Well this series just keeps on getting better with this, the latest in the Frieda Klein series taking a very dark turn when Frieda being the suspect in a murder.
I have to admit I gave an audible gasp only minutes into starting this book, there is no time for a re-cap, we are straight into the action! With a dead body found in the River Thames who is closely connected Frieda, and wearing a hospital bracelet bearing her name, she instantly suspects her shadowy stalker Dean Reeve. Unsurprisingly the police don’t want to listen to Frieda’s theories. So what does Frieda do? Let the evidence play out and submit to questioning? No, of course not, she decides to investigate herself and to do that she needs to go on the run.
I love these books, our chief protagonist is an intelligent woman, a psychotherapist who works for a practice but has also worked with the police. She knows how people work and how the police investigate. Added to this we have a woman who isn’t scared to stand up for what she believes but unnervingly this just seems to get her into some (really) bad situations.
“Wherever Frieda Klein goes, a trail of chaos follows.”
Despite that she does come across as a believable character, particularly because as the series has progressed her background has become more exposed. If the chief protagonist being exceptional wasn’t enough, the supporting cast are varied and delightful. I am particularly fond of Josef, the builder and DCI Karlsson who is the only member of the police who believes in Frieda – even the Police Commissioner has decided that the number of crimes she’s been linked to, must mean that she is guilty. In many ways it is good to see how Frieda is viewed by those in charge of the investigation, DCI Hussein and DC Glenn Bryant who aren’t in awe of her in the way her circle of friends are. Other old favourite characters who crop up in this episode include her ex sister-in-law, Olivia and her niece Chloe although of course we do have some new additions to the character list. This really keep the range of characters feeling fresh yet retaining that familiar feeling which is what makes reading a series so appealing.
The game of cat and mouse is intriguing and as much as Frieda wants to protect her nearest and dearest, they want to help her. Frieda’s method of lying low relies on a fairly poor disguise and she manages to infiltrate the murdered man’s friends and family to try and gather her information. This ruse works surprisingly well and she gains a job as a nanny to one couple. In the hands of less accomplished authors this could easily have descended into farce, but with the bar of tension, raised high from the start – this was a book to read, and go with the flow and remember to breathe occasionally.
The clues needed to solve the mystery were there, but boy were they well disguised in amongst the red-herrings along the way. This isn’t a book to savour, it is designed to be read in great greedy gulps and swallowed down.
To get the most out of this book, you really do need to have read the previous books in the series, there are too many bits that you’ll miss out on without them.
I’d like to thank Penguin UK who gave me a copy of Friday on my Mind in return for my honest opinion. This book was published on 2 July 2015 – I’m really looking forward to Saturday’s episode now!
Previous Books by Nicci French featuring Frieda Klein