Wednesday, March 18, 2015

"You’ll hardly be able to wait to turn the page but you’ll also be reluctant to find out what’s on it. That’s as good as it gets." ~Eric B.
In the third volume of the bestselling Frieda Klein Mystery series, the brilliant but troubled London psychotherapist returns—only to journey into a darkness from which there may be no return.

Ruth Lennox, mother of three, is found dead in a pool of her own blood. Detective Chief Inspector Karlsson calls Frieda, hoping she can offer a new angle. But when it emerges that Ruth was leading a secret life, her family closes ranks. Still reeling from a recent attempt on her life, Frieda starts down a dangerous path that seems to lead to a serial killer who has long escaped detection. Is she getting closer to unraveling either case? Or is Frieda just the victim of her own paranoid, fragile mind?

Eric B. says:
"Poor Frieda Klein. She is a caring, helpful kind of person, a psychotherapist by trade, interested in aiding sufferers to find peace and happiness. But she keeps falling into very bad situations, not always without her active involvement, which just seem to get worse for everyone, including herself, as time progresses. She’s just so driven. She, like the proverbial bulldog, gets the bone in her teeth and just won’t let go until she’s sure every bit of substance has been chewed from it, mostly to the sorrow of everyone involved. Still. She doesn't take crap from anyone and it sometimes plunges her into trouble. The "personal assault on a private citizen" type of trouble, if she's pushed, which she doesn't like.

Her previous encounters with the police have ended in appalling tragedy, deeply disturbed participants, her own near death and her traumatic killing of an assailant accompanied by a reputation with the cops as a troublemaker and inciter of violence. Not a great place to start, and she doesn’t want to. But she gets drawn into several cases of murder, on one hand very recent and the other over a series of years leading up to the present. This is the third of the "Frieda Klein Mysteries" and is as strong as the previous entries.

Her fencing match with a rival psychological profiler has put her in the position of being on the defensive about her own actions, justifiable as they may be and at odds with nearly everyone in officialdom except her stalwart ally Detective Chief Inspector Malcolm Karlsson who puts his own career on the line to support her increasingly hard-to-believe assertions about a serial killer targeting young girls. It all hinges, you see, on a single phrase uttered to her in the middle of a bogus patient interview designed by her psychological nemesis to entrap her into making actionable mistakes. All of the conversation is bogus, she’s convinced (and she’s right) except for one trenchant remark which sends her on an unlikely search for the person who really uttered it and why they did.

Overlaying all this is a tentative, fragile relationship with her beau who has had to travel to the U.S. to advance his career. They text and call, sometimes finding themselves physically together, but mostly apart and the bittersweet aspect of the affair adds another level to Frieda's angst. As I said, poor Frieda.

Enough about that. Read the book. Nicci French, the husband and wife combination of Nicci Gerrard and Sean French produce crime fiction that will be happily devoured by fans of Tana French and Sophie Hannah, and maybe others who like tight, tense suspense writing. You’ll hardly be able to wait to turn the page but you’ll also be reluctant to find out what’s on it. That’s as good as it gets."

1 comment:

Customer recommendations for Bear Viewing tours said...

As an avid reader and fan of Nicci French novels this volume was eagerly anticipated. As usual it did not disappoint. The characters are brilliantly described and make the reader feel that they know them. The plot had unexpected twists and turns and made for a really good read - difficult to put the book down as far as I was concerned.