“Brian Freeman is, quite simply, a first-rate storyteller.” —Nelson DeMille
In an intense, emotional mystery that spans a decade in the life of a small town, bestselling author Brian Freeman brings us an unforgettable heroine who discovers that the dead may sometimes be easier to rescue than the living.
Deputy Shelby Lake was abandoned as a baby, saved by a stranger who found her in the freezing cold. Now, years later, a young boy is missing—and Shelby is the one who must rescue a child.
The only evidence of what happened to ten-year-old Jeremiah Sloan is a bicycle left behind on a lonely road. After a desperate search fails to locate him, the close bonds of Shelby’s hometown begin to fray under the weight of accusations and suspicion. Everyone around her is keeping secrets. Her adoptive father, her best friend, her best friend’s young daughter—they all have something to hide. Even Shelby is concealing a mistake that could jeopardize her career and her future.
Unearthing the lies of the people in Jeremiah’s life doesn’t get the police and the FBI any closer to finding him. As time passes and the case grows cold, Shelby worries that the mystery will stay buried forever under the deep, deep snow. But even the deepest snow melts in the spring.
When a tantalizing clue finally comes to light, Shelby must confront the darkest lie of all. Exposing the truth about Jeremiah will leave no one’s life untouched—including her own.
“You’re safe, Stride. I found the body at the Deeps. I buried him.”
Jonathan Stride’s best friend, Steve Garske, makes a shocking deathbed confession: he protected Stride by covering up a murder. Hours later, the police dig up Steve’s yard and find a body with a bullet hole in its skull.
Stride is pretty sure he knows who it is. Seven years ago, an out-of-town reporter disappeared while investigating anonymous allegations of rape against a prominent politician. Back then, the police believed that the reporter drowned at a dangerous swimming hole called the Deeps … but the discovery of the body changes everything. Now Stride’s partner, Maggie Bei, is forced to ask Stride an uncomfortable question: Did you kill him?
Stride is obviously hiding things. He was the last person to see the reporter alive. And he admits lying to Maggie about that meeting, but won’t tell her why. With suspicion in the murder pointing at him, Stride finds himself off the case and on leave from the Duluth Police.
His only ally in clearing his name is his wife, Serena, who retraces the reporter’s investigation into the explosive allegations. The clues all point to a hot Duluth summer years earlier that everyone in town would prefer to forget.
Someone was willing to kill rather than let those long-ago secrets come out, and the suspect with the strongest motive … is Stride.
In this gripping prequel to his Edgar Award finalist and New York Times bestseller The Deep, Deep Snow, Brian Freeman takes us on Rebecca’s dark journey to reveal the truth about the Ursulina … a journey that ultimately leads to an excruciating choice that will change her life forever.
The mythical beast goes by many names. Bigfoot. Sasquatch. Yeti.
In Black Wolf County, he’s called … the Ursulina.
But to Deputy Rebecca Colder, the beast is no myth. A serial killer has taken on the identity of the monster—and with each body left behind, there’s a chilling message written in blood: I am the Ursulina.