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(Jonathan Stride #8)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  1,597 ratings  ·  219 reviews
On a rainy June morning, tens of thousands of people crowd into Duluth for the city’s biggest annual event: the Duluth Marathon. Exhausted runners push to reach the finish line and spectators line the streets to cheer them on. Then, in a terrifying echo of the Boston bombing, there is an explosion along the race course, leaving many people dead and injured.

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Hardcover, 408 pages
Published May 3rd 2017 by Quercus
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Patrick I don't really know what to tell you.

Yes, there is a bombing at a marathon, like in Boston.
Yes, the characters discuss Boston a little bit.

I don't kno…more
I don't really know what to tell you.

Yes, there is a bombing at a marathon, like in Boston.
Yes, the characters discuss Boston a little bit.

I don't know how much Boston affected you personally, but when I was reading the book, I wasn't thinking "Boston" (the bombing at the Boston Marathon) every step of the way. I also dont really know what you think when you think "Boston", so I am unable to tell you what you will think while reading this book.

I was, however, thinking terrorism, religious beliefs, prejudices, and fears while reading this book. Its a good story. You get multiple perspectives, and reactions to the bombing. I am not going to give away any plot here.(less)
Jan Worster I think you can. The first Johnathan Stride book I read was #9, Alter Ego. It was so good, I had to start with #1 so I could learn the history between…moreI think you can. The first Johnathan Stride book I read was #9, Alter Ego. It was so good, I had to start with #1 so I could learn the history between Serena, Maggie, Cat & Stride. Now I’m caught up and wish #10 was done! Each book was exciting, surprising and suspenseful with twists and turns. Enjoy!(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  1,597 ratings  ·  219 reviews

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Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A bomb explodes at the Duluth Marathon and a Muslim man is publicly accused. Ugh. Do I really want to read this?

I suspect that's what many readers will think. Don't give up on it! Yes, it has a message that's important. Yes, it may make you uncomfortable and perhaps angry. But this is a well-written story. It's a mix of current events and feelings sensitively handled along side the investigation into the crime by Jonathan Stride and crew. It feels to me that Brian Freeman put his heart and soul
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As a Brian Freeman fan who has cheered on family members at Duluth’s Grandma’s Marathon numerous times over the years, I was thrilled to pick up my reserved copy of Marathon from the public library. I’ve sweated by the lake in 80-degree sunshine, a rare occurrence anytime in Duluth, even in mid-June. I’ve encouraged racers in wheelchairs and half-marathoners as I hung out with relatives near the polka band on Superior Street downtown. I’ve shivered in chilly 50-degree drizzle at the finish line ...more
Linda Strong
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
A marathon with hundreds of weary runners getting close to the finish line ... thousands of spectators cheering on their families and friends ... and an explosion that leaves many people dead or injured. Very reminiscent of the Boston Marathon .. but this is where this story takes a turn.

Jonathan and Serena Stride join forces with the FBI to find the people responsible for the bombing. One spectator swears he saw the man responsible, a young Muslim man with a backpack. Within moments, people are
Jul 18, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
When you have a story whose plot is based on the prejudice and hate of one woman who incites hate and anger in an entire community, I simply can't like it! And when the story bears a strong "resemblance" to the Boston Marathon bombing and one of the main characters makes reference to not being able to find a lost boy (definite reference to the Jacob Wetterling disappearance, especially since that story takes place in Minnesota) it makes me feel the author is not creative enough to come up with a ...more
Albert Riehle
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I normally give out stars based on whether a book is good or bad. And this one is good. But I jumped it up from a 4 to a 5 star because it's also important. You don't see that a lot in this genre.

I'll also admit I almost skipped this entry in the series because of the topic. And I almost put it down a few pages in for that and the use of "Tweets" in the narrative. I'm very glad I kept on though.

