Review: Freak by Jennifer Hillier

September 4, 2012 Gallery Books 4

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (August 7, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 1451664540
  • Source: Publisher

Abby Maddox is a celebrity in the maximum security prison in which she’s been held since her release. Her claim to fame? Her boyfriend was Ethan Wolfe, a serial killer who brutally murdered over a dozen women. Abby’s serving a twenty-two year sentence for the brutal attack on Jerry Issac, a Seattle police officer, now private investigator. Jerry will never forget the attack for a brutal scar now marks his neck, forever altering his voice.  This scar, a constant reminder, causes him physical pain and irritation whenever he thinks of Abby.

Also barely surviving the killing rampage is Puget Sound State professor Sheila Tao, a woman who succumbed to Ethan’s charm, allowing him to seduce her. Her life was spared…barely.

Abby now spends her time reading the dozens of fan letters.  A new wave of killings may spare Abby from fulfilling her entire sentence. The killer left a message carved into each of his victims: Free Abby Maddox. Jerry, although no longer formally a part of the police department any longer, reluctantly agrees to join the investigation. He and Sheila Tao know Abby better than anyone…or so they think. They must put their fears and hatred for Abby behind them in order to put an end to the killing spree. It’s a Catch-22; allowing Abby to get one step closer to freedom in order to stop the killer at large.

Freak is rich with incredibly detailed and developed characters, individuals fans of Hillier’s previous book, Creep have grown to admire or, as in some cases, despise. While many sophomore books often fail at grabbing the reader’s attention, Freak instead actually expands upon, enhancing the bond readers have with the main characters. A year has passed since the incredibly devastating killing spree of Ethan Wolfe and Jerry and Sheila are still recovering from the after effects of Ethan’s horror-filled rampage. They have both experienced a great deal of healing and recover but still have far to go.

Filled with action from page one, Freak is an adrenaline-inducing, heart-pounding delight of a read.  Hillier’s writing is intense, her knowledge of police and legal procedures spot-on, lending to the overall believability and addictiveness of this novel.

One can’t help but see parallels between Hillier’s Abby Maddox and Chelsea Cain’s Gretchen Lowell, but the differences are vast enough that the reader can see marked differences in the writing of these two incredibly talented writers. Hillier’s writing isn’t as graphic or morbid as Cains, thereby making it a suitable starting point for someone wanting to take the leap into psychological thrillers.

This reader personally cannot wait for more from this author, a woman who has successfully made a name for herself in the world of thriller fiction. Highly recommended.

4 Responses to “Review: Freak by Jennifer Hillier”

  1. Anita
    Twitter: anitalovesbooks

    You lead me to the most interesting books. Great review. I want to know more about this one now!

  2. Lois

    I was browsing thru YA books and found Creep what a Fantastic book ,
    kept me enthralled all the way thru and now with Freak out it is
    turning out to be just as good . Looking forward to see what comes
    next from Jennifer Hillier.