Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Dark Saturday - Nicci French

Back in 2012, I read the first book (Blue Monday) in Nicci French's new series featuring psychotherapist Freida Klein. I've just finished Dark Saturday (yes, the series follows the days of the week) and am kind of kicking myself that I haven't read the books in between as I really enjoyed this latest (#6) - Dark Saturday.  (Which can easily be read as a stand alone.)

The opening prologue immediately grabs the reader and poses the questions - who, where and why.

Frieda has tried to distance herself from working with the police as it has brought violence to her own life. But she owes a large favour and agrees to see Hannah Docherty to give her professional opinion. Hannah is notorious for killing her parents and younger brother many years ago. She's been locked up since being found guilty. But that time hasn't treated her well or has the system. Frieda is horrified and despite her best intentions finds herself drawn into Hannah's case review. Could she be innocent? As Frieda questions the initial casework, she makes herself the focus of those who don't want it revisited.

I quite like Frieda as a lead character - she's prickly, dogged, compassionate, says what she thinks and is seemingly fearless (but hides her fear well.) Recurring characters include a handyman, friends, Frieda's niece Chloe and her own therapist and various police officials. I enjoy most of them, but find Chloe quite annoying.

The case is gritty and French doesn't flinch from writing some dark and disturbing scenes from inside the hospital where Hannah is housed. There are also short chapters from another resident inside that hospital that make us worry for what might be awaiting Hannah. (And I wonder at the state of mental health facilities in England.)

French has crafted a puzzling plot. I always enjoy trying to figure out the whodunit before the last pages, but was nowhere near the solution this time out. There's a secondary story line that has been a common thread through the last few books. There's a killer who has his eye on Frieda - he seems to think he is 'protecting her'. The last bit of the book nicely sets up things for the next entry. I wonder where the series will go from there? Hopefully it's not the end. Read an excerpt of Dark Saturday.

Louise Penny provides a nice cover blurb...."Fabulous, Unsettling and Riveting."

Nicci French is the pseudonym of English wife-and-husband team Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. Their acclaimed novels of psychological suspense have sold more than 8 million copies around the world. You can connect with Nicci French on Twitter and like Nicci French on Facebook. See what others on the TLC book tour thought - full schedule can be found here.

I received this book for review from HarperCollins and TLC Book Tours.


bermudaonion said...

I can't believe I haven't read one of her books yet.

trish said...

You're no slouch when it comes to guessing the whodunit, so I'm especially intrigued as to how this book wraps up. I guess I'll have to read it to find out!

Thank you for being on this tour!