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Frost Easton #3

The Crooked Street

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The hunt for a killer in San Francisco becomes a dizzying game of cat and mouse in a thrilling novel of psychological suspense.

“Lombard is your Moriarty, Frost. Taking him down will be the most dangerous thing you’ve ever done.”

San Francisco homicide detective Frost Easton hadn’t seen his estranged friend Denny in years. Not until he dies in Frost’s arms uttering a final inexplicable word: Lombard. Denny appears to be the latest victim in a string of murders linked by a distinctive clue: the painting of a spiraled snake near the crime scenes. Is it the work of a serial killer? Or is Denny’s death more twisted and personal?

To find the answer, Frost reaches into a nest of vipers—San Francisco’s shady elite—where the whispered name of Lombard is just one secret. Now, drawn into a cat-and-mouse game with an enemy who knows his every move, Frost finds there is no one he can trust. And somewhere down the crooked streets of the city, Frost’s cunning adversary is coiled and ready to strike again.

Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1503900940

362 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 29, 2019

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About the author

Brian Freeman

56 books2,531 followers
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 series, and his novel THE BOURNE EVOLUTION was named one of the Best Mysteries and Thrillers of 2020 by Kirkus.

Brian's seventh novel SPILLED BLOOD won the award for Best Hardcover Novel in the annual Thriller Awards given out by the International Thriller Writers organization, and his fifth novel THE BURYING PLACE was a finalist for the same award. His novel THE DEEP, DEEP SNOW was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original.

His debut thriller, IMMORAL, won the Macavity Award for Best First Novel and was a nominee for the Edgar, Dagger, Anthony, and Barry Awards. IMMORAL was named an International Book of the Month, a distinction shared with authors such as Harlan Coben and Lisa Unger.

All of Brian's books are also available in audiobook editions. His novels THE BONE HOUSE and SEASON OF FEAR were both finalists for Best Audiobook of the Year in Thriller/Suspense.

For more information on Brian's books, visit his web site at bfreemanbooks.com or find him on Facebook at facebook.com/bfreemanfans or Twitter and Instagram (@bfreemanbooks).

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 468 reviews
Profile Image for Kylie D.
464 reviews505 followers
July 8, 2019
I was so excited when this book became available, I maybe even hyperventilated a little! I have loved Brian Freeman's Frost Easton series since The Night Bird, and this latest offering didn't let me down.

This book opens with Frost's estranged friend Denny arriving on his doorstep in the middle of the night, dying in Frost's arm, but not before getting out one word, "Lombard". Frost soon meets up with a PI named Coyle, who has a strange story, that a series of graffiti snakes have turned up near cases of unexplained deaths, and they soon find one near to where Denny was killed. Coyle thinks the snakes indicate that the mysterious Lombard is behind the deaths, but nobody in law enforcement will listen to his story.

More bodies, and snakes, start to pile up and Frost finds that time is against him, and he can trust nobody. High-class escorts, drug dealers and a luxury yacht all start to muddy the waters, as Frost doesn't seem to know if he's chasing a myth, or a legend. Adding to his problems is the love triangle between himself, his brother and his brother's fiancée.

The Crooked Street is a first rate thriller, worthy of the previous books in the series. I devoured this one in quick time. Would Frost get the baddie? Or the girl? And how is Shack, the coolest cat in literary history? I recommend this book to all lovers of mysteries and crime novels.

My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Lou (nonfiction fiend).
2,771 reviews1,625 followers
February 3, 2019
The Crooked Street is the third novel in the Detective Frost Easton of San Francisco Police Department series; each instalment works perfectly as a standalone as the crime is self-contained to that particular book, but you will not be privy to information on the recurring characters full backgrounds. I loved the murder and mayhem, thrills and spills San Fran PD go through, and the complexity of the plot made this unputdownable for me.

The author challenges the reader to keep up with the developments, the endless deceit and a wholly untrustworthy mob of people; this is definitely one of the most twist-driven and surprise-filled thrillers I've had the pleasure to read of late. The twists in the tale are plentiful and pull you into one way of thinking before whipping the rug from underneath you leaving you scratching your head aghast. Mr Freeman impressed me by disguising the perpetrator until very late on, which created tension throughout, and he cleverly weaves a dark yarn that I enjoyed immensely.

It does, however, end on a cliffhanger which is rather annoying as whether I will remember the details of this book when the sequel comes out is debatable. Frost is a character I can see myself really appreciating as the series progresses. He knows his own mind and is morally driven. I looking forward to the next instalment and the evolution of the characters.

