Nine years after his late wife’s friend was convicted of killing her husband, Lt. Jonathan Stride of the Duluth Police Department finds new evidence that reopens the case and tears him up as well.
Everyone knew that hotshot surgeon Dr. Janine Snow and her third husband, newspaper columnist Jay Ferris, had their troubles, but nobody expected them to end with Jay shot to death in his home while Janine was in the shower just minutes after Cindy Stride dropped her off after an evening out. The evidence against Janine is strong. Jay was certainly alive when Cindy left his house and dead very shortly thereafter, and he’d just discovered not one but two explosive secrets Janine was desperate to keep under wraps. Defense attorney Archie Gale, for his part, makes much of the absence of physical evidence and the murder weapon’s disappearance. The trial does nothing to change anyone’s mind about Janine’s innocence or guilt—but it does change the vote of one juror, history teacher Howard Marlowe, who’d gone into the trial worshiping Janine from afar but found himself voting to convict her anyway. Nearly a decade after Cindy died and Janine was sentenced, the murder gun is tied to a shooting a few weeks before Jay’s murder and the more recent killing of telemarketer Kelly Hauswirth, putting a completely different complexion on the case. Meanwhile, Freeman (The Burning Place, 2010, etc.) keeps the pot boiling by introducing a mall shooting, a sex trafficking ring, and the personal perils of Cat Mateo, the orphan Stride and Cindy took in all those years ago.
If you’re looking for a full docket, Freeman pays off in spades. But the felonies are only loosely linked, and the solutions are less compelling than the setups. Below average for this accomplished, ambitious series.