Book review: Sunday Morning Coming Down by Nicci French

Sunday, July 23, 2017 Permalink

Long term disciples, devotees, (ahem) readers of my book reviews may recall I’ve struggled with the Nicci French Dr Frieda Klein series. I actually even put one or two of the early books aside rather than continuing with them.

However, I actually enjoyed the last one I read,  Friday On My Mind and commented in that review on the fact I felt that Frieda was – perhaps – evolving a little and become a more likeable character. I’d like to think I wasn’t alone in struggling with early Frieda and the Nicci Gerrard / Sean French pairing decided to insert a little personality into her stiff unrelatable demeanour. I suspect however, it’s probably more about the trajectory they’d always planned for the socially-challenged psychotherapist rather than public outcry. 

Book review: Sunday Morning Coming Down by Nicci FrenchSunday Morning Coming Down
by Nicci French
Series: Frieda Klein #7
Published by Michael Joseph
on July 15th 2017
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Psychological Thriller
ISBN: 0718179668, 9780718179663
Pages: 414

Psychotherapist Frieda Klein's home is her refuge. Then she returns to find it has become a crime scene. Beneath the floorboards the police have found the body of a man she had hired to help protect her.

The message from the killer is clear: you're mine.

But when those closest to Frieda begin to be targeted the picture becomes more confused, the patterns uncertain.

And unless Frieda can find and stop whoever is threatening her friends and family her love and loyalty could come at a fatal cost ...

I should mention that it wasn’t until I came to write this review that I realised I somehow completely missed Saturday Requiem, which was out earlier this year.

Anyhoo, there’s finally some vindication for Frieda in the seventh outing in this series when it appears her belief that psychopathic killer Dean Reeve – who she’s long believed to still be alive – IS indeed alive and well. Hmmm…. by ‘well’ I mean living and breathing, albeit still psychopathic – presumably.

Now, if you’re like me and really cannot remember Reeve’s earlier appearances in this series, never fear, as it doesn’t matter. I do recall reference to him (or at least a sense of his presence) in the last book I read, but really can’t recall his initial introduction. So – if you’re coming into this series late, it doesn’t matter.

All you really need to know is that those around Frieda (and thankfully she was a pretty prickly and unsociable character, so there aren’t many of them) are at risk.

We’ve all read enough books and watched enough fictional TV about psychopaths to know they never start with the object of their obsession… rather akin to the cat and mouse, they play with their victim to prolong their sense of anticipation – almost like foreplay – eking out their enjoyment and their target’s pain for as long as possible.

And that’s exactly what it seems Reeve is doing. Or is he?

I liked the introduction of Chief Inspector Petra Burge and appreciated that the authors didn’t feel compelled to set her up in an adversarial relationship with Frieda – which has been the case in the past and was getting a bit old.

There’s a sense of change in this novel and – in reality if the series was reflecting the days of the week – this would be the last. Given the way the book ends however, I’m not sure if that will be the case. Of course, if it continues it will be interesting to see where the authors take the series.

I was a bit reticent to start this book, given my meh-ness about early novels in the series and the fact it was over 400 pages… but once I started I did not stop and read the book in a sitting – enjoying the pace and unfolding plot.

Sunday Morning Coming Down by Nicci French was published by Penguin UK (Michael Joseph) and is now available.

I received an electronic copy of this book via the publisher for review purposes.



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