BOOK REVIEW: FRIDAY ON MY MIND, BY NICCI FRENCH

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It was a Friday in London, and the scene unfolds to police activity on the Thames River. A body, and it is clearly a murder, has been found; the victim’s throat has been sliced.

DCI Sarah Hussein and DC Glen Bryant are front and center, meeting up with DC O’Neill, and the action begins.

As with all previous books in this series, Friday on My Mind brings together detectives, the Police Commissioner, and some familiar characters from previous books, like Dr. Frieda Klein, a psychologist, someone known to the department for various reasons. She once served as a consultant to the police, but fell into disfavor with some of them, like the Commissioner and the current psychological consultant, Dr. Hal Bradshaw.

Also on hand: DCI Malcolm Karlsson, who has been an advocate of Frieda Klein’s through all of the bad times with the other detectives and the Commissioner. He believes in her when the others don’t.

The victim, in this case, was one Alexander (Sandy) Holland, and he was wearing an identification bracelet labeled “Frieda Klein.” This, of course, makes those who do not care for Frieda suspicious. Plus, he is her ex-lover. Then some personal items of his show up in Frieda’s dresser drawer…and suddenly she is a suspect.

Instead of turning herself in, as requested, Frieda, who likes doing things her own way, goes on the run. And during her weeks of hiding, she is trying to find the truth. It is fun to follow her in her activities, as it is clear that she is persistent in her efforts to find the killer; her methodical approach to seeking answers leads her down some interesting pathways, following clues that only she can find.

Will Frieda find the answers before the killer catches up with her? How does a former patient, Sasha, and her small child Ethan, figure into the mix? What events in their lives make them key to finding answers? As the danger closes in on Frieda, and as we weed through several red herrings, the unexpected truth stuns everyone, even Frieda herself. I didn’t see this one coming, either, and then, after the final reveal, a tidbit about an ongoing character whom everyone but Frieda believes is dead…makes an appearance. 5 stars.

REVIEW: WAITING FOR WEDNESDAY, BY NICCI FRENCH

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On a Wednesday afternoon in London, a woman lies dead. She is discovered by her pre-adolescent daughter, and soon the street is teeming with police cars.

In another part of London, psychotherapist Frieda Klein is still recovering from her near-death experiences at her last case. No longer a part of the police team in murder investigations, she is at loose ends. Trying to restore her once orderly life.

But in the wake of the murder, which has somehow spilled over into her life via her niece Chloe, and because of her old friend Josef, who is determined to renovate her bathroom, Frieda’s life is very far from orderly. Chaos reigns and suddenly she is compulsively following up on old cases involving missing persons. And sorting out the detritus caused by another psychotherapist who has some animosity for her.

Frieda is the kind of character that hooked me from the very first book. She is quirky, compulsive, and has her obsessive habits that make her seem like someone I could know. A friend or colleague.

What, if anything, do the murders have to do with the missing persons? How does an evil person from Frieda’s past figure into events that are unfolding? Will she sort through the clues that are presented to figure out the mysterious connections? And will she finally find the peace and order she longs for?

The ending brought resolution to some of the questions, but more loose threads remain.

Waiting for Wednesday: A Frieda Klein Mystery (Freida Klein) is the third compelling book in the Frieda Klein series, and I am eager to dive into the next one. 5.0 stars.