Saturday, 12 May 2018

Book Review: THE DAY OF THE DEAD by Nicci French

Title: The Day of the Dead
Author: Nicci French
Publisher: William Morrow
Read: May 2018
Expected publication: 24 July 2018

"No one is ever like anyone else. No one can be replaced. Every death is the end of a world. And they're gone, and yet they remain. They walk with us along the secret rivers."

Book Description:

A decade ago, psychologist Frieda Klein was sucked into the orbit of Dean Reeve -- a killer able to impersonate almost anyone, a man who can disappear without a trace, a psychopath obsessed with Frieda herself.

In the years since, Frieda has worked with -- and sometimes against -- the London police in solving their most baffling cases. But now she's in hiding, driven to isolation by Reeve. When a series of murders announces his return, Frieda must emerge from the shadows to confront her nemesis. And it's a showdown she might not survive.

This gripping cat-and-mouse thriller pits one of the most fascinating characters in contemporary fiction against an enemy like none other. Smart, sophisticated, and spellbinding, it's a novel to leave you breathless.

My musings:

After faithfully following the Frieda Klein series for years and becoming rather fond of this cool and composed fictional psychotherapist who has left a trail of bodies behind her over the course of the previous seven books, The Day of the Dead was one of my most anticipated new releases this year. Now that I have read it, I feel that certain sense of sadness that comes with farewelling a good friend.

Lovers of the series will know that all previous books are overshadowed by a cat-and-mouse game with the dark spectre of Dean Reeve, a psychopathic killer obsessed with Frieda, who has ratcheted up a bigger body count than Ted Bundy in his efforts to get Frieda’s attention. Initially thought to be a figment of Frieda’s imagination, the police have finally come to believe her claims that Reeve is at the centre of a murder spree targeting seemingly random victims around London, but so far no one has been able to outwit him and he has been staying one step ahead of all efforts to catch him. He has not shied away from targeting those nearest and dearest to Frieda, making her so afraid for the safety of her family and friends that she knows she must disappear out of their lives in an effort to keep them safe. So it is a very different Frieda we meet in this latest instalment, a Frieda who has left her old life behind and gone underground to divert Reeve's attention away from her loved ones. But of course, best laid plans and all that ... her old life is about to catch up with her!

Frieda has really grown on me over the years and developed into a true-to-life character I have loved to see back in every new book in the series. With Frieda, the French duo have managed to create both a mysterious, aloof and yet enigmatic protagonist as the centre of their mysteries. Frieda, who wanders the streets of London, following the courses of ancient forgotten rivers in order to clear her head, or plays solitary games of chess in her house with only the cat for company. I loved joining Frieda on her rambles through the city and know that I will have to look up some of those waterways if I ever make it to London! But the books would be nothing without the rich cast of Frieda’s friends and family, who have stayed loyal to her with a true love that overcomes even the threat of death from a psychopathic murderer like Reeve. I will dearly miss Josef’s soulful dark eyes, Yvette’s prickliness, Olivia’s drunken hysterics and Karlsson’s calm reflections. What a great bunch of people!

Each book in the series introduces a new interesting character, and this time it is the bubbly criminology student Lola Hayes who accidentally stumbles into Frieda’s path when her lecturer suggest that she write a dissertation about Frieda’s life. With Frieda on the run for her life, this will not be an easy task, and one that Lola may live to regret. 


Enough said. To sum it up briefly, The Day of the Dead is a worthy finale to a series that has given me years of enjoyment, and I will miss the anticipation of a new book. It has all the hallmarks of previous books in the series: it is dark, and gritty and utterly compelling. If you haven’t discovered this series yet, I strongly suggest you pick up the first book in the series and read them all in order – and be assured that Frieda’s character may appear prickly and distant in the first book, but will grow on you until she feels like a well-worn coat you can’t wait to put on to head out into the dark windy night for a walk. I loved also how this skilled author duo know exactly when to pull the plug on the final resolution, so it is not wrapped and bow-tied too neatly. *applause* A five star read for me, all done and dusted in one long all-nighter because I couldn’t put it down!

Image result for 5 stars

Thank you to Edelweiss and William Morrow for the free electronic copy of this novel and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.

No comments:

Post a Comment