The Day of the Dead by Nicci French
It was a Monday morning, it was bright, it was warm, too warm for late autumn, and Charlotte Beck was about to experience the one really dramatic thing that would happen to her in her entire life. She wasn't ready for it. She didn't feel ready for anything.
She was maneuvering a chaotic little group up Heath Street, as she did every weekday. She was steering a buggy containing ten-month-old Lulu. On her left side two-and-a-half-year-old Oscar was pushing himself on a little scooter. Round her right wrist was one end of a dog lead and the other end was attached to a black Labrador puppy called Suki. Everything looked like it was in fog, but it wasn't real fog. It was the fog of tiredness that had hung stolidly over Charlotte's world for the previous six months. Lulu didn't sleep at night. She shouted and she screamed and nothing helped, nothing that Charlotte tried, nothing that the experts recommended.
Instead Lulu slept during the day. She was asleep now, contentedly under a blanket in her buggy, a pacifier lodged in her mouth. Every so often, Charlotte leaned over to peer at her. She looked peaceful and angelic. It was difficult to believe that that smooth little face with its long eyelashes and pink cheeks could do so much damage to a grown woman. Charlotte felt so tired that it hurt. Her eyes were stinging with it, her skin felt stretched, her joints were aching. She was only thirty-one. It couldn't be arthritis, could it? Could lack of sleep damage your bones? It felt like it.
I was greatly anticipating and also sort of dreading this eighth book in the Frieda Klein series. It's written by husband/wife team, Sean French and Nicci Gerard. I have so enjoyed each and every one of the books that relate the journey of psychologist Frieda and her varied group of friends and colleagues. A story that also has included that most twisted and creepy character, Dean Reeve. I put off reading it and then dived in and read it slowly, ever so slowly.
I really enjoyed The Day of the Dead. Frieda doesn't actually enter the tale for a while. She has gone into hiding because she wants to protect her loved ones, friends, colleagues. That most evil man, Dean Reeve, has a way of 'keeping Frieda from harm', but also ridding her of anyone he suspects she loves. The story here begins with a very odd car accident - a car that is piloted by a man that seems to be dead. And we go on from that point.
So, was I pleased? Yes, I was. Did Nicci French tie up all the ends? Mostly. Did we get to visit with all the characters that I wanted to check in with? Yep. Am I beyond eager to see what this writing duo has next for us as readers? Can't wait. Am I tempted to go back and reread all of the Frieda books? Oh, yes. May just do that over the winter. This series is highly recommended.
A decade ago, psychologist Frieda Klein was sucked into the orbit of Dean Reeve -- a killer able to impersonate almost anyone, a man who can disappear without a trace, a psychopath obsessed with Frieda herself.
In the years since, Frieda has worked with -- and sometimes against -- the London police in solving their most baffling cases. But now she's in hiding, driven to isolation by Reeve. When a series of murders announces his return, Frieda must emerge from the shadows to confront her nemesis. And it's a showdown she might not survive.