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In The Dark

(Jonathan Stride #4)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  3,060 ratings  ·  247 reviews
Two young lovers. A sultry summer night. One brutal, cold-blooded murder.  In this stunning, atmospheric thriller, Brian Freeman takes you deep into Detective Jonathan Stride’s complicated past.

It’s the case that has haunted Stride for thirty years.  During the summer after his junior year of high school, he fell in love with beautiful Cindy Starr, the girl who would becom
Hardcover, 357 pages
Published March 31st 2009 by Minotaur Books (first published December 11th 2008)
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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,060 ratings  ·  247 reviews

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Sep 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
I see growth in Brian Freeman with this book. Well told story from Stride's past.
Jan 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Brian Freeman has been climbing the ranks as one of my favorite authors over the past few years. His first three books really impressed me so I was eagerly anticipating IN THE DARK and had heard it was going to be the most emotional book of the Stride/Dial series. Often I find myself a bit disappointed after reading a long-awaited book because it just doesn't live up to the hype.

IN THE DARK was NOT one of these books.

Every Brian Freeman book has a "killer" prologue and this one screams chapter o
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another excellent book in the Jonathan Stride series. Brian Freeman is fast becoming a favorite author. Getting some background on the MC through a cold case makes the read love Stride even more. 4 stars
Mar 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Interesting back and forth on a decades-old cold case. Freeman writes a lot of abusive mom storylines, which are the most disturbing parts of these books. I think I need to slow down and space these out more, so that I'm not irritated with the major storm coinciding with main character critically injured formula at the peak of each book. (It's a bit Tom Cruise action movie-esque.) I think he could write a Duluth mystery with a little less bloodshed and still make it great - his multi-layered cri ...more
Maureen DeLuca
Nov 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
The 4th in the Jonathan Stride series- I'd say this is 3.5 , but being that I was feeling generous....

You get to know more about Strides past, high school days and meeting his first wife. I have to say some of this book was a 'tad' bit over the top- but hey, aren't they all at some point or another? Another reason why I give this a 4 , because I really do like the Jonathan Stride character.

For those who never read any of these books- best bet is to start at book number 1 "Immoral" which was an
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Jonathan Stride's deceased wife's sister was savagely murdered 30 years ago and the case was never solved. A woman comes to town supposedly to write a book about that murder, the death of her best friend while Stride and Maggie are trying to catch someone who's been peeping in the windows of young blonde girls. There are secrets, too many to mention and Stride uncovers explosive events that led to that murder, he finds that the ripples of her death changed everyone's lives, including his own.
Geoff. Lamb
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating. Twisted. Complicated. Love and deception. This may be the best Stride so far.
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I just love these books! So who done it? I had no clue but I bet you will when you read!
Apr 28, 2009 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bev Taylor
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
also known as in the dark

a 30 year old murder haunts a small town detective. then a shocking twist gives him one last chance to solve the case

who killed laura? the case has never been closed although a few conclusions had been reached. but none of these satisfied lt jonathan stride as she was sister to cindy, his wife who died from cancer

then a news reporter tish arrives in the village, alleging she was a friend of cindy and is writing a book about the murder. stride reluctantly opens the cas
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
In this Detective Jonathan Stride #4 book, someone from his past returns to open up the door to an unsolved case. Stride's wife Cindy died five years ago but apparently she kept in touch through the years with her best friend from high school. Tish is now determined to write a book about the murder of Cindy's sister Laura on July4, 1977. Stride and Cindy were near the park where Laura died on that night and he has always felt he knew who the killer was. Tish has some new information so they both ...more
Jill Manske
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
"In the Dark" focuses on the 30-year-old murder of Lt. Jonathan Strike's sister-in-law, Laura Starr. This unsolved crime was dredged up by Laura's friend, Tish, as part of a true crime book she's writing. Strike is initially unwilling to assist Tish with reopening the investigation, but she brings him new evidence that calls into question the assumption that the murderer was an itinerant. Suspects abound and new clues swirl around Strike and his team as he attempts to make sense of what he's lea ...more
Mike Kennedy
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: brian-freeman
Number for in the Jonathan Stride series. The book starts with a flashback to 1977 and the murder of a recently graduated high school senior. It turns out the murdered was the sister of Stride’s deceased wife Cindy. The victims best friend from high school is back in town writing a book about the murder, and Strideis put back on the case. Stride and Maggie are also dealing with a peeping tom that is terrorizing teenage girls across Duluth. As it seems with most Mr. Freeman’s novels while the two ...more
Micky Cox
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
While I have really enjoyed all of the books in the Jonathan Stride series, this one is an interesting and intriguing twist. While set in current day, it revisits the cold case that made Jonathan take the path into law enforcement in the first place, the murder of his wife's sister. It had interesting twists and while you think you know who the killer is the potential suspect list keeps growing as he delves into the past. After all these years, is it a case worth solving or better off left alone ...more
Sep 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
…” the parallel postulate. “
Rikke shrugged. “If two lines cross a third and form less than two right angles, then eventually the two lines will meet if extended far enough. Why on earth do you find that so interesting?”
“It’s something I find in most of my investigations,” Stride told her. “Sooner or later, the lines always intersect.”