Many thanks to Thomas & Mercer for an ARC.

You can also find my reviews posted here on my blog.
Profile Image for Linda Strong.
3,882 reviews1,627 followers
December 21, 2018

This is the third of this series, and although it reads well as a stand alone, I highly recommend that you start with the first book. Frost Easton is a terrific series character. Always thought of as a boy scout, it's meant that he is honest, and willing to go the extra mile to get at the truth.

THE CROOKED STREET starts with a death, a death that Frost hadn't see coming. But then again, nothing about this death rings true. Seems like everyone is shrugging it off .. maybe had something to do with using/dealing drugs .... the cops don't want to go any further ... the media have blatantly written it off. And what does "Lombard" mean? This was the last word spoken before the victim died.

There are going to be many more bodies falling .. all linked by a very descriptive clue. Always somewhere around the death there is a painting of a red snake.

Frost finds himself embroiled in a dangerous game of cat and mouse. Is this the work of a serial killer? Or is there something else going on ... something even worse?

I really like how this author gives the reader up close and personal glimpses of his private life, as well as the professional side. And being a cat lover... I love Shack, his cat of an indiscriminate pedigree. This is a real page-turner and it was hard to put down for any length of time. The ending was suspenseful, and I never saw it coming. No cliff hanger, but a great lead in to the next adventure for Frost Easton.

Brian Freeman is right at the top of my favorite authors. I love his Stride series and was delighted when he started the Easton series. I knew I could count on him putting together wonderful characters that were unforgettable and story lines that would not only be credible, but well written and exciting. He has never disappointed me.

Many thanks to the author / Thomas & Mercer / Netgalley for the advanced copy of this crime fiction. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
Profile Image for Brenda.
725 reviews150 followers
February 10, 2019
This is the third book in the Frost Easton series. Frost is up against a puzzling and inordinate number of murders in this book. The first is an old buddy of his named Denny Clark who he hasn’t seen or talked to in ten years. Denny shows up at Frost’s front door, whispers one word to Frost, and then collapses and dies. Frost investigates and finds ties to other cases, other cops, but he’s warned to trust no one.

The case was interesting, and there were so many deaths that it bordered on ridiculous. There were surprises and a lot of suspicions, and the ending was satisfactory, but there’s more to come and could really get dragged out over two or three more books.

I liked Frost from the beginning, and I still like him. He’s caretaker of Shack the cat and a mansion. He has a brother who is a chef with a food truck. He’s in love with someone who is not available. There’s been growth in the character, but he’s still honest, ethical, and smart.

I’m looking forward to the next book!
Profile Image for Sue.
1,315 reviews5 followers
March 9, 2019
THE CROOKED STREET, a psychological thriller is the third book in the Frost Easton series, by bestselling author Brian Freeman. Having read and enjoyed the previous two books in the series, I was anxious to continue with the series. Even though this novel reads well as a stand alone, I highly recommend that you start with the first book, to fully appreciate the ongoing character development.

The books in the series include:
The Night Bird (Book 1)
The Voice Inside (Book 2)

Denny Clark was in San Francisco’s Chinatown to deliver a warning…but he was too late. They were all dead, and he was probably next! They were tracking him on his phone. He did the only thing he could do…reach out to his old friend, Frost Easton, a San Francisco Homicide detective, who he hadn’t seen in years, to deliver a message- “Lombard.” But after crawling up to Easton’s house, Denny dies giving Easton the message.

Now Frost is assigned to the case-a homicide. The last time Frost had seen Denny, he had done character excursions on the Bay, catering to the San Francisco elite. But something wasn’t right…the victim had been carrying lots of money. There was no known motive.

Denny appears to be the latest victim in a string of murders linked by a distinctive clue: the painting of a spiralled snake near the crime scenes. Is it the work of a serial killer? Or is Denny’s death more twisted and personal?

Now Frost is on the hunt for a killer in San Francisco which soon becomes a game of cat and mouse, with an enemy who knows his every move. There is no one he can trust. And somewhere down the crooked streets of the city, the killer is ready to attack again.

This book is well written and very engaging. I highly recommend this series to all mystery and crime lovers.

