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Spitting Devil (Jonathan Stride #5.5)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  967 Ratings  ·  77 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?

This is exclusive to e
Kindle Edition, 42 pages
Published March 12th 2012 by Quercus (first published January 1st 2012)
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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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Feb 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Brian Freeman always write a good book. This short story fills the gap between his books.
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
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.
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.
Short little novella- quick read. Was only $0.99, which was worth it. Doubt I would have been willing to pay any more. My favorite part was probably the introduction of Stride's Uncle Richard, and the references to the hopefully upcoming reunion between Stride and Serena.
May 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
"It was OK" describes it perfectly. Definitely a real non-event in the series.
Dec 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Love Brian Freeman, this novella isn't my favorite but a good, quick read.
Ailith Twinning
Mar 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
It's a very solid episode of. . .something. The X-Files maybe?

The writing is just par and it's total pulp fiction but hell man, if you can't have fun with an hour-long mystery I mean, what's wrong with you?

And to be honest, no, I didn't figure out whodunnit before it was revealed. But I very rarely manage that, and it seems to only happen when the author apparently went down the exact mental alleys I would've taken their story :P I don't analyze stories unless they are exceptional; I think Sal
Mar 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
As I have said multiple times, I am not a fan of the half books that do not move the main characters or storylines of a series ahead. In that aspect, this book is not necessary in the world of Jonathan Stride. However, if you are looking for creepy afternoon read, this would fill the bill.

The bodies of dead redheaded women are starting to gather attention. Jonathan hates when the media gives a nickname to a killer, but there does not seem to be a way around it this time. There is one clue that t
David Garcia
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great short story.

Nice page turner for a quick read. I'm a big Brian Freeman fan. I've read almost all of his books now. He my 'go-to' author.
Dec 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Brian Freeman always does a great job with twists. I have read many other novels by him and for a shorter story, The Spitting Devil would give a first time reader of what kind of author Brian Freeman is an what style of writing he chooses. I was definitely not disappointed for this being a short story. It only made me want to continue with the Jonathan Stride series even more. I look forward to The Cold Nowhere.
I find myself wanting to check my house after reading this one. I hate how easily that one person could manipulate so many others. I think what makes it so scary is that you can see this happen in real life. I wonder how people bounce back from something like this.

On a side note, I am a little sad with the way things are heading with Stride and Maggie, but I don't think there was any other place to go with them.
Barrie Penman
Nov 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
Amazon, kindle, freebie, short story book.
Opens with narotic, woman on verge of nervous breakdown, hard to believe or sympathise with. Suppose if this was missed out, the book would have been a lot shorter. She does the classic horror move thing, that no sane person would do and puts her self into a life threatening dangerous situation. Guess hormonal and thick makes for a good protagonist. Reasonable short story

May 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: series
Women with red hair are being murdered, a wife suspects her husband and the husband can't figure out who is out to get him in such a personal way. It seems the odds are not in his favor when it comes to work and his personal life. All I know is after reading this title, I have been hyper sensitive to my surroundings. Which means this title gets a larger than life five star rating for creeping me out.
Aug 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Spitting Devil was the first book I've read by Brian Freeman, and actually it was a "novella" since it was very short. I thought it was a great introduction for me to this author since it gave me a good idea of his writing style and, plot development, characters, and closing style. For a short story, Freeman did a great job with the character and plot development, as well as a well done wrap up and resolution at the end. I will definitely be reading more books by this author.
Mar 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love the Jonathan Stride series,they are always full of twists and it is always very hard to work out who the killer is.Even though this is a short book it is still very good and does keep you guessing,is Michael the killer or maybe it's Alison or maybe it's the person that you least suspected.Another great book by Brian Freeman,I would love to see this book series made into a tv series.
Naomi Blackburn
Aug 10, 2012 rated it liked it
This 38 page short story was ok for being written by Brian Freeman. I love Freeman's writing and thought that this book was weak for being his caliber. I thought it wrapped up a bit neatly and superficially written. I see that a number of authors will do these lil shorts before a release of a full length novel. More likely than not, they don't work and this one was no exception.
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Brian Freeman is a #1 Amazon bestselling author of psychological thrillers, including the Jonathan Stride, Frost Easton, and Cab Bolton series. His books have been sold in 46 countries and 20 languages. He is widely acclaimed for his "you are there" settings and his complex, engaging characters and twist-filled plots.

Look for two books from Brian in 2017, including THE NIGHT BIRD (featuring a dram
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Other books in the series

Jonathan Stride (9 books)
  • Immoral (Jonathan Stride, #1)
  • Stripped (Jonathan Stride, #2)
  • Stalked (Jonathan Stride, #3)
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  • The Burying Place (Jonathan Stride, #5)
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“breathing. He coughed from deep inside his lungs,” 0 likes
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