I enjoyed this second book in Nicci French's Frieda Klein series. Although not essential, it will help if you have read Blue Monday first (even though it's not quite as good) because there are personal and plot issues which carry on from there.
The plot of Tuesday's Gone is well summarized elsewhere on this page and again involves psychotherapist Frieda Klein reluctantly assisting with a police investigation. The book hits its stride straight away and I was very quickly drawn in and thoroughly gripped for most of the time. Frieda's character develops well and more naturally this time without all the slightly laboured scene-setting of the previous book. Tension builds nicely and the plot is well developed with a couple of genuinely clever twists and Nicci French's characteristic excellent writing and sense of pace.
Once the main mystery is solved there is a frankly rather silly coda of about 50 pages whose purpose seems to be to provide the apparently mandatory Investigator In Peril Climax and to further the through-plot which looks as though it may run for the whole series. I didn't think it added much and I would have preferred the book without it, but it didn't ruin the book either and this remains a very well written, involving thriller which I recommend warmly.
on 25 February 2013
Having read Blue Monday I expected a new story about Frieda Klein......but her past keeps haunting her even as a new mystery emerges. A caseworker discovers a rotting corpse being tenderly cared for by a client. He is naked, his clothes carefully washed and is seated on the couch with a cup of tea. Frieda is brought in to try to talk to the woman as the police try to identify the body and work out what happened. But Carrie Dekker makes a complaint about how her husband Alan was used to track down the missing children, and Frieda begins to suspect Dean Reeve is still alive. The two plots interweave and I could not put the book down.
Whereas I found Blue Monday to take an unconscionably long time labouring over the groundwork, firmly establishing relations with our unlikely heroine Dr. Frieda Klein, together with her sad and mostly sorry Detective pal DCI Karlsson plus other assorted damaged members of her coterie, Reuben, Josef and Olivia; this time I felt comfortably at home from the start, merely passing grateful for a polite reintroduction to acquaintances who now feel like good friends. So yes, having read the first day of the week `Blue Monday', in this series was a handy help; but really you could equally enjoy `Tuesday's Gone' as a one off.
The strangest of tea parties is rudely interrupted by a visiting social worker. You may never feel the same about iced buns again. At first the possibility of a murder having been committed is uncertain, the unfortunate corpse an enigma, his personality a veritable Chinese Box of apparently unconnected discoveries. That is until Karlsson takes an interest in a funeral urn on a mantelpiece...
Once again I wanted to feign illness and remain in bed all day alone with the story, the pace of which never faltered. Addictive reading that drags you along at speed, wishing for nothing more than to work out the puzzles presented, pronto. Luckily Frieda can see what we might have missed and so doesn't get completely taken in. Her years of training and practicing psychotherapy give her inside knowledge, warning bells thankfully alerting her to a wrong'un. So much so sadly that she alone perceives a dangerous character sneakily stalking her - there is a serious matter still to be addressed in the next book, that of a missing psychopathic murderer, he who has the perfect cover and alibi, the terrifying one who has his eye on our feisty London night walking insomniac lady Dr. Her problem is in fact the greatest and it still snaps at her heels. Dr. Frieda, the 'heroine', who we are all learning to understand better, book by book.
Sharp observation proves the key to mysteries; throughout the tale a lively interest in your fellow man will be well repaid, Nicci Gerrard and Sean French do it again, they are a formidable team who know just how to keep their readers enthralled.
on 26 August 2012
This feels like a sequel to Blue Monday rather than one of a series of books featuring psychologist Frieda Klein. I liked Blue Monday although I found bits of it very silly. However, for me, Tuesday's Gone lacked the pacy, enjoyment factor of the first one. Frieda is still a great character but there were too many plot holes (spoiler alert -Janet's 'hanging' being a murder....surely forensics would have spotted that, certainly when it was done at the hands of an amateur.) And the quick, unsatisfactory ending made me think that the authors just wanted to finish the book as quickly as possibly. Nicci French are certainly talented but they seem to be on an increasingly long run of below par novels. At this rate I might have to go back and re-read their earlier stuff which I loved.