Many thanks to Thomas & Mercer via NetGalley for my digital copy.
Profile Image for Karl Jorgenson.
514 reviews25 followers
May 28, 2022
The people who like this book probably like the action. Frost's friend Denny is killed in the most spectacular way possible, by an assassin firing a poison pellet, and Frost gradually uncovers links to other murders and suspicious deaths all over San Francisco. It turns out there's a super criminal who's been operating for years, informed by spies in all societies, business, the police, and government. Nice work if you can get it. The master criminal, code-named Lombard, fixes problems for money, and then covers up the fix by killing the witnesses. This makes for lots of action as each witness is killed just as Frost is about to question them. In this book, as in Freeman's others, he delays revelations as long or longer than is practical, so the reader is always hearing someone say on the phone, 'I need to talk. It's really important,' but never say what's important. Then the witness is killed before she can elaborate.
What bugged me all the way through this novel is the police. Frost is a homicide inspector. He's investigating a murder. He can't make anybody believe this murder is connected to the other murders, even when the obvious link is that the victims were on the same cruise yesterday. Lombard kills witnesses, cops, politicians, and his own spies when they misbehave. And all the forces of SFPD pooh-pooh it and make excuses. I kept thinking, when the police are investigating a murder, and then a witness to the murder is also killed, they get excited, form a task force with a dozen detectives, call in the FBI, and generally act like it's an important case. This is why master criminals have a tough life: the police don't lose interest when the witnesses are killed, they work harder to find the killer.
This is the last of the Frost Easton series, as Freeman has moved on to other stories. In what I read as a desperate attempt to keep the series alive, [plot spoiler and fair warning], Lombard is not identified at the end of this book. Lombard kills the last witness, has a meeting with Frost to taunt him, and rides off into the sunset, safe from justice, rich, and the last man standing.
Does Freeman know who Lombard is? I doubt it. How to explain a wealthy fixer who has killed dozens if not hundreds of people without once being suspected? Bruce Wayne? Clark Kent? It has to be somebody like that, because we wouldn't accept an Al Capone-type. With mob bosses, we know who they are. We know how they got there. We know who their minions are. They're untouchable because their organization protects them, not because they're secret. Maybe someday Freeman will write the sequel and explain Lombard, but I have very low expectations.
Profile Image for Jean.
705 reviews20 followers
January 25, 2019

There are those who are crooked, and then there are those who are just plain evil. Inspector Frost Easton crosses paths with both kinds in Crooked Street . I just finished Brian Freeman’s second Easton novel, The Voice Inside , and jumped right to the newest one. Like the previous thriller, this one was just as hard to put down. Wow!

Freeman, who is well known for his Duluth detective Jonathan Stride, has based this new series in San Francisco. He’s moved his thrills from one chilly, hilly city to another, and Easton has what it takes to become another fan favorite. He’s got a reputation as a Boy Scout, a cop who plays by the rules, even if it means playing a waiting game or having to make impossibly difficult choices. Thus, he has earned the respect of good guys and bad guys alike, which isn’t to say that there aren’t those who don’t try to beat him. There are many.

When an estranged old pal shows up at his Russian Hill home, literally at death’s door, the last word out of his mouth is “Lombard.” What the heck? Naturally, the first place Frost goes is to San Francisco’s famous Lombard Street, which is known for its one block of eight hairpin turns that make it the “crookedest street in the world.”

Eventually, though, he finds a private eye who tells him about a trail he’s been following. It involves a serial killer called Lombard and graffiti-like red snake symbols left at the scenes where victims are found. Who, or what, is Lombard? A serial killer, or something more sinister? Why was Denny killed? What, if any, is the relationship between the victims? The plot takes Frost through a series of zigzags and bends with danger at every nook and cranny. Will there be more bodies before all is said and done? Does Lombard really exist, or is he/she just a myth? Who can Frost trust? He is told by his captain and a fellow investigator to trust no one. I had suspicions but nothing but my guts to rely on. This is one roller coaster ride!

Speaking of roller coasters, Frost’s personal life is sort of like that too. Remember that in the last book he thought maybe he’d found his “Jane Doe,” a woman who was, unfortunately, unavailable? Well, the plot thickens in this one. Boy, does it ever!

Also, Frost gets a lot more physical in this book. No, not like that. It seems like every time he turns around, someone in some fashion is pounding him on. Ouch! Oh, uh, Frost, you might want to consider locking your doors. It’s not just his friends and family who show up unannounced while he’s away. If not for his own safety, he needs to consider Shack, his beloved tuxedo cat. Just sayin’.

There is plenty of tension in this one. The characters are great. We get to see more of his buddy Herb, the old hippie artist. He’s a smart guy, and I love his talks with Frost. Brother Duane and his lady Tabby return. The fellow cops are interesting characters. Are they trustworthy? Who knows? Are any of them trustworthy? Having read so many of Brian Freeman’s books, I knew there was a big twist coming at the end, but I NEVER in my wildest imagination expected this one! NO!

