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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Zero Night

The Jonathan Stride Series Book 11

ISBN: 9781094082349

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing

Publication Date: 11/01/2022

My Rating: 4 Stars

A woman has been kidnapped.

Now Jonathan Stride must decide if her husband wants her back ... dead or alive.

After nearly dying of a gunshot wound, Jonathan Stride has been on leave from the Duluth Police for more than a year. When his partner, Maggie Bei, gets called about a suspicious abduction involving a local lawyer, she tells Stride it's time for him to come back.

Attorney Gavin Webster says he paid $100,000 in ransom money to the men who kidnapped his wife.

Now they've disappeared with the cash, and she's still missing. Gavin claims to be desperate to find her -- but Stride discovers that the lawyer had plenty of motive to be the mastermind behind the crime.

Even as Stride digs for the truth about Gavin Webster and his wife, he must also deal with a crisis in his own marriage.

His wife, Serena, is struggling after the death of her mother, the abusive woman she hadn't seen in twenty-five years. When she loses control at a crime scene and draws her gun on a fellow cop, Serena finds herself kicked off the Webster case. Alone at her desk, she begins hunting through old police files and starts to ask questions about a mother's death that was written off as suicide. That death haunts Serena like an echo of her own childhood -- but her obsession with it takes a terrible toll.

As Serena shuts him out of her despair, and his own investigation grows increasingly tangled, Stride wonders whether going back to his detective work was the right decision. But all he can do is keep moving forward. Because Stride fears the Webster kidnapping may be only one part of a horrific murder conspiracy.

And it's not over yet.

My Review

Emotionally deep and complex. Brian Freeman's 25th novel and the 11th Jonathan Stride— THE ZERO NIGHT, allow us to catch up with Stride with lots of action, suspense, and plot twists.

It's been two years since the last thriller featuring Jonathan Stride. Stride is finally back in THE ZERO NIGHT, plunging Stride into the midst of a suspicious kidnapping case that may prove to be the most diabolical murder conspiracy he's ever encountered.

Former Duluth, Minn., cop, who once headed major crimes before he almost died from a gunshot wound, returns to work after more than a year of leave to help his old partner, Lt. Maggie Bei, with a kidnapping case.

A man reports the kidnapping of his wife. Gavin Webster (attorney) reported his wife, Chelsey, had been abducted several days earlier.

He said the demand was to pay a $100K ransom and not to involve the police. He has heard nothing back.

Maggie thinks something is fishy and not sure she believes the man. Stride finds plenty of motive for Gavin to have arranged the kidnapping himself.

In the meantime, Stride's wife, Serena, a cop, has some issues after learning her mom has died with many emotions from the past. Serena also investigates the suicide of a woman two years ago when putting on desk duty. Some of these things put a strain on both Jonathan and Serena and their relationship. I hope we see more of Jonathan and Serena!

With highly relatable characters, with personal life mixed with business, making for a well-balanced crime thriller with heart.

I have yet to read all the books in the series, but I have read some of them. Brian is an excellent writer, and those who enjoy Michael Connelly's books will like his style.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: Nov 1, 2022

My Rating: 4 Stars


"Thriller Award winner Freeman's strong 11th Jonathan Stride novel...Freeman makes the inner lives of the Strides accessible even for newcomers, and perfectly balances plot twists and character development. Those who like their crime thrillers infused with humanity will be rewarded."

—Publishers Weekly

"This guy can tell a story."

—Michael Connelly, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"Brian Freeman is a first-rate storyteller."

—Nelson DeMille, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"Brian Freeman writes the best kind of psychological procedurals. His characters struggle with the moral consequences of the crimes they investigate, and his plots are as twisty and fast-moving as Lake Superior’s undertow."

—Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Brian Freeman is masterful in setting up the pace and suspense."


"The eleventh Jonathan Stride thriller races like a speeding bullet...This complex story has a lot of moving parts, but Freeman…has a sure and steady hand. Freeman's Bourne novels might get more publicity, but his Stride novels are where his skills as a storyteller are really showcased. First-rate."


About the Author

Brian Freeman is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of psychological thrillers, including the Jonathan Stride series and many popular standalones. His books have been sold in forty-six countries and translated into twenty-three languages. His thriller Spilled Blood was named Best Hardcover Novel in the International Thriller Writers Awards, and his novel The Deep, Deep Snow was a finalist for the Edgar Award. Brian is widely acclaimed for his vivid “you are there” settings and for his complex, engaging characters and twist-filled plots. He lives in Minnesota with his wife, Marcia. For more information, visit



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