Thursday 9 January 2014

Waiting For Wednesday by Nicci French

Ruth Lennox, beloved mother of three, is found by her daughter in a pool of her own blood. Who would want to murder an ordinary housewife? And why?

Psychotherapist Freida Klein finds she has an unusually personal connection with DCI Karlsson’s latest case. She is no longer working with him in an official capacity, but when her niece befriends Ruth Lennox’s son, Ted, she finds herself in the awkward position of confidante to both Karlsson and Ted.

When it emerges that Ruth was keeping a secret life, her family closes ranks and Karlsson finds he needs Freida’s help more than ever before.

But Freida is distracted. Having survived an attack on her life, she is struggling to stay in control and when a patient’s chance remark rings an alarm bell, she finds herself on a path that seems to lead to a serial killer who has long escaped detection. Or is it merely a symptom of her own increasingly fragile mind?

Because, as Freida knows, every step closer to a killer is one more step into a darkness from which there may be no return…

This review is from Janet Emson @JanetEmson

This is the third in the Freida Klein series from Nicci Gerrard and Sean French, writing as Nicci French.  For some reason, although I love crime fiction, I’ve never read any of their books before so when Laura asked me if I’d like to review Waiting for Wednesday for her blog I jumped at the chance.

Dora Lennox arrives home from school to find her mother Ruth Lennox murdered, bludgeoned to death in the living room of their home. It appears to DCI Karlsson that Ruth’s murder may have been a tragic case of a burglary gone bad. However, the case begins to develop in unforeseen ways and it soon emerges that Ruth Lennox was not just the doting wife and mother.

Although Freida Klein is no longer working with Karlsson she soon becomes entangled in the case when her niece, Chloe, befriends Ted Lennox, Ruth’s son. Freida is soon drawn into the matter when the Lennox children turn to her for support.

Meanwhile Freida is visited by a potential new patient, who is not all he appears to be. A chance comment soon leads Freida on the hunt for a missing girl and on the path to uncovering a deadly secret. Hundreds of miles away, a retired journalist is also on the hunt for missing girls…
This is a dark and gritty crime drama. There are no cheerful characters, everyone has their own baggage, some show it more easily than others. There is no comic relief or witty banter from a sidekick. Some characters, Hal Bradshaw the consultant criminal psychologist, who are downright vindictive. None of this is a bad thing, it creates an atmosphere and helps the reader understand Freida’s current mental and physical state as she recovers from a near fatal attack.
 There are a number of story lines which come together well whilst being engaging in their own right. Being number three in a series however does mean that some of the story is kept unresolved to be dealt with in future instalments.
As this was my first Nicci French novel I had not read the first two books in this series, Blue Monday and Tuesday’s Gone.  I did find this to be a bit of a problem and spoiled my enjoyment of the book somewhat. The established characters were barely introduced so I had little background knowledge about them and their history. For this reason I sometimes found myself trying to remember who they were and understand their place in the tale. If you haven’t read the first two in the series I would recommend that you do before reading this so that you can get full enjoyment from the story.
I will go back and read the other Frieda Klein novels and will be keeping an eye out for Thursday’s Children, the fourth in the series due out in April.

7 of 10 stars

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