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S.M. Freedman Books In Order

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Publication Order of The Faithful Books

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Day She Died (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Blood Atonement (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

S. M. Freedman is a Canadian author of thriller, mystery, and suspense books. She is the author of Faithful series and two standalones; The Day She Died and Blood Atonement. A member of WolrdWiseWriters, Freedman’s books have been top-ranked on Amazon in the mystery genre. Freedman attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, where she majored in acting. She has spent years as a business owner and a private investigator in the streets of Vancouver before shifting her focus to writing books.

Freedman’s debut novel, The Faithful, is an International Amazon Bestseller. The novel was also selected as the Best Debut of 2015 by Suspense Magazine and reached the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award quarter-finals. Kim Lionetti represents her. She resides in Vancouver, where she lives with her husband and two children. Freedman is a member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crimes, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers.

S M Freedman’s novel Blood Atonement was selected as one of the Globe and Mail’s Top 100 Best Books of 2022. Subsequently, this psychological thriller was also a finalist for the Howard Engel Award for Best Crime Novel Set in 2023. According to bestselling author Loreth Anne White, Blood Atonement is one of the best psychological thriller novels thanks to its captivating dual-timeline narratives that intertwine and evolve into a shocking and unexpected climax.

The book centers around Grace DeRoche. Grace’s peaceful and quiet life, a refuge from her past, is abruptly disrupted when she finds herself embroiled in a series of chilling murders. Grace had daringly fled the oppressive confines of the Brigham fundamentalist Mormon compound. Her courageous actions led to the prosecution of its leaders. However, the subsequent mass suicide of the compound’s loyalists, including her own family, to evade imprisonment leaves Grace burdened with overwhelming guilt.

Grace battles with dissociative identity disorder, a result of the severe abuse she suffered in her youth. Her life is a mosaic of fragmented memories and hidden fears. The disorder makes her reality uncertain and unpredictable, filled with triggers that could awaken any of her alternate personas at any moment. The narrative takes readers through Grace’s fractured world, exploring themes of identity, trauma, and the relentless quest for truth amidst a backdrop of suspense and psychological depth.

The fragile grasp Grace DeRoche has on reality begins to unravel as other escapees from the Brigham compound meet mysterious deaths. Each crime scene is chillingly marked with notes citing scripture, condemning the victims for unforgivable sins, and suggesting redemption only through bloodshed. As the investigation deepens, one of Grace’s alternate personalities emerges as the prime suspect, thrusting her into a terrifying dilemma: is she a killer, or is she destined to be the next target?

Blood Atonement by S.M. Freedman is a masterful but intense read with several trigger warnings. It’s not a book for everyone, as it delves into heavy themes, including rape, incest, abuse, and suicide.

The story swings back and forth between two perspectives. Grace, the protagonist, is a survivor who managed to flee a Mormon compound with ten other children nearly a decade ago. The other key character in the story is Detective Beau Brunelli, who probes into the perplexing deaths of the other escapees. A central focus of the novel is the Fundamentalist Mormon (FLDS) movement. The portrayal of this community, particularly its impact on women, is both disturbing and eye-opening. The extent of the brainwashing depicted is shocking, yet this enhances the narrative’s intrigue and authenticity.

Freedman is a former private investigator turned writer. She uses her experience in the investigative world to infuse the novel with a rare depth of knowledge. These segments shine authentically, featuring elements rarely seen in standard crime fiction. Detective Brunelli is meticulously crafted, embodying the diligence and teamwork intrinsic to police work. His character and the portrayal of investigative collaboration lend the story a realism that crime fiction fans will appreciate.

Blood Atonement is a fast-paced novel offering a compelling exploration of a cult and the enduring horrors of its influence. It’s a well-crafted and thoroughly researched tale, perfect for those who are also fascinated by cults’ inner workings and impacts. The author’s foreword provides invaluable context about the FLDS movement, serving as a crucial primer for readers new to the subject. If you’re intrigued by the complexities of cults and appreciate a blend of thorough research with suspenseful storytelling, this book is an ideal choice.
The Day She Died by S.M. Freedman tells the story of a young girl, Eve Gold, who naively expected protection, love, and safety from the adults in her life. Instead, she encounters betrayal, manipulation, and abuse. Throughout the novel, there’s a persistent feeling that something is amiss in her relationships, a nagging sensation that’s hard to pinpoint. When the truth finally comes to light, it’s a shocking revelation, evoking shock, anger, and empathy for Eve.

Eve’s life takes a dramatic turn when she’s struck by a car, resulting in a traumatic brain injury. Her recovery is slow and challenging, marred by memory loss and periods of lost time. As an artist, her work reflects the turmoil within, her paintings growing increasingly darker post-accident. During this difficult period, Eve finds support from two sources: a childhood friend’s brother, who steps in to help her, and her cherished grandmother, a constant presence of love in her life.

The novel intricately navigates through Eve’s present struggles and her childhood memories. Eve and her mother, Donna, live with her grandmother, a caring figure who dotes on Eve. In stark contrast, Donna, absorbed in her legal career, exhibits a cold indifference towards her daughter, often bordering on neglect. Feeling rejected by her mother, Eve finds solace in her grandmother’s affection and her friendship with Sara, her childhood companion. The two girls share an inseparable bond, their days filled with adventure and exploration.

As the narrative unfolds, Freedman masterfully alternates between the present and flashbacks of Eve’s childhood, crafting a rich tapestry of characters with distinct voices. Eve’s first-person narration provides a deeply personal view of her struggles with brain injury, the uncertainty of her memories, and the complexities of her life. The story builds towards a climactic resolution, blending mystery and suspense. Freedman skillfully ties together the threads of Eve’s past and present, leading to a twist-filled conclusion that resolves many of the mysteries yet leaves the reader pondering the deeper themes of trust, memory, and resilience.

Book Series In Order » Authors » S.M. Freedman

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