Freeman tackles some difficult topics that matter right now and he does so very delicately. He doesn
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This just has to get five stars, but OMG it was so, so sad. A bomb goes off close to the finish line of the Duluth marathon and people are horribly killed and maimed. Everybody thinks terrorism. One man in the road remembers being jostled by an Arabic looking man with a very grim expression shortly before the bomb goes off. He has a heavy looking backpack. This guy is a bit OCD so he trawls through the incredible amount of footage posted by spectators and eventually seems to find the man, moment ...more
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Brian Freeman is one of my favorite authors, not only is he a fantastic writer but he is also from my home state of Minnesota. Marathon is the 8th book in the Jonathan Stride series. The Stride series takes place in Duluth, Mn on Lake Superior. Being on Lake Superior the city has very brutal winters, but the summers are beautiful. 42 years ago Grandmas Marathon was started and it is now a respected race known around the world. Dulthians are very proud to have this race in their city.
Marathon is
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
This was a taut, finely crafted, page-turner. It was Brian Freeman good, and that's very good, indeed. Freeman checks all the boxes again. We have likable, capable married protagonists Duluth cops Jonathan and Serena Stride, sharp plotting with steadily building tension, compelling supporting cast characters who are a mixed bag from innocent victims to vile to depraved. And we have a huge dose of political and cultural clashes that mirror our divided country today. The plot is torn right from ou ...more
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book gets 5 stars less for it's writing (probably 4 stars) but rather for the content, the plot.

It was not an easy book to read but it is very topical. It deals with prejudice, hate, violence instigated by hate speech. As I said, it's very topical.

It would be easy to say that this book blames Islamophobia as the main antagonistic theme but this would be less true when someone thinks about the overall theme.

We have a woman who expresses her hate toward all things Islam. Her speech is prote
Apr 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The title of Brian Freeman’s great new novel. MARATHON is deceiving. Once you start you will sprint through the pages to find out who committed a heinous and topical crime. As Dick Wolf, the prolific creator of shows like LAW AND ORDER, says Marathon is “ripped from the headlines.” As the title suggests, Duluth, Minnesota is hosting its annual marathon when a bomb explodes, injuring and killing countless bystanders and race participants. The F.B.I. and Lieutenant Johnathon Stride of the Duluth P ...more
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Detective Jonathan Stride's city of Duluth, Minnesota hosts a 26 mile marathon. His wife Serena is running in the race. As runners are crossing the finish line, a bomb detonates. People are killed, maimed. Someone with a backpack bumps into a spectator and he is sure the man is Muslim, which generates fear and anger within the city. The FBI is brought in and the lead agent's brother was killed in a previous ISIS attack. Stride attempts to rationally investigate the case, locate the bomber, and p ...more
Mike Hughes
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018
What used to be one of my favorite series, this installment has muted that.
Jessica Bronder
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
People have gathered in Duluth Minnesota for the city’s biggest event: Grandma’s Marathon. But just as the runners are heading to the finish line a bomb goes off just like at the Boston bombing. Someone was bumped into by a Muslim man with a backpack. His picture is found and posted on Twitter. Within minutes all Middle Eastern men are targeted. Then he is discovered and people jump to the conclusion that he is the cause of the bombing. But then the witness thinks he may have made an error. By t ...more
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An explosion occurs during the Duluth Marathon along the long course and several are dead, many injured. Maggie, Serena, Cat and Jonathan work with the FBI to find the "terrorists". A man believes that the person who jostled him while he was viewing the race was 100% responsible and, after going through hundreds of photos on the internet, finds him and posts the photo on Twitter. Kahn Rashid, a Muslim, becomes the primary suspect and the public is whipped into a frenzy by a "free speech" activis ...more
An excellent thriller/mystery, well written and riveting, which in and of itself makes it a 4. So why the 5?
Because this book is the proverbial onion. Layers upon layers of plot. And because it's actually important. Every page goes deeper into the ripple effect that one crime has on many peoples' lives. And because it's topical. This book couldnt present a starker portrayal of the world we live in today if it tried.
Crticisms? OK, the ending was a little pat. Small potatoes. This was a really go
Paris        (kerbytejas)
Jul 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2017
Marathon (Jonathan Stride, #8) by Brian Freeman, was more like a ripped from the headlines read. I felt the Islamaphobia to be too close to today’s reality – the hatred, prejudice, use of social media and loss of life was distressing to me. I didn't feel the end of the book, or the identification of the actual bomber justified the overall negativity of the book.

