This is the second book in the detective/psychological thriller series featuring psychotherapist Dr. Frieda Klein, who is the occasional collaborator of London Detective Chief Inspector Malcolm Karlsson. (See my review of the first book, Blue Monday, here.) There is no romantic involvement between the two, although not for want of enthusiasm among readers for the match-up.
When the story opens, a social worker discovers a mentally ill woman tending to a decaying corpse. The ill woman doesn’t seem to get that the man is dead, and so she isn’t the best witness to any possible crime that was committed. This sets up the need for Inspector Karlsson to call in Frieda.
As the police try to discover the identity of the corpse, and why and how he ended up dead, there are two other stories running on the side, which seemingly are not connected.
Meanwhile, Frieda continues to risk her life and limb so she can find out about all these other lives, while simultaneously avoiding investigation (by herself or others) into her own. The story ends with a hint that the crimes of “Monday” and “Tuesday” are not yet resolved.
Discussion: The series has a psychological/thriller aspect to it, so it is a bit dark and perverse. A scary character from the first book is part of the second as well, although this didn’t strike me as realistic.
There is something else about the series that is a bit odd. The characters don’t like to expose their interior lives, and because the narrator is not an omniscient one, I often feel as if I don’t really “know” the main protagonists. This keeps me at an emotional distance from them, and prevents me from caring about them as much as I might otherwise do. Somewhat humorously in a meta sense, the dead victim in this book is a con man whose identity is a mystery. How appropriate.
The books in this series can be read independently, although Tuesday’s Gone definitely is closely related to Blue Monday, and the second book would be better understood if one approached the series from the beginning. (A series of eight books featuring Dr. Klein are planned.)
Note: Nicci French is the pseudonym for the writing team of husband and wife Nicci Gerrard and Sean French.
Published by Pamela Dorman Books/Viking, a member of Penguin Group (USA), 2013