Brian Freeman is renowned for his contributions to the psychological and crime thriller genres, authoring three fantastic series that revolve around murder, morals, and the fragility of the human mind. Each of Freeman’s franchises was published chronologically but Freeman himself stresses that readers can pick up any book and follow the series’ narrative. The best reading order, therefore, is typically chronological, however, readers have the freedom to start with whatever book interests them the most.
Freeman dreamed of writing from a young age, declaring that his grandmother, who was a huge fan of crime thrillers, was the source of his interest and admiration of the genre. During high school, Freeman wrote what would later become Immoral, the first book in his critically acclaimed Jonathon Stride series. It was not until 2005 when Freeman turned 41, that his manuscript got published and he received the Macavity Award for Best First Novel.
Since then, Freeman has published over twenty novels that have been sold across the world and translated into over 20 languages. His three franchises, the Jonathon Stride, Cab Bolton, and Frost Eaton series, have been gripping readers from start to finish as they follow Freeman’s engaging detectives through dark and twisted investigations.
Freeman has also recently taken over the Bourne franchise from Eric Van Lustbader, adding spy thrillers to his impressive repertoire. Under the pseudonym Ally O’Brien, Freeman has also published several ChickLit books, truly demonstrating how versatile and engaging his writing is.
Each of Freeman’s novels focuses on a unique crime that will grip readers from the first page. The best way to approach these page-turners is chronologically so readers can get to know the central detectives and follow them in their pursuit of justice. Read on to discover how to best enjoy Freeman’s impressive collection of books
All Brian Freemam’s Books in the Best Reading Order
The Jonathon Stride Series
Immoral introduces readers to Jonathon Stride, a brilliant yet flawed police lieutenant, as he struggles to unravel the mystery behind the murders of two teenage girls.
Through multiple twists and turns that see Stride traveling across America and reveal that no one is as innocent as they seem, the dark truth at the center of these murders is expertly revealed.
In Freeman’s follow-up to Immoral, Stride and Serena Dial, his partner with whom he has become romantically involved, must race to solve two seemingly unconnected murders on the Las Vegas strip.
As they struggle to comprehend the motives of this twisted killer, more and more bodies begin to litter the strip of the infamous neon city, pushing Stride to the extreme to save innocent people from such senseless violence. Stripped will grip readers from the first page.
After Stride’s colleague, Maggie Bei, reports a crime under suspicious circumstances, Stride uncovers a lurid web of blackmail and voyeurism. Working with Dial who is desperately hunting a blackmailer, Stride and Dial find themselves at the center of a horrifying plot for revenge.
Stalked explores the depths of human depravity and the lengths people will go to for revenge. Readers do not want to miss this fantastic addition to the Jonathon Stride series.
In the Dark (also titled The Watcher) (2008)
Readers are introduced to the ghosts of Stride’s past in the fourth installment of the series as a thirty-year-old murder case is reopened. As Stride searches for answers, he uncovers secrets about those closest to him.
Searching for the truth will force Stride to face his deepest fears In the Dark.
The Burying Place (2009)
On a frozen winter night, a baby and a policewoman disappear. Stride must find both before it is too late and they are coerced into becoming pawns in a sadistic killer’s game.
The Burying Place forces readers to question how far they would go to protect their own loved ones.
Spitting Devil (2012)
This novella sees Stride confronting a serial killer who delights in sending photos of his latest victims to the press.
Spitting Devil may be a short read, but it definitely packs a punch.
Turn to Stone (2014)
Freeman’s second Stride novella posits the detective in a rural town without his usual allies. After witnessing the shocking suicide of a local hero, Stride is determined to find the answers to the man’s untimely death.
Stride uncovers the dark heart of a small town in Turn to Stone.
The Cold Nowhere (2013)
Stride finds himself caring for a young girl, Cat Mateo, the daughter of a victim he failed to protect. But Maggie and Serena aren’t sure Cat can be trusted as dead bodies begin to appear.
The Cold Nowhere was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award.
Goodbye to the Dead (2015)
Still haunted by the death of his wife, Cindy, Stride finds himself embroiled in a case that may prove the innocence of Cindy’s best friend, eight years after he accused her of being the murderer.
Tangled in a human trafficking case, Serena and Stride struggle against the truth in Goodbye to the Dead.
In a narrative that echoes the horrific events of the Boston Marathon bombing, Stride, Serena, and Maggie must battle against prejudice and a social media frenzy to uncover the mastermind behind the bombing.
Marathon reveals the dangers of social media and fear-mongering.
Alter Ego (2018)
With a hitman and a Hollywood film crew in town when a college student goes missing, Stride finds himself at the center of a chilling and all too revealing crime.
In Alter Ego, Stride must face a version of himself that he does not want to recognize.
Funeral for a Friend (2020)
A reverse of fate sees Stride as the prime suspect in a murder investigation. With Stride refusing to provide answers, Serena and Maggie must ask if the beloved detective could be capable of murder.
Funeral of a Friend explores the twisted secrets that reside in Stride’s past.
The Zero Night (2022)
Returning to the police force after a year on medical leave, Stride is confronted with a hostage case that is far more complex than it initially seems.
Struggling to balance his case with his personal life, The Zero Night sees Stride questioning his career as a detective.
The Cab Bolton Series
The Bone House (2010)
The Bone House introduces readers to Cab Bolton, a charming, witty hero who decides to spend his money solving crimes. Bolton finds himself embroiled in a case involving the murders of young girls and a teacher accused of having affairs with his students.
Readers will fall in love with this quirky detective in The Bone House.