7/6/17 update
Please note the above comments pertain to the books topic and NOT to the author's personal views or attitudes. I like Bria
Sandra Heinzman
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, favorites
This is a book about an alleged terrorist attack at a marathon in Duluth, MN, a few years AFTER the Boston marathon attack. It deals with the police and FBI investigation into who was responsible for the attack and why and their search for the person(s). It kept me guessing for most of the book. It was a pretty fast read; I couldn't put it down. I like this author and want to look for more of his books, if any, as I really enjoyed it. I like thrillers and this did not disappoint!
Roger Scherping
Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It's nice reading Jonathan Stride again now that he's gotten over all of his personal issues and is once again a solid character and a respectable cop.

Two parts of the book that stand out to me:

- The hater who justifies her racist behavior because "... Washington is on our side now." Scary.

- The ending when Khan invites Malville and his family into his house to tell Malville about his wife and child, and Malville accepts. Touching.
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Mike by: Dixon
This may be Freeman's best Jonathan Stride yet and that is saying a lot. Don't be put off by the similarities to the Boston Marathon bombing. I think you will understand that he is not copycatting when you get to the finish. I have a very sensitive PC meter and it didn't go off at all during the course of the story. Very realistic, indeed.
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
First time sampling this author and found the pace and characters interesting. A plot pulled from the front pages only by the fact that there was a bombing at a marathon. A man who was bumped by a foreigner wearing a backpack raised an alarm. Hours of viewing security films isolates a suspect who is then hunted and haunted by hate. What is the truth? Is this another terrorist attack or is there a case of mistaken motive. Read. You will not be sorry.
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Just when you think you've figured it out, Freeman throws you another surprise. This was a fun read! Plenty of plot twists, and Freeman telegraphs each one - one after the other - until the last few pages. The REAL truth will come as a total shock! And you'll never expect it! Highly recommended!!
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you love heart-pounding, suspenseful, and smart thrillers, Freeman is your man. This is one of his most powerful--and relevant. For the first time, Freeman brought me to tears.
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'd give it more than 5 stars if I could! One of those books that you're dying to know what happens but you don't want the story to end!
May 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
About half way through I was getting quite disappointed. Seemed like it was going to be a politically correct statement. I was wrong. It was a politically accurate statement. And I never saw the ending coming. I have loved every Brian Freeman book I have read, and I will never doubt him again.
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brian Freeman is in my top 5 authors and I always enjoy his mysteries, particularly the Stride series. I was a little concerned that this would just be a replication of what happened in Boston but with Duluth as the backdrop. It ended up being a good mystery with an important and timely look at how stereotyping people and reacting to a stereotype can really do a lot of damage. I really enjoyed it.
First Sentence: The backpack is proudly made in the USA.

It is the annual running of the marathon in Duluth but what should be a joyous event becomes deadly when a bomb explodes. The immediate assumption, promoted by a spectator who swears a Muslim man who bumped into him was the bomber, and an anti-Muslim extremist with a large public following, leads to more deaths. But what is the truth? That’s up to Jonathan Stride and his team to find out.

Freeman has given us a book that couldn’t be more
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best Jonathan Stride novel yet. I couldn't put it down.
Jody Hamilton
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I first heard about the pressure cooker within the first few pages, I wasn't sure I wanted to read, or listen to the audiobook rather, this book. I love the Jonathan Stride series, but despite that I just didn't want to relive the Boston Marathon. However, I'm glad I stayed with the book; a great thriller with some twists as well. Plus, a book that made me take a look inside myself as I straddled the line between both factions of the players. Despite being part of a series, this would be a ...more
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: brian-freeman
Bravo, Brian Freeman. You managed to write a brilliant novel with a difficult message that made me cry at the end. It was an emotional rollercoaster all the way through. It's the perfect story for the times we live in. Thank you!
Natasha Rador
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quite unexpected!!!!

I am at the end of this book, tears clouding my vision. The world right now is full of hate and betrayal. This book highlights the fact that the things we are exposed to, that, we need to take a closer look at the reality of the situation. Brian, thank you for a well written book. I have read all your books to date and looking forward to your next amazing novel.!!!
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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 has also been selected as the official author to continue Robert Ludlum's Jason Bo ...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)
  • Alter Ego (Jonathan Stride #9)
  • Funeral for a Friend (Jonathan Stride #10)

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