Review: Waiting for Wednesday by Nicci French

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Waiting for Wednesday by Nicci FrenchWaiting for Wednesday by Nicci French
Series: Frieda Klein #3
Published by Pamela Dorman on April 3, 2014
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher

Waiting For Wednesday by Nicci French is the thrilling third novel in the highly acclaimed Frieda Klein series. Ruth Lennox, beloved mother of three, is found by her daughter in a pool of her own blood. Who would want to murder an ordinary housewife? And why? Psychotherapist Frieda Klein finds she has an unusually personal connection with DCI Karlsson's latest case. She is no longer working with him in an official capacity, but when her niece befriends Ruth Lennox's son, Ted, she finds herself in the awkward position of confidante to both Karlsson and Ted. When it emerges that Ruth was leading a secret life, her family closes ranks and Karlsson finds he needs Frieda's help more than ever before. But Frieda is distracted. Having survived an attack on her life, she is struggling to stay in control and when a patient's chance remark rings an alarm bell, she finds herself chasing down a path that seems to lead to a serial killer who has long escaped detection. Or is it merely a symptom of her own increasingly fragile mind? Because, as Frieda knows, every step closer to a killer is one more step into a darkness from which there may be no return.

Mystery is, as I’ve said many times before, not my genre of choice. At this point, I read about two adult mysteries a year, one of which is allotted to the Frieda Klein series by author team Nicci French. Though I didn’t find myself quite as engaged with the third installment of the series, I continue to enjoy the main character, Frieda, and the case of folks surrounding her. There’s more characterization than I find typical of mysteries, but a sufficiently twisty and intricate plot to keep traditional mystery fans entertained as well.

Psychotherapist Frieda Klein has been brought in to consult with the police on two prior cases, but, after the last one ended so badly, she’s on the outs with the commissioner. Detective Karlsson still trusts her instincts, but there’s not much that he can do. The main mystery this time involves the murder of the seemingly perfect wife and mother. As one might expect, Frieda becomes entangled in this investigation despite trying to stay out of it. There’s also a large secondary mystery plot and the continuing arc of Dean Reeve.

The main difficulty I had with Waiting for Wednesday was related to the two mystery plot lines. For much of the book, there’s Frieda’s investigation, Karlsson’s, and Fearby’s. This is frustrating, because I don’t know or care who Fearby is and what he’s researching. I was bored every time the third person POV went to Fearby. I knew that everything would tie together, and it did, but I didn’t find the payoff significant enough to counteract the boredom. These plots didn’t blend effectively enough for me.

What I do like a lot is Frieda. She’s reserved and logical on the surface, a loner. Though she’s in love with Sandy, now living in New York City, she likes her space. He’s constantly sending her cute messages about how much he misses her, but she doesn’t love that way. One of my favorite tropes is when people who wouldn’t ordinarily hang out end up forced to by circumstances, and this happens to Frieda a lot. Left to her own devices, she would be alone most of the time, but people keep showing up at her house. Underneath her stern exterior, she’s someone who really cares and who relies on gut instinct. I like how complex and multi-faceted Frieda is. Also, I want to do a shout out to Josef, because he’s my favorite, with his bathroom renovation gone wrong.

I also liked the minor subplot of the test of psychologists. It raises a lot of really interesting ethical questions. That said, I feel like there was a bit less of a psychological bent to this particular mystery. Frieda wasn’t driving most of the research, still recovering mentally and physically from the ordeal of the prior novel. She wasn’t at the top of her game and I get that, but I’d like more evaluation of mental states than pure intuition from Frieda in the next book.

The Frieda Klein series is an excellent choice for those who enjoy stories like Lie to Me or Criminal Minds. It’s got the high tension, hands on, psychological aspects of shows like those.

Favorite Quote:

Some things change and some things remain the same. But you never remain the same—you look at everything through different eyes so that even the most familiar object takes on a strange and ghostly cast.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

gif criminal minds moving forward

One response to “Review: Waiting for Wednesday by Nicci French”

  1. fakesteph says:

    I actually really dig mysteries, so I’m going to have to see if this series is available on Audible. I like listening to mysteries in the car. It makes all the annoying driving exciting instead of a chore.
    fakesteph recently posted…Top Ten Books On My Summer TBR listMy Profile

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