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The Voice Inside


The Voice Inside

This second installment in Brian Freeman's Frost Easton series is an unputdownable psychological thriller that will linger with you long after the final page is read. It is the type of book that I refer to as a quick read, which has nothing to do with its length but with the easy way it reads. Freeman's writing style is so smooth that the pages just turned themselves as I drove towards the exciting finale.

Freeman introduces THE VOICE INSIDE with a prophetic quote from Mark Twain: "One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives." These words prophesize a major lie that is at the center of this story. Essentially, the lie takes the form of evidence planted by the police to nail a serial killer. Under normal circumstances, most crime-fighters would not have a moral issue with this act, especially if it means saving lives. Unfortunately, once a shrewd defense attorney gets hold of this information, it opens the cell door to release said serial killer back into society.

" unputdownable psychological thriller that will linger with you long after the final page is read.... Brian Freeman is masterful in setting up the pace and suspense."

San Francisco homicide inspector Frost Easton was the lead on the case that took down vicious serial killer Rudy Cutter. This was extremely personal for Frost as one of Cutter’s victims was his sister, Katie. When Frost finds out that his colleague and former lover, Jess Salceda, was the one who planted the wristwatch that took down Cutter, he is torn. He wants more than anything to make Cutter pay for his sister and other innocent victims, but is not prepared for things to backfire on him. When the dust settles, Jess is out of a job with the San Francisco P.D. and Cutter is back on the street.

Frost makes it his business to take down Cutter again, as he is confident that the killer will soon seek out a new victim. He must make doubly sure that he does everything by the book as he cannot have Cutter slip through his fingers once more. The fact that Cutter is released makes things tough for Frost's family. His mother is devastated, and his brother, Duane, is shocked and angered. To make matters worse, Duane's new girlfriend, Tabby, was good friends with another of Cutter's victims. If things weren't personal up to this point, these events definitely have ramped up the guilt level that Frost is experiencing.

Since he is willing to try anything to bring Cutter back to justice, Frost gives permission to a writer to tag along with him. That writer, a driven woman named Eden Shay, has been compiling notes for several years on Cutter and plans to eventually release her exposé book, The Voice Inside, that will recount the Cutter saga from beginning to end. As expected, Cutter does strike again. Unfortunately, his first victim post-release is none other than Jess. All of this is done without Frost being able to stop it. It's almost as if someone is helping Cutter out to keep him one step ahead of the law.

As Frost beings to pore over the evidence from Cutter's earlier victims, he keeps zeroing in on one troubling question. Katie was working at a pizzeria and took an order that she personally delivered. The problem wasn't the fact that the pizza and Katie never made it to their destination, but more so that her body was found several blocks in the opposite direction of her delivery. Who or what diverted Katie that led her directly to Cutter?

From this review, I trust that you can see how easy it is to become emotionally invested in this novel. Brian Freeman is masterful in setting up the pace and suspense. You not only brace yourself for the inevitable showdown between Frost and Cutter, but also find yourself scrambling to try to figure out what else is going on with this high-profile case. THE VOICE INSIDE should receive consideration come literary award season --- a place in which Freeman has become a regular participant.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on March 16, 2018

The Voice Inside
by Brian Freeman