International bestselling thriller writer to speak at winery

Brian Freeman
Brian Freeman

For some writers, the ability to capture a reader’s attention and hold it, page by page, is almost intrinsic.

That’s how it’s been for Brian Freeman from a young age.

“I’ve been writing my whole life,” he said. “I wrote my first full-length novel when I was 13. It’s been my passion and my dream, and I’m delighted to be doing this for a living.”

Freeman, the author of several international bestselling novels such as “Spilled Blood,” “Immoral” and his newest book, “The Cold Nowhere,” grew up in Chicago and California before meeting his wife while attending Carlton College in Minnesota. They now live in Woodbury.

Freeman will be reading excerpts from “The Cold Nowhere” and talking about writing at North Folk Winery at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Scout & Morgan Books, of Cambridge, is sponsoring the event.

Freeman’s books have been sold in 46 countries in 20 languages, but finding the road to success in writing wasn’t easy.

“It was about 20 years before I broke through,” Freeman said, noting his first big hit was “Immoral.”

Freeman said writing is a unique craft in that a writer can use past experiences — what resonated for a reader and what didn’t — to craft better stories that end up being those “can’t put down” type of books.

Even though his first few novels weren’t big successes, Freeman didn’t get discouraged, and he’s been on a roll with bestselling books for about the past decade, many of which have Duluth as their setting.

“I felt we had great writers who did big city, urban crime books,” he said. “I didn’t want to do that. I wanted more Midwestern crime fiction.”


Freeman said the protagonist in “The Cold Nowhere,” Jonathan Stride, is sort of a culmination of the people he’s met in the Duluth area.

He said Stride, like the people of Duluth, “tucks his chin against the wind and moves ahead.”

The following is a plot synopsis of “The Cold Nowhere” from Freeman’s website:

As Jonathan Stride returns home to his cottage on the shore of Lake Superior after midnight, he finds a teenage girl hiding in his bedroom. She’s pretty, scared and soaked to the bone…and she says that someone is trying to kill her. The girl isn’t a stranger to Stride. She’s the daughter of a woman he tried – and failed – to protect from an abusive, murderous ex-husband years earlier.

With the guilt of that failure still hanging over his head, Stride is determined to protect this young girl, Cat Mateo, from a shadowy predator. However, Cat seems to have secrets of her own. She’s led a tough life on the streets; she doesn’t always tell the truth; and she has an unhealthy obsession with knives. Stride’s partner Maggie is convinced that the girl can’t be trusted, and she’s afraid that Stride may be putting himself in danger by letting Cat inside his house.

Wherever Cat goes, death seems to follow. A journalist who interviewed the girl has disappeared. Two more women are found murdered. Stride feels as if he is always one step behind a brutal killer who has Cat in his sights, and as the investigation races ahead, he finds himself on a collision course with another detective – a woman who shared his bed for years: Serena Dial. With all of their fragile relationships hanging in the balance, Stride, Serena, and Maggie must find out why this young girl has been targeted for death – and why a decade-old crime is coming back to life.

For a complete list and plot descriptions of all Freeman’s novels, visit

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