Top critical review
on 9 May 2016
it is very hard to believe so many people found this book worthwhile. it was kind of a laugh, as in the so-bad-its-good tradition of old 3 Stooges films or an impeccably ugly jumper one wears to an office party as a joke. but i am not about to let nicci french laugh all the way to the bank again at my expense, and nor should you.
for fans of the Monday prequel, you will find out here that it did not really happen that way at all, nya nya, fooled you! for those who did not read Monday, you will have to get thru 30% of this book's dealing with Monday leftovers about which you know nothing & in which you have no interest. it will also totally spoil the Monday book if you were thinking of reading it later.
for fans of series in general, you will be told nothing at all about any of the continuing characters. eg, it took until page 200 to find out one of the heroine's closest friends is actually a fellow at her practice. how hard would it have been to give the fellow more than a first name the first time he appears?
for fans of police procedurals, fuggeddaboudit entirely. nicci is above doing research into how the polis actually do
things & allow them to behave like 12-year-old prats thruout. there are no SOCO teams coming into the several crime scenes to do forensics. there is no toxicology report in the autopsy. there is ultimately no evidence at all to convict, or even to arrest, the perps except some prints on a picture frame which are entirely circumstantial & barely put them on the scene, as a solicitor would be quick to point out. not only are the procedural howlers too numerous to mention, but also the murders tend to defy even basic, garden variety logic. if there are no bruises on the body to suggest anything but suicide, how was the bruise-free murder actually committed. we'll get no answer to these or any other reasonable questions from nicci, as they gaily count their money on the way to the bank.
& to add insult to injury, the alleged heroine is totally, but entirely, personality free. in fact, she is nearly catatonic. the crimes could be interesting if they did not defy logic, the perps & vics could be interesting if they did not speak in cliches, but frieda nothing would help because she is not there at all.
is this the same nicci french who used to write those wicked thrillers?? remember the one about the girl who was bound up on the shelf in a psycho's garage for half the book? whew! go back & read those if you want to help nicci count their money, but please don't waste it on frieda klein.