on 23 May 2015
A decomposing corpse is discovered in the flat of a mentally incapable woman. First the search is for the identity of the man and trying to understand how he turned up in the flat. Dr Klein’s advice is sought and she leads the police to understand how the body got there. Then the search is for a name for the body but even when a name is discovered this turns out to be a fake name. The investigation turns to making some sense of the last days of the dead man in relation to his contacts under the fake name. Frieda is employed as a temporary consultant on this case and undertakes her responsibilities thoroughly although she doesn’t conform to the norm in terms of billing for expenses and so on. She is ambivalent although thoroughly involved. I liked the fact that peripheral characters from the first book showed up in the second, some with greater parts to play and while the first book brought a resolution in terms of finding the missing children other things were unresolved and these things now begin to tap on Frieda’s shoulders and engage the reader. By the end of the book, we have learned quite a lot more about Frieda and I’m curious to see where the writers go with her. I didn’t realise Waiting for Wednesday had already been released but I’ve just bought it and will be reading it next, with one interlude.
'Maggie Brennan half walked, half ran along Deptford Church Street.'
Tuesday's Gone opens with a social worker finding her way to the flat of a social misfit and the decomposing dead body she harbours in her living room. The odd couple partnership of Klein and Karlsson come together once more to solve the death - and just as well as there is the usual blind stupidity of anyone else other than these two in progressing the case. In addition to this case Klein becomes aware that all is not resolved with the events from their last case. Some far fetched barriers make things that bit more difficult for Klein to solve - even though she seems to be the only one doing any real detective work. Klein's private life becomes more complex and we gain some more clues as to her own family background, her sister-in-law, niece and brother all have walk on appearances in this novel too. Klein's work as a psychoanalyst is what makes her so empathetic and easy to talk to we're told, but in much of the featured dialogue she actually appears pretty chilly and not that quick on the uptake.
I really liked the first psychological thrillers that the writing team of Nicci Gerard and Sean French produced together and kept reading each novel as it came out even when I wasn't convinced by their latest offerings. I read Blue Monday and was intrigued by the Frieda Klein character, though the plot overstretched credulity. This novel is very readable and was perfect as an airplane book for my holiday flight but I had the same problems with plot and think I'll be giving the rest of the series a miss. It's a shame - I think this is close to being good in some ways but never quite takes off or suspends disbelief.
on 24 January 2014
Psychotherapist Frieda Klein is needed again when a dead body is found in the flat of a mentally disabled woman who is unable to assist the police. As Frieda begins her investigation she uncovers the identity of the dead man so beginning a complicated hunt for the murderer.
This novel very cleverly intertwines with the first of this series, Blue Monday.
An interesting and engaging storyline, will definitely read the next one.
Husband and wife team Nicci Gerrard and Sean French write a second book in the new "Frieda Klein" series.
When I read "Blue Monday" I had hoped it was a one-off as Frieda Klein is such an unappealing character. She's somewhat priggish and unpleasant.
Klein changes from Clinical Psychologist to Psychiatrist and back in both the books. I know this probably means little to anyone else, but to me it is the crossing of different levels (and areas) of psychology.
*** my personal peeve *** please feel free to skip ahead ***
My rant is to do with the use of a clinical psychologist (or psychiatrist) in the field of criminal and forensic psychology. When it happens it always causes problems. Think back to the screw-up that was the Rachel Nickell murder investigation and the attempted entrapment of Colin Stagg which was lead by Paul Britton.
Britton, who is/was a clinical psychologist with no training or expertise in criminal or forensic psychology, "profiled" Stagg (which is not the way you do it) and set up the "honey trap" where a WPC using the name "Lizzie James" who copied letters, drafted by Britton, which were sent to Stagg.
Stagg never fell into the trap completely; and never admitted to the murder regardless of the kinky requests from "Lizzie James". This, however, didn't stop Britton who said that the letters from Stagg, stating that he could not meet James's demands to confess in exchange for a night of intimacy, were proof that he was guilty.
After 13 months on remand Stagg faced a court and the judge (Mr Justice Ognall) threw the case out with a scathing rebuke for the police and for Britton, who the judge said "was pulling the strings" of the investigation.
