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Monday, August 17, 2015

Friday On My Mind by Nicci French

Friday On My Mind is the 5th series book written by husband and wife writing team, Nicci Gerard and Sean French.  Also known as Nicci French.  Yes, it's another in the ongoing saga about Dr. Frieda Klein, psychotherapist and most awesome character.  This book has just recently been published in the UK.  I have no idea when it will come out in the US.  Naturally, I couldn't wait.

I'm a little torn as to what to say exactly about the Friday entry to the series.  I liked it...I did, but....it isn't my favorite.  How does that happen, do you think?  You have characters or settings that you enjoy so very much.  You love reacquainting yourself with all the aspects of the series that set your little heart tingling.  And then, well, not exactly a letdown, but just not as much as you hoped for.  But don't let me put you off.  Let's talk about the story.

A body has been discovered floating in the Thames.  It's a man and police are trying to identify this individual.  He has a hospital band around his wrist.  It says 'Dr. F. Klein'.  Naturally, the authorities first think that the man is this Dr. Klein.  Very soon, they realize that Dr. F. Klein is our own Frieda and so the question is first of all, who is the man, and then, where is the woman who belongs to the hospital band?

It doesn't take long before Frieda is indeed the focus of the police inquiry and the prime suspect.  Instead of our usual group of officers, we are introduced to DCI Sarah Hussein and DC Glen Bryant.  DCI Hussein is briefed early on in the investigation by Commissioner Crawford regarding the Met's prior dealings with Dr. Klein.  He also has her talk to Dr. Hal Bradford in order to get the 'official' scoop on Frieda's mental status.  Now, we know from previous books that Crawford and Bradford are not fans of Frieda - not fans, not friends, not rational about her at all.  Sarah Hussein, who seems to be an able police officer, is skillfully pointed toward Frieda and warned off of all of Frieda's friends and colleagues.

What does our intrepid Dr. Klein do?  She puts all her clients on hold, closes up her house, and disappears, with the help of a few individuals.  Frieda knows that she will have to find out what happened to this murder victim herself.  She can't involve her usual group because all of them are at risk of being charged with obstruction and arrested.  She especially can't consult with DCI Malcolm Karlsson, because any contact would put his career on the line or end it.  She isn't sure whether this is the work of her own personal nemesis, Dean Reave, but she needs to find out.

I was a big fan of the previous book, Thursday's Children.  It took the reader back to Frieda's hometown and to an incident that had haunted her for many years.  Even though it was, for the most part, set outside of London, it brought Frieda closer to many of her friends.  They persisted in helping her.  And she had to let them.  This book again sees her faithful friends helping her, often at great risk to themselves.

However, I felt it was a little scattered in focus.  Frieda goes from place to place trying to learn more about the crime and then she seems to not be as intuitive as usual when information is right in front of her.  She is hiding from the police, but she keeps showing up at places where she might be seen and recognized.  And I would sigh.  I guess part of my disappointment is that we usually get further in each book with untangling Frieda's own character and that didn't seem to happen here.  I really didn't feel like I understood any more about any of our usual group, except maybe to reinforce how much I dislike the commissioner.  I'm hoping that he will get his comeuppance sooner rather than later.

I did think I figured out the solution to the crime and the murderer and was turning pages rapidly at the end of the book to see if I was right.  A few threads were left open for upcoming books.  There is a man who shows up a couple of times at police headquarters that seems to know a lot about Frieda.  We're not sure what part he will play.  Will I be eagerly anticipating the Saturday book?  Absolutely!!  I'm not sure how long the series will continue, but I'll keep reading.  

18 comments:

  1. I have at least one book in this series and need to pull it out of my stacks.

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    1. Only 5 books in the series so far, Kathy. Just saying...

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  2. Betcha' a reader should start, with the first one....

    Tessa

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    1. Always my motto, Tessa. And I think you'd learn more about Frieda's character if you began with the Monday book.

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  3. I've read a few of the Nicci French but haven't tried any of the Dr. Freda Klein series of books. I have some catching up to do!

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    1. I've thought about trying some of the standalones. Perhaps I'll see if our library has some of them.

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  4. Ugh, so Thursday isn't showing a release date in the US until next year. Now I'm seriously considering ordering both Thurs and Fri from the UK. I definitely don't love that this one sounds so scattered, but honestly I didn't love the first outing in the series either. It was the second that hooked me. I wonder how many there will be in the series overall?

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    1. Becky, I'd send you mine, but I gave them to another reading friend. I hesitated about how much to say about this one. I didn't dislike it, but I did like the Thursday book a lot. I think I saw somewhere that there would be 8 books, so maybe 3 more?

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    2. I ordered Thursday from Book Depository :)

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  5. I have to catch up with this series!

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    1. I totally understand, Jenclair! LOL

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    1. I know. I know. I couldn't wait! LOL

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  7. This definitely doesn't seem like the book to start the series with. I keep meaning to hunt down the first one but just haven't yet. I like the depth of Frieda's character and there just aren't enough good police procedurals. I can't wait to start this series! While it sounds like this was a good read it doesn't sound like it was your favorite in the series and that seems to happen with me too. Deborah Crombie is one of my favorite mystery authors and she had one a few years ago that just wasn't quite what I wanted it to be. The next one completely redeemed the series and hopefully that is what happens in this case!

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    1. Yes, I think this particular series definitely lends itself better to reading 'in order'. And they make it easy with the Monday, Tuesday....etc. I love Deborah Crombie too, by the way. :-)

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  8. I haven't read a good mystery/thriller in a while. I'd have to start at the first book in the series though.

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    1. Vicki, the first book is Blue Monday. And then they continue on with the days of the week. :-)

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Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy to hear your thoughts and will respond as soon as I can. Happy Reading!