Those who follow this blog know how much I like the books of writer duo Nicci French. Their standalone novels and their Frieda Klein series.
I still think that the first two in the Frieda Klein series are the best but I did enjoy some of the others, even though Frieda’s life often took up much more space than the mystery itself. Not so in this book. From a mystery point of view, Saturday Requiem is one of the best in the series. Sadly, I liked it less than the others before because Frieda’s turned into a bit of a cypher. Her life took up minimal space. There was zero development on the personal front. That was a bit disappointing. In the last two books, the personal life was almost too much in the center and here, we got only glimpses.
The book starts when Frieda’s asked to visit Hannah, a patient in a psychiatric ward. The woman has been there for 13 years, ever since she was found guilty of savagely killing her whole family. The detective who had been working on the case back then, is under investigation and it’s possible that he made mistakes with this case. That’s why Frieda’s asked to try and talk to Hannah and tie up loose ends.
When Frieda visits Hannah, she shows every sign of being mad, but Frieda doesn’t think that she was always like this. It rather looks as if being charged with the murder and sent to a psychiatric hospital for life, may have caused her “madness”. Clearly, Hannah spends a lot of time in solitary confinement. Since the police do not want to reopen the case, Frieda, who doesn’t think Hannah is guilty, begins to investigate on her own.
Like in the other books of the series, there’s the shadow of the perpetrator from the first book looming in the shadows. Possibly he even enters Frieda’s house.
Overall, the book is suspenseful. Not unputdownable, but very readable.
It’s pretty obvious, the series is coming to an end, not only because it’s logical, given the titles of the books, but because this one ends with a major cliffhanger, something none of the other books in the series do. Nicci French is definitely gearing up for the finale.
If it wasn’t for this cliffhanger and the overarching story, I might not have picked up the next one. There are just too many great crime series out there that I still want to read. But then again, I want to see how it all ends and so I’ve already got Sunday Morning Coming Down waiting on my piles.
Here are the other reviews of the series
10 thoughts on “Nicci French: Saturday Requiem (2016) Frieda Klein Series 6”
I wonder where this writing team will go next as Frieda has taken up their energy for many years now. Back to the standalones?
I hope so. I liked some of them a lot but it feels as if they grew a bit tired of her. I think she
continued writing standalones but I never tried one.
I didn’t know that the Mrs kept writing standalones.
I think she did. She always wrote alongside those she wrote with him.
I agree that this kind of book is strengthened when the protagonist and their life is explored. I would be fine with a mystery that spent more time on this the the actual crime solving.
Great review as always Caroline.
Thank you, Brian. I really enjoyed reading about her life so I was a bit disappointed with thus one even though it’s a good mystery.
What a shame this one didn’t quite live up to your expectations. It sounds as though the last few books are a little out of balance, certainly as far as the exploration of Freida’s personal situation is concerned – too much in some and not enough in this one. Maybe some smoothing out across the series would have been in order…
Even though I’ve never read any of this duo’s books, I’m always interested to hear about them – they seem to have quite a following amongst crime aficionados .
They are extremely popular and with good reason. I just think, this series was too long. The titles are a bit gimmicky and so they wanted to fill the week, so to speak. Maybe not the best idea.
I read the first two Frieda Kleins and enjoyed them, but was disappointed in the third (Waiting for Wednesday). It has to be hard to sustain the suspense and interest needed in a crime novel.
I think the third was the weakest. Nonetheless, the first two were the best.