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14 April 2014

Nicci French: Thursday's Children

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Interesting Psychological mystery about a Psychotherapist
This is a well written interesting psychological mystery featuring Frieda Klein, a psychotherapist who has been a bit of a trouble magnet in earlier books in the series (Blue Monday, Tuesday's Gone and Waiting for Wednesday) written by wife and husband duo Nicci Gerard and Sean French.

Frieda is reflecting that Thursday is the worst day of the week when she has an unexpected visitor from her past that changes her world. Maddie Cappel was at school with Freida twenty three years ago in Braxton, a small town north of London. Maddie asks Frieda to talk to her teenage daughter, Becky, who has become withdrawn and won't eat. Becky tells Frieda that she was raped during a home invasion by a man wearing a balaclava who says "Don't think of telling anyone sweetheart. Nobody will believe you."

This is an epiphany for Frieda as she recalls the very same words being said to her years ago when she was raped in Braxton when she was sixteen. She did tell her mother and the police but they didn't believe her. Frieda left home for London and had never gone back again. The frightening thing is that it is clear that the rapist is still there and still active.

During her troubled times Frieda has been in therapy but has never been able to tell anyone about this experience. Now she knows that she must face up to her ghosts, tell her circle of close and loving friends in London about it and go to Braxton to find out what happened on that night twenty three years ago when she was the only member of her peer group who missed going to a pop concert with "Thursday's Children".

The authors then takes us back to Braxton to see what has happened to Frieda's group of school friends. In a few paragraphs they are able to clearly sketch the character of each school friend and what they have become over the last twenty three years. The reunion with some is easy but others have moved on and away from Frieda and are suspicious about her return. Freida goes back to her mother, to the police who investigated her case and hunts for the member of her group who might have attacked her. It is an interesting study of the impact of going back to a small town community that she has moved on from many years ago.

Overall I enjoyed this well written psychological mystery. Most of the time it is a standalone book but there are a couple of important links to characters in Frieda's other adventures that didn't allow me to fully appreciate the story. At the moment I haven't made up my mind about whether I will be re-visiting her adventures on earlier days of the week.

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