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