24 June 2015
Nicci French: Friday On My Mind
This is another well written 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, Thursday's Children) written by wife and husband duo Nicci Gerard and Sean French.
A bloated corpse is found floating in the River Thames. It has been there for a time and the police can only find two clues - his throat has been cut and he is wearing a plastic hospital identification bracelet "Dr F Klein".
The bracelet is definitely wrong as Frieda Klein is a woman who is well and truly alive and working as a psychotherapist in private practice, frequently being asked to give advice to the Police. It is soon clear that the victim is Freida's ex-partner Sandy Holland. Freida had ended the relationship a while ago and Sandy found it very difficult to accept that things had ended. The last time they met was very acrimonious.
The Police soon find evidence that puts Freida in their sights as a prime suspect. She finds herself in position where she must disappear and find the truth on her own before the situation goes too far.
While the tension is cleverly built up in twists and turns I found it difficult to connect with Freida (who is a very complex and difficult character to understand) and her many friends and acquaintances who featured in previous books. There are also many things that had happened in earlier books which had an impact on the plot. The authors tried hard but failed to make it a standalone book as there were so many important things that the reader needed to know to really appreciate the story.
I have read and mostly forgotten "Thursday's Children" and don't feel inclined to visit the earlier books to fully appreciate what really happened in this one. I still don't fully understand the character of Frieda Klein or the importance of what she has done in the past. This is a shame because on the whole the book was well written and plotted. I doubt that I will be looking to read what happens to Frieda on Saturday.