I wish to express my appreciation to NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer, and Brian Freeman for this ARC copy in exchange for my unbiased review.

5 stars
Profile Image for Naomi.
4,679 reviews138 followers
November 8, 2018
I don't know how in the hell he does it, but, as usual, Brian Freeman kicks ass and takes names in his newest upcoming release. Full blog review coming in January, 2019. In the meantime, catch up with books one and two in the Frost Easton series and pre-order this book on Amazon! Don't forget his stand alone books and (one of my fave series) Jonathan Stride for some good reading. There is a reason why this man is on my top 3 list of recommended authors and I am a snobbish reader.
Profile Image for Alex Cantone.
Author 3 books32 followers
April 9, 2022
“Denny and I used to run a fishing boat at the wharf. The one thing I remember is that the captains unloaded more crap on each other than the seagulls.”
“Well, that’s the wharf, Inspector. This is the marina.”

Third in Frost Easton series that features the San Francisco homicide detective living in a Russian Hill mansion for a peppercorn rent – the elderly lady owner who was murdered bequeathed it in her will to whoever would look after her cat “Shack” (Shackleton). This one opens with his former business partner, Denny, apparently poisoned, crawling to Easton’s door, uttering a single word “Lombard” before he dies. The two men had not spoken in years – the friendship tainted over a woman – Carla – who became Denny’s wife.

Not the first or last of many bodies turning up in less than a week – seemingly connected to an exclusive cruise on board Denny’s luxury yacht, with the police chief taking a personal interest. The name “Lombard” signifies a tourist attraction of the ‘crookedest street in the world’ as well as the name of a man believed to be behind a criminal network.

As with in the earlier books, San Francisco’s unique setting and weather forms a character in itself – stretching from the Golden Gate Bridge, the waterfront, China Town, the trams and light rail network. The author juxtaposes the ludicrously high rents of the city – exacerbated by Silicon Valley millionaires – with camps for the homeless on view to tourists, but as the body count increased this reader lost perspective. (I googled the stats on homicides and found property crime the main issue.)

Again, Frost is drawn into yet another love-triangle – his personal life an annoyance. It was good to see return of Virgil, campest of bar tenders at Zingari, and aging hippie / 3D pavement artist Herb, but the final twist was one I anticipated all along, leaving me a tad disappointed.
2,795 reviews49 followers
January 5, 2019
I would like to thank Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for an advance copy of The Crooked Street, the third novel to feature San Francisco detective Frost Easton.

When Frost’s old friend Danny Clarke dies on his doorstep saying the word Lombard he is put in charge of the investigation, an investigation which is gathering more interest from his bosses than it seems to warrant. Things get even more complicated when a PI points out a link through a spray painted snake to eleven previous murders.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Crooked Street which is an exciting thriller with a complicated plot. The reader will need their wits about them to keep up with the myriad characters, motivations and double crosses - my head was spinning with all the permutations as the novel progressed. Trust no one was the advice given to Frost early in the novel and my goodness is that true as Mr Freeman twists the reader every which way, never knowing who to trust, who is lying or where the truth lies. There is twist upon twist, all cleverly done and well enough disguised to fool this reader. It’s masterful but I had to drop my rating from 5 to 4* because it ends in a cliffhanger, ok it’s a doozie and extremely unexpected but how am I supposed to remember the detail of this novel in a year’s time when the sequel is published?

I like Frost Easton as a character. He’s a good man with s strong moral compass which wavers slightly over the course of the novel due to the circumstances he finds himself in.

The Crooked Street is a good read which I have no hesitation in recommending.
Profile Image for LJ.
3,156 reviews313 followers
February 9, 2019
First Sentence: Denny Clark emerged through a cloud of steam into the cold darkness of Chinatown.

Detective Frost Easton hadn't expected that his estranged friend Denny would show up on his doorstep, mortally wounded, uttering the word "Lombard." What does San Francisco's famous street have to do with Denny's murder? PI Dick Coyle claims the City has a serial killer about whom only he knows, who has killed 11 times before, marking each murder site with the image of a windy, crawling snake. Now Frost has to convince his boss to reopen the old cases in order to uncover who is behind the current murders and the super-secret killing organization.

Suspenseful and visual, the opening has a wonderful black-and-white classic golden-age detective movie feel about it. One can almost hear the dramatic music rise at the end.