Season of Fear (2014)
Bolton enters the world of politics when he is hired to prevent the repetition of a brutal public murder. Joining forces with Peach Piper, Bolton searches to uncover the secrets behind the world of politics.
Season of Fear posits questions about guilt and the power of public fear.
The Frost Eaton Series
The Night Bird (2017)
The dark and brooding homicide detective, Frost Eaton, is tasked with tracking down the Night Bird, a dangerous killer who delights in playing psychological games with their victims.
Teaming up with Francesca Stein, Eaton must battle against his own demons in his pursuit of justice in The Night Bird.
The Voice Inside (2018)
After Eaton discovers that his best friend falsified evidence, he is forced to release Rudy Cutter, his sister’s murderer.
In The Voice Inside, Eaton and Eden Shay race against time to uncover new evidence that would see Cutter securely behind bars for the rest of his life.
The Crooked Street (2019)
When a string of murders are all connected by a painting of a coiled snake and the whispered name “Lombard”, Eaton enters a treacherous game of cat and mouse with his most dangerous adversary yet.
The Crooked Street delves into psychological mind games reminiscent of those played between Sherlock and Moriarty.
The Jason Bourne Series
The Bourne Evolution (2020)
Bourne fears that Treadstone has betrayed him after his lover is murdered in a mass shooting. Going rogue, Bourne strives to reveal the truth behind her death and the mystery organization, Medusa.
The Bourne Evolution, Freeman’s first novel in the Bourne franchise, is full of thrills, sure to delight both returning and new readers of the series.
The Bourne Treachery (2021)
Tasked with preventing an assassination by the infamous Lennon, Bourne uncovers secrets about both his own past and Treadstone’s that should never have been revealed.
As more people are killed, Bourne must face the truth in The Bourne Treachery.
The Bourne Sacrifice (2022)
After failing to take down Lennon, Bourne must use every skill and resource he has to bring down the killer for good before he can strike again. Especially when Abbey Laurent, Bourne’s lover, catches the killer’s attention.
Readers won’t be able to put down The Bourne Sacrifice, Freeman’s third installment in the franchise.
The Bourne Defiance (2023)
As every Treadstone agent connected to the historic Defiance mission is being killed, Bourne finds himself being hunted as a mysterious adversary attempts to erase all evidence of the mission.
The Bourne Defiance is expected to be released on the 25th of July and is currently available for pre-order.
Freeman’s Standalone Thrillers
Spilled Blood (2011)
When his daughter is accused of murder, Chris Hawk rushes to her aid only to discover that she is at the center of a feud between two towns and that all evidence suggests that she is guilty.
Thief River Falls (2020)
Lisa, a recluse, finds herself responsible for a young boy who has just witnessed a gruesome murder that the police are eager to conceal.
As they find themselves surrounded, Lisa must confront her past and protect the boy at all costs. Thief River Falls is full of shocking twists that will keep readers captivated until the very end.
The Deep, Deep Snow (2020)
When a ten-year-old boy goes missing, Deputy Shelby Lake is desperate to find him before it is too late. However, her small town falls into silence as neighbors spread rumors and suspicion to conceal the truth.
In The Deep, Deep Snow, everyone is connected to the shocking truth of the child’s disappearance, even Shelby.
After a near-death experience, Dylan finds himself haunted by other versions of himself. These doppelgangers attempt to steal Dylan’s life from him as his grip on reality loosens.
A truly mind-bending tale, Infinite is the definition of a page-turner.
The Ursulina (2022)
As a terrifying killer takes on the name of the infamous mythical beast, the Urulina, Deputy Rebecca Colder fights to keep herself alive.
The Ursulina is a captivating prequel that unravels the truth behind Shelby Lake’s backstory.
I Remember You (2022)
Hallie wakes up in a hospital bed after an accident with memories she does not recognize as her own. Battling between paranoia and intrigue, Hallie searches across the country for answers.
Freeman perfectly balances psychological intrigue with the narrative of a crime thriller in I Remember You.
The Agency (2009)
After a series of relationship disasters, Tess Drake decides to make a change. Opening her own publishing house seems like the ideal choice at the time.
A journey of humor and self-discovery, The Agency is perfect for fans of The Devil Wears Prada and Bridget Jones.
West 57 (2015)
Determined to save the beloved publishing house, West 57, Julie Chavan desperately attempts to stave off disaster. Caught between a host of quirky characters, Julie’s journey to success is messy and full of laughs.
West 57 explores self-discovery and independence whilst remaining full of humor.
Whether you are interested in psychological horror, gripping crime thrillers, or twists on classic spy fiction, Brian Freeman has something for everyone to enjoy in his eclectic collection of novels. A master of suspense and revealing the depths of human emotion, reading Freeman’s works is sure to keep you entertained.
Frequently Asked Questions
When did Brian Freeman take over the Bourne Franchise?
Freeman wrote his first Bourne novel in 2020 after Van Lustbader left the series. He has since written three other Bourne novels, with the latest installment due to be released this year.
Do you need to read Freeman’s books in order?
While Freeman strives to make each of his novels accessible to new readers if you are eager to follow the personal growth and relationships between the characters in his series, it is best to read them in chronological order.
When did Freeman start writing?
During high school, Freeman wrote a manuscript that would later become Immoral. Before its publication in 2005, he wrote five other novels that were never published and have since been scrapped as practice novels.
Where is Brian Freeman from?
Freeman was born in Chicago in 1963 but later moved to Minnesota to settle down with his wife.
Does Freeman write romance novels?
While Freeman predominantly writes thrillers, his two ChickLit novels heavily feature romance and Jonathon Stride has several romantic relationships throughout the series.