Nicci French: Tuesday’s Gone (2012)

Psychotherapist Frieda Klein thought she was done with the police. But once more DCI Karlsson is knocking at her door.

A man’s decomposed body has been found in the flat of Michelle Doyce, a woman trapped in a world of strange mental disorder. The police don’t know who it is, how he got there or what happened – and Michelle can’t tell them. But Karlsson hopes Frieda can get access to the truths buried beneath her confusion.

A few months ago I read and reviewed Blue Monday, the first in the new series written by writer duo Nicci French. I thoroughly enjoyed it as you can read here and was looking forward to the sequel. Tuesday’s Gone is the second novel in the series with psychotherapist Frieda Klein and DCI Karlsson. I didn’t expect it but I’m glad to say that this book was even far better than the last. The characters are more rounded, the story is much more suspenseful and some loose strands of the first book are nicely tied together. The only bad news is, you should read Blue Monday first as the sequel contains numerous spoilers, even mentioning the solution to part one.

Who is this man the police find in Michelle Doyce’s apartment, sitting on a sofa, naked and decomposed? The autopsy shows the man was murdered and since Michelle is a woman with a rare mental disorder it seems likely she killed him. Or at least the police would hope so as that would cut a lengthy investigation short and save a lot of tax money.

For some reason DCI Karlsson isn’t happy with this interpretation and asks psychotherapist Frieda Klein to talk to Michelle. Frieda is no expert in this type of disorder and consults with a specialist. As hard as it is to talk to Michelle, they find a way to communicate and it seems highly unlikely she committed the crime.

Frieda thinks it’s far more crucial to find out who the man was. It takes a while and they discover that his name is Robert Poole but when they inform his brother that they found his body they are in for a surprise. Robert Poole died six years ago. It looks as if the dead man on the sofa used a fake identity, had a lot of money transferred to a bank account in Poole’s name and withdrew it again on the day of his murder.

While the police are willing to pay Frieda for her work, like in the first book she does a lot of research on her own account. One cannot shake the feeling that a lot of what she does has something to do with personal atonement.

Once they find out that the victim was a con man and they start interrogating some of his victims, the book gets really interesting. There are many loose ends but they are all tied together in the end. Some elements of part two are still important in this part and will also play a role in the next.

We get to know Frieda much better in this book, some of her family history is revealed, her love life gets a new twist. DCI Karlsson and some other secondary characters are further developed. And once more the location, the city of London, plays an important part and we learn a few interesting historical facts while following Frieda on her nightly walks through her beloved town. While the book has a satisfying ending, there are clearly indications that there will be a third part soon.

I really enjoyed Tuesday’s Gone and could hardly put it down. While the first in the series had some minor flaws Tuesday’s Gone is as good as Nicci French’s standalones. This has turned into a really gripping series with complex, flawed but likable main characters.

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34 thoughts on “Nicci French: Tuesday’s Gone (2012)

  1. I am really looking forward to this one but it isn’t slated to be published in N. America until 4/13. I agree–the first one in the series had a few minor flaws but was extremly good.

    • I was really curious to see how this would be and was surprsied it was so much better. I thought it was interesting and suspenseful. I’m interested to hear if you will feel the same about it.
      I don’t understand these publication date differences.

  2. I have won this book (in Dutch) and had decided I wanted to read the first one in the series also, so I have bought that too. They are waiting for me, but after reading your review, I know they will not have to wait that long. Thanks.

  3. Oh, this sounds like a great series, Caroline. I’m glad to hear they get better because some series eventually get worse. It’s like the author has been pressured by the publisher too much and phones in the latest installment.
    If the last book isn’t available until next year, I may hold off on reading the others until then.

    • Nicci French writes excellent standalones and this has turned into a great series. And I like the charactser, a psychotherapist with a somewhat murky family history. I reac soemwhere that 8 parts were planned. This is only part 2. I was glad I could read them relatively soon one after the other and now that you know part 2 is better it would be hard to wait if you enjoy he first. You could try one of the standalones. Killing Me Softly is quite good, much better than the movie.

  4. I’m never a fan of the first book of any series as it always seems to me that the author(s) take a while to get into the characters. I often like to begin with the second, so I should definitely look out for this one. It sets a very intriguing problem, and I appreciate that in a crime novel.

    • I know what you mean. With this one you’ll find yourself right in the thick of it. I liked the way Michelle’s condition was described. Most of the psychological elements work well, I thought.

  5. Caroline, I think that you hit upon one of the elements of a good book when you said that the characters were “flawed”. Too many stories have characters who are too perfect and in my opinion that makes them boring. I believe that imperfection is a key ingredient in most art.

    The series sounds good and I will recommend it to my wife who loves crime and mystery stories set in various international locales.

    • I’ve seen some people criticize the fact that Frieda is a psychotherapist but not perfect. I thinkt that’s exactly why she works as a charcater, she still stumbles.
      And I agree with you, especially, in genre its ahuge mistake to create those perfect charcaters because they don’t feel real.
      I think you’re wife would like it. It’s gripping and London is well described.

  6. I’ve had Nicci French recommended to me numerous times and I am sure I would like her–I did try to read The Memory Game, but I ended up setting it aside–the timing just wasn’t right and it hadn’t grabbed me. Maybe I should give Blue Monday a go–it might be out in paper here now. I do love psychological suspense, which the books seem to be. And it’s nice when an author hits her (or in this case, their) stride with a group of characters. It always takes a book or two to really get into the story–first books seem to be about building relationships and setting the scene.

    • That’s how the first one was, it was also far less suspenseful. I thought that this was gripping. I’ve read the memory game years ago, I think it was the very first while I thought it wasn’t bad I’ve read later ones which were much better.

  7. Cool, I’ve been in the crime thriller mood lately. I read The Thin Man over my holiday and it might be time to start a more recent series. Thanks! I’ll have to see if the library has any of her works and from the sounds of it, I should read them in order.

    • TBM, this is only the second in the series, all the others are stand alones and you could pick any of them. But if yiu like a series then Blue Monday is where you should start.

  8. I remembered you enjoyed the first novel of the series. Thanks for warning us that it must be read in the right order. This writer is abundantly translated into French, good, I know who would like this as a gift. (btw, Claude Izner is also two people writing together)

  9. I like your review, these books sound interesting. I’ve read a couple of Nicci French novels and found them entertaining, like watching a thriller at the cinema. I’ve seen Complicity in the bookstores here and was wondering about it, have you read it?

    • It’s a bit like watching a thriller, I agree.
      I haven’t read Complicity but judging from the amazon uk page, readers liked it less tha some of their other books. I haven’t even read those which are said to be their best like “Lan of the Living” and “Secret Smile”.

  10. Sounds like an interesting book…altough the title is a bit misguiding…I thought, bfore reading, it would be a romance book ;)

    Tho the book sounds interesting, but too bad we have to read the 1st book b4 this one

    • As just said in the first comment, you really have in tis case or if you choose to start with this you can never enjoy book one as the solution is mentioned here.
      It was really good. Some who doesn’t like series could read juts this one.

  11. Pingback: Sunday Caught My Interest « Reflections from the Hinterland

  12. Nice to know that you liked this book, Caroline. I want to read a Nicci French sometime. I didn’t know that Nicci French is the name of a writing duo – I thought that it was one author.

  13. Pingback: Nicci French: Secret Smile (2004) « Beauty is a Sleeping Cat

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