I don’t remember much from my high school geometry class, but as I read In the Dark, the parallel postulate began to make sense. A peeper is terrifying teenage gir
I love reading books with cold cases. I love the angles, the twists, and the clues that were never followed up on when the case was hot. A case that has detective Jonathan Stride reliving a past of family and a lost love. His wife, Cindy has passed on from cancer going on about 5 years now and before they were married, she lost her sister to a horrid crime in the woods, on July 4th. A special night that caused Cindy much grief... if only she had been there for her sister. A night that Jonny and ...more
Matt Schiariti
Nov 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Brian Freeman's Jonothan Stride novels are quickly becoming my favorite on going series. His deftness at writing engaging characters, broaching adult subjects without going overboard, and mixing wonderfully interesting plots with great twists and turns is really hard to beat.

Stride loved his late wife Cindy fiercely. Thirty years ago events happened in their lives that would change them both forever, especially Stride. As it happens, on the first night Stride and Cindy decide to take their relat
Scott Rhee
Jul 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Brian Freeman's fourth book to feature detectives Jonathon Stride and Serena Dial, "In the Dark", is another great suspenseful read. In this one, Stride must re-open old wounds about his late wife, Cindy, who died of cancer, when one of her high school friends comes back into town. Tish Verdure has returned to write a book about the murder of Cindy's older sister, Laura, who was murdered when Stride and Cindy were in high school. The case was never officially solved, although an African-American ...more
Narrators: Joe Barrett, Carrington MacDuffie

4 stars for some tense moments, 2 stars for being such a depressing book (for me) and it will be awhile before I pick another Jonathan Stride book. It's another one of those all-but-the-kitchen-sink books - a cold case, murder, lesbian lovers, incest, characters who die that I wish had been spared...I both hated and "liked" this installment. "Like" only in that I wanted to know who killed Laura and stuck to the end
Brian Freeman
Jan 13, 2009 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
My fourth novel, IN THE DARK, is due out on March 31, 2009. It may be my personal favorite among my books -- very emotionally intense along with its shocking twists. Write to me at or visit my web site ( or Facebook page. ...more
Jan 24, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, mystery
Not a fan of this. Over the top and all over the place. Half-way through I put it down and didn't bother picking it up again for two weeks, and you know if I do that with a mystery it's a bad sign. Normally I compulsively read even the bad ones, but this I just didn't care.
Aug 26, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense, mystery
Too much told in flashbacks, too many POV's--some from dead people.
John E Mack
Apr 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As usual, Freeman writes remarkably well-rounded characters for a genre which is not famous for depth of characterization. His plot is also well-conceived. Lieutenant Jonathan Stride's late wife Cindy's sister Laura is brutally murdered on the Fourth of July, 1977. This is the same day as Stride and Stride and Cindy first made love. A vagrant black man is conveniently blamed, but escapes. A reporter who is a friend of Laura comes up from Atlanta to write a book about the murder and try to solve ...more
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I picked up this book I did not realize it was #4 in a series. Even without reading the first three, I did not have any trouble following the story. That is not always true, but it was this time. The Watcher (which I see is also called In The Dark) is a fairly lengthy, albeit light-reading, book and there were places I did not read carefully. That did not seem to matter, although, since I did not guess "who did it," maybe I missed an important clue. There were several plot twists, some whic ...more
Aug 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In the Dark
Brian Freeman

Cindy Star was married to Jonathan Stride despite his mother’s apprehension and fears that she would lose her son to this young girl. Cindy died five years ago but author Brian Freeman has decided to allow readers to get to her know, how she and Jonathan connected the first time and what happens when she wants to share her experience with her sister, Laura. Coming home in total disarray and not wanting to even wash away one shred of evidence that she and Jonathan were tog
After accidentally reading the 5th book, not realizing when I started that this was a series, I've been devouring the rest of them. It's been good to get to know the characters from the beginning, especially as Maggie did NOT make a great impression in The Burying Place. Starting from the beginning, and knowing what becomes of Stride and Serena (because I cheated and looked it up!), makes me think I may be able to like her... eventually. Still not quite there yet.

Brian Freeman is a great story
Danielle Gonzalez
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This story takes the reader back to Jonathan Stride's high school days when he is dating Cindy. While having a romantic evening with Cindy, her sister, Laura, is murdered. The crime is never solved. Fast forward to present time, and an old classmate shows up with new information for Stride. He decides to look into it again, and finds a lot of buried secrets throughout the town. This story puts a strain on Stride and his love interest as he goes back in time to the romance of his first wife. It k ...more
Loving this series; Jonathan Stride, Serena, and Maggie continue to wiggle their way into my favorite characters; especially with this book; Jonny revisits his teenage years and time on the police force. Cindy's sister, Laura was murdered on the beach on July 4 and now 30 years later, a old friend, Tish is writing a book on Laura's murder and needs answers. But what transpires are lies, mysteries, and betrayals! Also Jonathan and Maggie are investigating a peeper who is terrorizing teens, all th ...more
Faye L. Tekautz
Mar 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I realized half way through this book that I had read it before but did not remember how it ended so I kept on reading. It was just as good the second time. The suspense was more intense than Freeman's previous works but the story continues with these great characters. On to the fifth installment to see if Maggie gets a child and what Stride an Serena are up to. Happy reading!

Barbara Fraley
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
good look into stride's beginnings and his decision to go into law enforcement. this book's focus is on the 30 year old murder of laura starr. she was stride's first wife and highschool sweethearts sister. it happened while he and cindy were in the same park following a july 4th baseball game. some of stride's team mates were suspects, but the crime was never solved. now stide uncovers secrets, abuse, incest, murder - this may cost him his life
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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)
  • 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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