Every now and then, it is nice to see the protagonist get bested, especially in a relatively harmless way. It shows they're not super-hero invincible. Frost's brother, Duane, a food-truck chef, and his fiancée Tabby, to whom Frost is attracted, as well as Shack the cat and legal owner of the home in which Frost lives, add a very human touch to the character. Frost's complicated relationship with Tabby is interesting and a bit disquieting. However, it is slightly quirky characters such as Herb, Frost's 70-year-old friend, who may well be the most interesting character.

The premise of the book is fascinating. The idea that there have been a series of murders committed without them being identified as such by the police, in spite of there being a common factor, maybe a bit far-fetched until a second common factor is revealed. Much of the story centers around relationships and the complications they bring. However, they do become vital to the plot so one must pay attention.

There is nothing more effective than the unknown, unseen enemy who people know exists but can't identify and refuse even to acknowledge. That both Frost and Herb are targets makes it particularly effective. There is a feeling of Frost being a bit sloppy; rather the male version of TSTL (too stupid to live), but Freeman throws in a very good twist and a connection is made. It is clever when the pieces start coming together, and yet they don't quite. One is still left as much in the dark as is Frost.

Much of the plot feels so improbable; A shadow villain with limitless resources can't find a particular person but two cops can just by asking around? One thing Freeman does very well is to create the sense of place—"Darkness caught up with Frost as he headed across the city toward Chinatown. Traffic crawled from red light to red light. Up and down the hills, the neighborhoods changed. First there were painted ladies among the houses, and then there were painted ladies on the streets." San Francisco is used very effectively, especially for those who know her well.

"The Crooked Street" is a good read; perfect for a weekend or airplane book. While the ending leaves one hanging, it does leave one anxious for the next book.

THE CROOKED STREET (PolProc-Frost Easton-San Francisco-Contemp) - Good
Freeman, Brian – 3rd in series
Thomas & Mercer – Jan 2019
Profile Image for Joyce.
1,630 reviews29 followers
December 30, 2018
5 stars

It has been a long time since I have picked up a Brian Freeman book and I had forgotten what a remarkable writer he is. I was blown away all over again.

Frost Easton is a detective with the San Francisco police department. His one-time friend Denny Clark dies in his arms late one night in Frost’s home. Before he dies he whispers the word “Lombard.” What could this mean? There is a Lombard street in San Francisco, but Frost doesn’t think Denny meant the road.

When a private eye named Dick Coyle breaks in to Frost’s house he has an unfortunate meeting with Shack. Shack is the tuxedo cat of Frost’s who also does duty as an enforcer. Coyle tells Frost that there is a serial killer in San Francisco and he murdered Denny. Furthermore, he says he can prove it.

I like the way this book talks about Frost and his life away from being a detective. I really appreciated Frost’s relationship with Shack and his brother Duane. Shack is a great cat. I have a major soft spot for cats and this really enhanced the novel for me. (One of my cats is even a tuxedo, lol.) The various characters are great. They are brilliantly described and well-drawn. This book is very well written and plotted. It tells a story in a linear fashion; one event follows another in a logical progression. The chapter transitions are smoothly flawless. I really liked this book and strongly recommend it to anyone who enjoys police procedurals or just a darn good read.

I want to thank NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for forwarding to me a copy of this absolutely great book for me to read, enjoy and review.
Profile Image for Jack.
774 reviews9 followers
May 1, 2020
Another winner

Frost Easton once again is in hot pursuit of a mysterious killer. This time it involves the death of an old friends, multiple conspiracies and possible conspiracies. All the standard characters are involve and it’s a great chase with an ending that truly took me by surprise. Lots of fun
Profile Image for Elisa.
2,796 reviews23 followers
January 10, 2019
If all the books I read this year are half as good as Crooked Street, it will be a good 2019. I am a big fan of the first two Frost Easton novels (how can you not love a cop whose partner is a cat?) and not that the previous baddies were lame but Lombard is the worst. He (or she?) has unlimited power and is pretty much indestructible. Frost, who is incapable of compromising his integrity, has to work really hard just to solve one measly string of murders that may only be the tip of the iceberg. Now that most of the setup is done and we know who's who and why Shack the tuxedo cat is the cutest landlord ever, we really get to the action very quickly. An old and estranged friend of Frost's shows up on his doorstep and dies, using his last breath to give him a clue: "Lombard" Frost will have to find out who or what that is. The setup will not be unheard of to anyone who has seen The Usual Suspects. Like Keyser Söze, Lombard is a myth. The master criminal that no one has ever seen but who may actually be real. This is a great setup so I was OK with it not being completely original and the rest of the story is inventive and very suspenseful. The very last twist left me screaming at my Kindle. I guess even Shack can be wrong sometimes.
I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. Thank you, NetGalley/Thomas & Mercer!
Profile Image for ReaderMomCarissa.
220 reviews4 followers
February 4, 2019
OMG! I devoured the 3 books in this series so far and this last one was twisted af! It was SO FREAKING GOOD! Now all I’m thinking is when will the 4th one come out? I need more Frost and this story!
Profile Image for Maura.
107 reviews17 followers
January 3, 2019
Disclaimer, I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

