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Marathon: A Jonathan Stride Novel    by Brian Freeman order for
by Brian Freeman
Order:  USA  Can
Mobius, 2017 (2017)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Brian Freeman's excellent police thriller Marathon is so tragically timely, as we're constantly blasted with heartrending news of terrorist atrocities around the world. The novel - and what's been happening - made me think of Mahatma Gandhi's well known words, 'An eye for an eye and the whole world is blind' as Freeman's story explores cycles of violence and horrific damage incited by hate-mongering tweets.

Freeman's police protagonist, Detective Jonathan Stride - aided by friends and colleagues - manages to break one such cycle of violence after a bomb explodes at the conclusion of the Duluth marathon ... but only after it is well underway and a great deal of collateral damage has been done. As the plot twists and turns, repeatedly setting good people in harm's way, Freeman continues to develop the relationships among his leads, in particular the maturing of Jonathan and Serena's adopted daughter Cat, who is still coming to terms with having given up her own baby for adoption.

In addition to the police leads, readers are introduced to Khan Rashid, who's at the Marathon in search of a radicalized friend, and mistakenly identified as a perp. There's Haq, who has acted as Jonathan's link to the Muslim community. FBI agent Gayle Durkin has trouble with objectivity since her brother died in a Paris bombing. And there's narcissistic demagogue Dawn Basch, whose gift is 'to wrap up her prejudice in a pretty package, so you couldn't see the ugliness within.' She encourages vigilantism.

Brian Freeman's Marathon is a thought provoking thriller, highly recommended.

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