Fatal Decision: The Freeman Files Series – Book 1 by Ted Tayler


Ted Fatal Decision
Available on Amazon

“Gus Freeman is a retired Detective Inspector who has spent the past three years alone.
Freeman’s wife, Tess, died from a brain aneurysm six months to the day after his retirement.
He is still coming to terms with his enforced solitary existence.


His old boss wants Gus to head up a Crime Review Team investigating cold cases. Old witness statements and fresh clues would cloud his thoughts. The hunt would be on. Freeman wonders whether his superiors need his old-style methods. Is the request out of pity; to occupy his mind with fruitless digging into cases their best young brains failed to crack? Gus can’t resist the chance to enter the fray for one last hurrah.”

In this first case, the team tackle the brutal murder of Daphne Tolliver in June 2008. The sixty-eight-year-old widow was walking her dog, Bobby in woodland close to her home. Despite the efforts of detectives at the time they never identified a single suspect. A reconstruction of Daphne’s last known moments on TV five years later yielded nothing. Gus Freeman and his new team appear to have a tough nut to crack for their first case.”


            As a fan of Ted Tayler’s Phoenix series, I was thrilled to see he has a new series called “The Freeman Files”. I immediately bought Fatal Decision, The Freeman Files Series Book One and launched into a well written unsolved murder case.

The series revolves around retired Detective Inspector Gus Freeman. Widowed and living alone with only his “allotment” to keep him occupied he is primed for something more interesting. When his former boss now Assistant Chief Constable, Kenneth Truelove, whom he didn’t like calls him with the possibility of a job with the police Freeman reluctantly agrees to meet.

Ten years earlier sixty-eight-year-old widow Daphne Tolliver is murdered while walking her Cocker Spaniel through near-by Lowden Woods. The unsolved crime hung over the head of Truelove and when the opportunity arose he set up a Crime Review Team to investigate cold cases he moves ahead eagerly. He immediately reaches out to Ex-Detective Inspector Gus Freeman to lead the team.

Tayler brilliantly weaves the details of the mysterious murder dropping bread crumbs for readers to follow. With the skill of Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Tayler teases us to follow Freeman and his team as they interview witnesses, suspects, and friends of the victim. I particularly enjoy the way Tayler describes British police procedures. Along with his liberal use of British colloquialisms, he enriches the flavor of the tale. His prose brings the investigation to life.

The author even manages to toss a bit of romance into the mix. As a reader, I hope this train continues in the following books in the series.

The characters are vibrant and well developed. The settings are vivid. And the mystery is delicious with a solution that took me by surprise.

I’ve purchased Book Two in the series and can’t wait to get started. What will the next cold case involve? Will the team stay together? And will a date turn into a full-blown romance? I think Gus Freeman will be as appealing as The Phoenix. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a solid mystery.

ted tayler
Ted Tayler

Ted Tayler is the international best-selling author of The Phoenix series:
“The core message in my Phoenix novels is that justice is not being served today. The Phoenix believes criminals should pay for their crimes; the current system fails to deliver the correct punishment. His fellow Olympus agents help redress the balance.”

December 2019 saw the launch of his latest venture, The Freeman Files:
“With Gus Freeman and his cold case investigations there will be bursts of frantic action, of course, but they will be interspersed with romance, humour and country life. Life is all about balance, isn’t it? Good and evil, love and loss, laughter and tears.”

“I think of myself as a storyteller; with each successive book, I hope I get better at it. I’ve been told the reader feels as if we’re sat across the table from one another, and I’m chatting with them. There’s always a rich vein of material for me to include in my books. There are more stories left to tell.”

Ted Tayler lives in West Wiltshire, England where many of his stories are based. Born in 1945, Ted’s been married to Lynne since 1971. They have 3 children and 4 grandchildren.


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