3.5 stars rounded up because I fell for every trick Freeman played.

I've read the other two Frost Easton books and while I thoroughly enjoyed both of them, this one is by far the best! Freeman is an excellent mystery writer and I'm usually pretty good at figuring things out about halfway through the book, and maybe I was having an off week, but all the turns took me by surprise. It stands well on it's own, but would definitely be helpful and prove for a more enjoyable reading experience if you read the previous books in the series.
Profile Image for Darcy.
12.1k reviews417 followers
February 11, 2019
Conspiracy theories are us seems to be a good way to describe this book without spoiling anything. There are layers upon layers, you get to the point where Frost is the only one you can really believe. But it was the last couple of pages that really shocked me. I feel for Frost because honestly at this point nothing will be the same for him again and at some point he's going to realize how badly he was played.
Profile Image for Greg.
535 reviews38 followers
October 16, 2022
Brian Freeman is a masterful detective story writer!

This one keeps you guessing -- and dodging -- right up to the last page which contains a whopper of a surprise!

His principal character, Detective Frost Eaton, is confronted with a string of mysterious murders that are seemingly unconnected, save for the fact that each of them has had painted nearby the image of a crooked snake.

What does the snake represent? And what did all of these very different people have in common?

This is the central focus and conundrum of the plot, and it is a doozy.

His characters are realistic and believable, and the lurking danger almost "feelable."

Very, very good!
Profile Image for Laur.
458 reviews65 followers
August 7, 2020
This book is brilliant! Brian Freeman has just entered my very short list of favorite authors! What an amazing ride - a true page turning thrilling mystery dotted with humor. I devoured it in one day with all the delicious twists and turns galore, and the book had an ending that I totally didn’t see coming! Dang! I didn’t want it to end, but I’m sure Mr. Freeman will do the next one just as proud!

If you are a mystery lover, I highly recommend this one. This was the BEST of the BEST so far in this series in my opinion, and I can’t wait to see what’s coming next. I’m totally proud to give this 5 STARS!
423 reviews1 follower
February 16, 2019
The third installment in the Frost Easton series is phenomenal. Brian Freeman is such a gifted author - he pulls you in from the start and takes you on an intriguing ride. Very few books these days can really surprise me but some of the plot twists here got me! Frost has met a worthy opponent in the newest villain Lombard. The connections between all sorts of powerful people will be what keeps you turning the pages to figure out who is good and who is not. I hate that I have to wait for the 4th book!!!
Profile Image for Darren.
1,650 reviews29 followers
December 26, 2018
I got this as a arc e book from Net Galley. I enjoyed reading it. It had a good story to it. I liked the variety of characters in it. It is my first book read by this author. I hope to read more books by this author.
Profile Image for Darlene.
563 reviews7 followers
May 26, 2019
It seems like I have been waiting a long time for the third in the Frost Easton series, but I guess it’s only been a year. Frost is one of my top favorites and it was so good to have him in my life again. Frost is a SFPD Detective, and since San Francisco is one of my favorite cities I fell in love with the series on page one of book one, The Night Bird.
In this book there is series of killings going back a few years. Frost gets involved when an old friend, Denny, dies at his front door. Denny’s only word is ‘Lombard’. Now is Lombard a street, a person, an organization, or a myth? Hence we are brought along on a journey with Frost to discover who or what is Lombard. The ending was a shocker, and definitely leaves us hanging. I hope we don’t have to wait another year to find out what happens next in this series.
Profile Image for Milan Buno.
292 reviews25 followers
February 9, 2022
Milujem tohto autora a jeho sériu s detektívom Frostom Eastonom.
Nočný vták, potom Vnútorný hlas a napokon Kľukatá cesta. Vynikajúce krimi, dynamické, vtiahne vás hneď od prvých strán.
Brian Freeman výborne dávkuje jednotlivé indície, ktoré postupne zapadajú do seba a dávajú čoraz väčší zmysel…až to celé vyvrcholí poriadnou peckou, ktorá vás omráči. Ale najviac milujem postavu Frosta Eastona, samotára, ktorý žije v starom dome v centre San Francisca s kocúrom a živí sa tým, čo mu uvarí jeho brat šéfkuchár. Je to fešák, ale večeri trávi radšej sám a ideálne s knihami o histórii. Sympatická postava.
Profile Image for Valleri.
688 reviews15 followers
July 11, 2020
When I first started reading this book I was totally hooked! I love how Mr. Freeman has the ability to make me feel that I'm actually in San Francisco. And, for me, Shack (the cat) is the star of this series! It annoys me when Frost confides details about the case to civilians, which he did in the last book, too. Wouldn't you think he would learn?? The thing I disliked the most, however, was the fact that The Crooked Street ended with a cliffhanger. I hate cliffhangers!! The plot was so convoluted (and a bit unbelievable) that there isn't a prayer I'll remember the details of what happened in this book by the time the next book is written and published.

