Tuesday’s Gone by Nicci French is the second in the Frieda Klein series. I was sent the first three books by the publisher after she offered the third and I suggested I could do with the first two in the series as well.
Sometimes the mind is a dangerous place to hide.
The rotting, naked corpse of a man is found amidst swarms of flies in the living room of a confused woman. Who is he? Why is Michelle Doyce trying to serve him afternoon tea? And how did the dead body find its way into her flat?
DCI Karlsson needs an expert to delve inside Michelle’s mind for answers and turns to former colleague, psychiatrist Frieda Klein. Eventually Michelle’s ramblings lead to a vital clue that in turn leads to a possible identity. Robert Poole. Jack of all trades and master conman.
The deeper Frieda and Karlsson dig, the more of Poole’s victims they encounter . . . and the more motives they uncover for his murder. But is anyone telling them the truth except for poor, confused Michelle?
And when the past returns to haunt Frieda, she finds herself in danger. Whoever set out to destroy Poole also seems determined to destroy Frieda Klein.
I enjoyed Blue Monday, but I loved Tuesday’s Gone. For a start, the case was much more appealing to me: in Blue Monday, French explores fatherhood and childhood, but Tuesday’s Gone features one of my favourite themes in crime fiction: psychopathic traits and mental health. Michelle Doyce represents everything that is wrong with nowadays’ mental health care and women. I was once told by a psychologist that a men and a woman telling the same problem to a psychiatrist would be diagnosed differently just because of their gender. But things get even more complicated when you add poverty to the mix. Luckily, Dr. Klein makes a great job of understanding and providing the necessary arrangements for Michelle Doyce.
As for the main character, Frieda has become one of my favourite female investigators although her aloofness with other characters percolates to the reader. It is not easy to get to know her, but she is hard-working, capable, has troubles of her own and is extremely intelligent, all ingredients to make a great character in crime fiction. But, what I like the most is that she has everyday problems just like the rest of us and the author explores how to solve them -and if not possible – at least, how to deal with them.
So, without giving away too much, this is it. I think that if you are interested in mental health in a broad sense, Tuesday’s Gone makes a perfect reading for you. Some issues are not easy to read about, but they need to be inscribed in literature so that we, as a society, get to talk about them and either pay them more attention or just simply acknowledge them.
And, finally! Stay tuned for an exclusive interview with author Nicci French 🙂