I’m very interested in what’s next for them. And I would be thrilled if Mr Freeman use them in some of his stories again. I will write about that to him after I finish all his published books.
Dec 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Love Brian Freeman, this novella isn't my favorite but a good, quick read. ...more
May 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
"It was OK" describes it perfectly. Definitely a real non-event in the series. ...more
Jun 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely A Halloween story, but not for kids. Stride acts u p on his impulses, while Maggie solves the crimes.
Jul 07, 2018 rated it liked it
This one was just too short and not developed well enough.
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Brian Freeman is a New York Times bestselling author of psychological thrillers, including the Jonathan Stride and Frost Easton series. His books have been sold in 46 countries and 22 languages. He is widely acclaimed for his "you are there" settings and his complex, engaging characters and twist-filled plots. Brian was also selected as the official author to continue Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne ...more

Other books in the series

Jonathan Stride (10 books)
  • Immoral (Jonathan Stride, #1)
  • Stripped (Jonathan Stride, #2)
  • Stalked (Jonathan Stride, #3)
  • In the Dark (Jonathan Stride #4)
  • The Burying Place (Jonathan Stride, #5)
  • The Cold Nowhere (Jonathan Stride #6)
  • Goodbye to the Dead (Jonathan Stride #7)
  • Marathon (Jonathan Stride #8)
  • Alter Ego (Jonathan Stride #9)
  • Funeral for a Friend (Jonathan Stride #10)

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