I want to thank the author for mentioning the band Parachute. I had never heard of them and after checking them out, I really like their music.😊
Profile Image for Marta.
499 reviews20 followers
October 6, 2022
Další Frost. A hlavně Shack! :-) Jedna z těch sérií, ze kterých sice nejsem totálně nadšená, ale přesto si další díl vždycky ráda přečtu.
Profile Image for Bookreporter.com Mystery & Thriller.
1,697 reviews24.7k followers
February 11, 2019
At one point towards the end of THE CROOKED STREET, Frost Easton's best friend Herb, who is nearly twice his age, tells him, “Sometimes the road to justice is a crooked street.” This bit of wisdom provides one of the meanings behind the book's title. This third installment in Brian Freeman's series also reflects the physical street on which Frost, many of the principal characters and some of the victims live in San Francisco.

Freeman likes using Mark Twain quotes to open his stories. The one included here --- “It takes your enemy and your friend, working together, to hurt you to the heart” --- is quite prophetic, especially once the last page is turned. The winding, crooked street is called Lombard, which also may be the name of a possibly fictional crime lord who allegedly has been responsible for most of the evildoing in San Francisco for what seems like decades.

Whether or not Lombard is behind the activity in Frost's latest case will have to take a back seat to the action at hand, especially when the first dead body that turns up happens to be an old friend of Frost. Denny Clark had been estranged from Frost for many years, but that doesn’t mean that his murder has any less impact. The fact that Denny actually expired at Frost's place makes things that much more personal. Just before he died, Denny gasped one word to Frost: “Lombard.”

Denny ran a charter boat, and business had been booming for him. Still, someone wanted him dead. Before Frost even has a chance to get his investigation off the ground, he trips over a local private investigator who is already on the trail. P.I. Dick Coyle indicates that he feels a serial killer is on the loose in San Francisco and Denny has just become his latest victim. He also points out that local graffiti in the image of a snake shows up right around the area of one of the murders. Frost now starts noticing that there are snakes all around the neighborhood, 13 at the time Coyle made him aware of them. The San Francisco P.D. does not want to believe any of this, especially Detective Gorham, who plays down the snake symbolism and outwardly distrusts Coyle.

Frost needs to find some footing in this case, which becomes especially difficult when each new lead or person he meets winds up missing or dead. Coyle himself is “bitten” by the snake killer, and Frost is at a loss as to why. It seems that some of the murder victims, as well as a few of the missing suspects, were on a charter boat trip manned by Denny. Apparently, serious evildoing was taking place during the excursion, and powerful people may be mopping up after their mess. Of course, things come back around to the infamous Lombard, who may or may not have been among the passengers. Frost had believed that Lombard was a bad joke that was perpetuated through the years as a way to lay blame on random cold cases. However, he starts thinking that there may be an actual flesh-and-blood answer behind this mystery.

The fact that Frost's boss, Police Chief Hayden, demands to only meet outside of the office to discuss the case leads Frost to believe that the roots of the murder spree and possible link to Lombard may be far more serious than originally thought. He even begins to suspect that Lombard could be somebody on the inside, maybe even a fellow law enforcement colleague. Frost's buddy, Herb, actually refers to Lombard as being his Moriarty --- a great shout-out to the Sherlock Holmes series. When Frost comes home to find a charm hanging from his cat's neck that is in the shape of a snake, he suddenly realizes how close he may be to the truth. He also recognizes that he may have made himself another loose end that needs tying.

