Book Reviews

Freeman by Clare London at Jocular Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 22-January-2018

Book Blurb

Freeman's return to the city is quiet, without fuss. Another client: another case. He’ll source what they need and be on his way. But he's been missed by more people than he thought: his ex-wife, his ex-lover, and his ex-business partner. And at least one of them wants him the hell gone again.

Freeman – private, controlled – just does his job. But when he strikes up an unusual friendship with the young runaway Kit, trouble comes looking for both men, ready to expose secrets that can destroy their fragile trust. Yet, for Kit, Freeman's more than ready for the challenge.

First Edition published by MLR Press, 2009.

Second Edition published by Wilde City Press, 2013.


Book Review

The best way not to be seen, sometimes, is to be in plain sight. Freeman, the main character from Clair London's book 'Freeman' knows this all too well. Trying to hide too much actually draws more attention to you, and Freeman doesn't want attention. He takes in the minutest detail, plotting, and planning, so he can be a step or two ahead of everyone else. This is what makes him the best. With enough time and money, Freeman can find anyone and anything. He normally separates work from his personal life, but in his latest endeavor, he finds the two inexplicably entwine when he falls in love with Kit, a seemingly odd match for the sophisticated detective; but as we all know, the heart wants what the heart wants, no matter how far-fetched it may seem. Before he knows it, having Kit has become one of the most important things in his life. At this point, Freeman has to figure out how to fulfill his assignment and keep Kit safe at the same time.

Freeman narrates the story, telling us only what we need to know at the time, in fact, what he tells us may or may not be the truth. He is an observer, taking in every detail of his environment and every move anyone makes, every word, and every facial expression. Freeman never stops calculating, just like a computer, and often, his very existence depends upon it. He can't afford to have feelings; they just get in the way. This gives everyone the impression that he's cold and unfeeling. This is why it's such a surprise to him when Kit affects him as strongly as he does. He marvels at how this young man gets past his defenses so quickly and thoroughly. Freeman fights it, partly because it is unsettling and partly because he should not mix work and pleasure. If there is any possible way, he will complete his assignment, justice will prevail, and he will have Kit as well, that is, if Kit still wants him once the truth comes to light.

Kit is inexplicably drawn to Freeman from the first time they meet, but he lets his stubbornness get in the way. He's cheeky and rebellious and confuses irresponsibility with freedom. Kit needs Freeman. He's his rock, the only stability in his otherwise out of control world. Kit instinctively knows this; he needs someone to care about him, somewhere to hang out without any expectations which gives him room to breathe. Being with Freeman provides this buffer for him. Kit doesn't really know Freeman but he senses that there are two people behind that mask, and the one he falls in love with is seldom revealed. More than anyone, Kit gets a glimpse of Freeman that no one else sees. He can sometimes worm his way past Freeman's barriers, but not for long. Kit is frustrated with Freeman because, as much as he may want to, Freeman won't make any decisions for Kit, especially since that's what everyone else in Kit's life tries to do. Kit's independence and growth are more important to Freeman than Kit's feelings about him, because he knows that without it, they will never be able to be together.

The use of an unreliable narrator gave this story an extra layer of mystery and suspense; it raised my curiosity and kept me on my toes wondering what was going to happen. I never knew for sure if I had the right information necessary to make assumptions about the characters so I wasn't able to clearly predict what was going to happen. I tried to apply what Freeman reveals, but it makes it much more difficult to predict future events. I found it fascinating! Clare London is one of the most versatile writers I know. I marvel at Clare taking on new challenges genre-wise: horror, comedy, supernatural, or mystery, as she's done in this intriguing tale.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good mystery, with an unusual love story mixed in, fascinating, complex characters, and provocative reveals. I hope I get to see more of Kit and Freeman in the future. Thank you, Clare, for the exceptional reading experience. 





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the author for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 246 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 21-January-2018
Price $3.99 ebook
Buy Link