A journal of the books I read or would like to read.
Tuesday, July 09, 2013
TUESDAY'S GONE by Nicci French
TUESDAY'S GONE by Nicci French: This is the second book in the mystery series following psychotherapist Frieda Klein, as she assists the police in investigations. The first, BLUE MONDAY, fell squarely into the "okay" camp for me, but the series had enough potential that I was willing to give the second installment a go. It was probably my last Frieda Klein mystery. The plot setup is intriguing enough: Chief Inspector Karlsson calls in Frieda when a social worker finds her mentally ill patient serving tea to a naked, decomposing corpse. You have my attention! (The authors are married couple Nicci Gerrard and Sean French, by the way, a pairing that may explain some of the choppiness of the story.)
The reservations I had after characterizing BLUE MONDAY as just "okay" for a mystery held true in the sequel. Frieda is very closed off and I had trouble relating to her. She doesn't like to get personal, a challenging quality for a protagonist. While the premise of the book is interesting, the plot meanders, the villains are telegraphed early on, and I saw the "shocking" plot twist a mile away. A continuing arc for the series was introduced (the series is proposed to be eight books, so I suppose the eighth will be titled NEXT MONDAY or something?) that I found boring. I'm also tired of the "heroine in constant danger" trope of female-amateur-sleuth mysteries. Frieda says and does some dumb things that bring her into danger. Again. She, and not the crime, is the focus, but because she's such a private person, I'm not connecting to her at all. If the book were focused on how she solves a mystery, that would make the lack of sympathy tolerable, but the book is about her even though we don't know much about her. It's an odd setup for a series.
Source disclosure: I received an e-galley of this title courtesy of the publisher.
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