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In the pseudonymous French's eerie sequel to 2012's Blue Monday, strong-willed but brittle London psychotherapist Frieda Klein once again assists Det. Chief Insp. Malcolm Karlsson, this time in piecing together a murdered conman's true identity. After a social worker finds a decaying corpse in her client Michelle Doyce's run-down apartment, Karlsson asks Frieda to interview the severely mentally ill woman. Her cryptic sayings eventually lead to Frieda identifying the woman's grisly souvenir as Rob Poole, an enigmatic man with no apparent life beyond the extensive network of people he'd befriended, seduced, or otherwise manipulated into his confidence. Karlsson, meanwhile, faces impending budget cuts in the department, as Frieda deals with lingering suspicions that the previous volume's villain is still out there. Despite sometimes thin characterizations, French-the husband-wife writing team of Sean French and Nicci Gerard-seamlessly mixes a foreboding tone and deliberate pacing with deft plot twists that should leave readers pleasantly chilled to the bone. Agent: Joy Harris, Joy Harris Literary Agency. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
The second book (after Blue Monday) in the Frieda Klein crime series is set in 2011 during a dreary London winter. Once again psychiatric therapist Frieda Klein is called on by Deputy Chief Inspector Karlsson to help solve a complicated case. A decomposed body has been found in the flat of a deranged woman who collects bits of rubbish left on the banks of the Thames. Who is the man and how did he die? Using her ingenuity and with help from her friends, Frieda learns he was a conman living under an assumed name and, though beloved by many of his victims, was murdered. Bedeviled by issues of identity, fraud, and a master manipulator's multiple victims, the case forces Frieda to confront not only her own dark past and the unsettled lives of her family members but also the disturbing situations of everyone inveigled by the dead man. VERDICT The 16th novel written by husband-and-wife team Nicci Gerrard and Sean French starts as a grim psychological thriller in the vein of Dennis Lehane's darker novels and turns into a fascinating puzzle in which character analysis holds sway. Highly recommended for fans of psychological suspense who enjoy a complex protagonist. [See Prepub Alert, 10/28/12.]-Ron Terpening, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
*Starred Review* London police seem to have an open-and-shut case when the body of a naked man, who was apparently tortured and murdered, is found in the home of a mentally ill woman. But DCI Malcolm Karlsson isn't so sure, so he again turns to psychotherapist Frieda Klein to serve as a consultant. When the victim is identified as an extraordinarily empathetic con man who had assumed a false identity, multiple suspects emerge. As Klein brings her expertise to bear on the murder, she's getting bad press for her previous work with police involving an identical-twin serial killer (see Blue Monday, 2012), a matter that still literally haunts her. At the same time, both Karlsson and Klein are dealing with difficult personal matters, and a cutback in police funding looms. The husband-and-wife writing team of Nicci Gerrard and Sean French skillfully melds police procedural and psychological suspense, and the Frieda Klein series provides the opportunity for greater concentration on character development, particularly with a protagonist whose profession is probing the human psyche. Psychological suspense at its best, with full-bodied characters and a closing cliffhanger, will leave fans waiting to see what Wednesday will bring.--Leber, Michele Copyright 2010 Booklist