I've described Brian Freeman's style as incredibly smooth, and all of that is on display in THE CROOKED STREET. What seems like a local crime quickly grows into something much larger, like a serpentine coil of red herrings and victims snaking up and down the uneven, hilly streets of San Francisco. Just when the reader is lulled into a false sense of security, Freeman pulls the rug out from under you, leaving you dizzy. His descriptions of Frost's San Francisco neighborhood are so vivid that they put you right there and allow you to feel everything the protagonist is experiencing.

Probably the most powerful part of the book is the city of San Francisco itself and the “crooked street” where the majority of the characters reside. In fact, you can practically feel the city breathing on each passing page. Freeman may be from Minnesota, but he clearly knows his way around the San Francisco area. The end result is another stellar effort in this terrific series that seems to get more layered and personal with each new release. I can guarantee that you will be reeling after you’ve read the last line and will be hoping that the follow-up comes as soon as possible.

Reviewed by Ray Palen
Profile Image for Barbara Giannelli.
37 reviews1 follower
August 27, 2021
Thriller eccezionale. Ogni pagina è un gioco di specchi dove niente è come sembra, ma il finale....vi lascerà a bocca aperta
462 reviews
December 30, 2018
OMG what a fantastic ride. Action unravels at a breakneck speed... this gem is every bit as good as
Connelly's Bosch series. Although this is the first Frost Easton tale I've read, there are apparently 2 previous books in the series ... which I can't wait to read! Frost Easton is a San Francisco homicide detective, somewhat a loner, but frequently accompanied by his sidekick Shack ... a pretentious and protective tuxedo cat ... who apparently is known to all.
Frost opens his door one evening to estranged friend, Denny Clark ... who dies in his arms after being shot by a poison pellet ... his last words are "Lombard" This leads him into a whirlwind twisted investigation of Denny's murder that connects with series of other mysterious disappearances and murders of others .... sometimes under less than obvious circumstances .... suicide, natural deaths or outright assassinations. And a disturbing appearance of a crooked red snake near all of the deceased. Easton finds himself up against a mythical machiavellian criminal mastermind in the vein of Professor Moriarty. Is Lombard a person, group or a myth? As the murders mount up the overiding message is "trust no one"
The narrative of Freeman effortlessly leads into an unrelentless path of breadcrumbs that the reader gobbles up at an exponentially increasing speed until the exciting denouement results in a five star meal. But, even the final page results in an unexpected twist. Thanks to Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer Publications for providing an Uncorrected Proof in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Wes Peters.
25 reviews
February 2, 2019
I enjoyed the first Frost Easton novel, the second was so good I actually took time to email the author -- something I've not done before. To my surprise, Brian wrote me back the same day; he had just finished the draft of Crooked Street, and promised the story would be in the same vein, along with some discussion of a favored character.

Wow, did he deliver. I'm a huge fan of well written mysteries that introduce characters I care about, and characters I can't really be sure of. Earl Emerson is an excellent example, but his mysteries are decidedly quirkier than the average hard-hiting crime novel. This book has familiar characters we've come to know and care for from the first two stories; Frosts brother Duane and his fiance Tabby; best friend, spiritual adviser, and sometimes source Herb, and of course feline support system Shack. It is also filled with a shifting cast of characters that keep Frost, and us, guessing and doubting everyone but our trusted confidants.

I've been missing Sue Graftons storytelling; the universe screams for justice that we never got to Z with Kinsey Milhone. But Frost Easton has managed to worm into that secret little part of my readers world occupied by Kinsey, someone I can re-read years later, recall most of the story as it unfolds, but still be able to enjoy it all over again.

It will be a while before I can tackle this one again. Read it and find out why.
Profile Image for Janice Lombardo.
625 reviews5 followers
January 3, 2019
I suppose that I was biased when I began reading this book. I have read all of Brian Freeman's works and have loved every one of them! And this is yet another winner.

Frost Easton (Book #3) DI Easton becomes entangled with a friend from 10 years ago. Except this friend literally dies on his doorstep. Denny (Frost's friend) was involved in something bigger than the Chief of Police wants to admit. Politically - it would have been much better to tie the case up and be done with it. However, Frost cannot do that - he knows that there is more to Denny's death than meets the eye. We go from Chinatown in San Francisco to the suburbs with Frost looking for clues. This includes the "crooked snake", someone called Lombard and even high price call girls. Frost will not stop until he solves the case.

A delightful read - I HIGHLY RECOMMEND !!!

Many Thanks to Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for a superb reading experience, once again.
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