DNA later proved that the guilty party was Robert Napper. Napper had been "cleared" by Britton who to this day maintains that Stagg was the killer and he was right.
This is not the only case where a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist has been brought into a police investigation and stuffed it up because they are not trained in the criminal and forensic areas of psychology required.
I would never dream of trying to counsel someone with depression, etc, because my training is in the criminal and forensic area of psychology, so why do they think that they can walk into my specialist area. It's like a cardiologist walking into an operating theatre and telling a neurologist how to operate on a patient's brain.
*** peeve over *** thank you for your patience ***
Klein is a cold fish, who manages to push her way into another investigation - like Jessica Fletcher or Jane Marple, but without the personality to go with it. In my profession we always look with suspicion on anyone who foists themselves into an investigation - more often than not they have something to do with the crime.
The story itself is familiar, and there are no twists or turns to make it interesting or to give the reader pause to think that maybe they have the wrong guilty party. In fact the story is straightforward and predictable.
I honestly wish that they would drop Frieda as a character. Maybe if they dropped her they could get back to the usually high standard that I have come to expect from the duo.
Crime writers seem to vie with each other these days as to who can create the most grotesque scenario. French opens this novel with a social worker going to visit a woman with mental health problems in the East End of London. She finds the body of a naked man in her hostel room, a rotting corpse shrouded in flies. I found this over the top in a novel whose heroine works with the mind and not with putrid flesh.
DCI Karlsson, who has personal problems and is being trailed around by a management consultant (seriously? He sits in on case conferences where sensitive information is being discussed!) calls in Frieda Klein to try to get some sense out of the woman, who doesn`t seem to grasp that her `visitor' is dead. Frieda, trying to get on with her life after the departure of the first lover she had ever truly allowed to get to know her, is also struggling with a complaint made against her by the wife of a former patient, which reopens old wounds. Soon a tabloid newspaper has launched a hate campaign against her.
The dead man is intriguing, presenting himself differently to everyone he met -- clothes, name, interests -- telling them nothing about himself while learning everything about them, almost, Frieda thinks with a shiver, like a therapist. He is not, I felt, merely a con man. He's not greedy -- one old lady is leaving him a third of her estate, not all of it -- and he gives them company and care that their own families are too `busy' to offer.
There are brief, tiresome passages from the viewpoint of someone referred to only as `she' and we`re supposed to figure out, eventually, who `she' is and what part `she' plays in the story. This is a hoary old cliché of crime novels which needs to be put quietly to rest and given a decent burial. I groaned every time `she' reappeared, however brief her sections.
I recommend that you read the first of the Frieda Klein novels -- Blue Monday -- before embarking on this one, as this gives away most of the plot of the first. In fact, it carries on the plot of Blue Monday to some extent, while adding in a new scenario.
Like its predecessor, this is a page-turner. I was surprised to find after what seemed like a short reading session that I was 100 pages in, then 200. I find Frieda an interesting character and look forward to reading her future exploits. Yes, she's a loner who is happiest with her own company: that's not a crime. I had no inkling who had killed the dead man till the last hundred pages but also felt that it hardly mattered. The baddies are caught in a second hoary old cliché.
Before concluding, I want to make one last point. I do hope that the publisher has shelled out for a competent proof reader, because I have never seen a text so full of errors, certainly not in the era where novels are composed from the author's word-processing files. The most egregious is when we move suddenly from Karlsson and his sidekick to the wretched `she' without the benefit of a gap in the text. It took me a moment to realise that `she' was not the sidekick. Inexcusable! Later, a character's first name changes from Lorna to Katherine in the space of a paragraph. I wouldn't mention this, but a scan of the reviews of the finished copies of Blue Monday suggests that a lot of typos survived into the published copy. People paying good money for a book are entitled to expect better.
on 9 December 2015
Read Blue Monday and had to read the second in the series, Tuesday's gone. Love the storyline and characters, but the first novel may have carried me through the second, I certainly had all the background I needed on the characters and story before reading. It is one of those books that you will happily forego something else in order to sit down and find out what will happen next! Needless to say, I am now on the third in the series.