Nicci French: Thursday’s Child (2014)

Thursday's Children

I’ve been waiting to read Thursday’s Child, the fourth in the Frieda Klein series, until it came out in paperback. That happened just a few months before the fifth Friday on my Mind was published. It’s one of the rare series I’ve followed since the beginning. Here are the first three reviews Blue Monday – Tuesday’s Gone – Waiting for Wednesday

I think what surprised me the most, is that this book was so much better than the last and that it felt very fresh, and added a lot on Frieda’s private life and backstory.

Due to the nature of the crime she investigates, we learn a lot about Frieda’s past. Since Frieda is a psychotherapist, an old school friend contacts her because her daughter shows signs of distress. At first, Frieda is not willing to see the girl. For one, she wasn’t all that keen on her mother all those years ago and she’s not sure how she can help. In the end she accepts to see the girl anyway and what she hears is extremely shocking. Not only because something awful happened to the girl, but because what happened sounds exactly like something that happened to Frieda when she was the girls’ age.

Although Frieda’s left her hometown twenty years ago, hasn’t stayed in contact with any of her friends, and never spoke to her mother again, she decides to leave London and investigate what has happened to the girl – and maybe to herself. I’m one of those people who would never go to a school reunion and reading how Frieda went back and had to face her past, was an intense read. I also had a very complex relationship with my mother, and so, reading about her reunion with her mother was intense as well.

Unlike in most other Frieda Klein novels, London isn’t as important in this book as in the others, but it still plays a role. Frieda’s love life takes a surprising turn and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I wonder if it was necessary to handle it that way and I’m very curious to see where she goes from here.

While the crime element is solid and gripping, it’s not the only interesting narrative strand. Following Frieda as she faces her troubled past was well worth reading. That one of the perpetrators of the first books is still following Frieda, added another, creepy layer.

Something I don’t like in crime novels is when there’s a final showdown. It’s a typical element in most psychological thrillers and Nicci French has used it before. Not in this one. That’s why it felt fresher. Frieda also didn’t put herself as much in harm’s way as she did in other books. That was always an element that annoyed me because I felt it had less to do with Frieda than with creating suspense.

If you like the series, you shouldn’t miss this. It’s the second best so far. However, I wouldn’t recommend to start with this one. You would maybe still enjoy the crime story but the part about Frieda’s life would not be as interesting.

15 thoughts on “Nicci French: Thursday’s Child (2014)

  1. SO glad to hear that this one is good. I read Monday, missed Tuesday and was disappointed in Wednesday so I’m glad to hear that the series is back with a punch.

  2. It is really refreshing, and I think a little surprising, when a series shows improvement in the middle.

    I think that it is a neat concept that the titles of this series are running through the days of the week.

    • I agree and it’s not an easy feet. Sometimes they run out of steam. Maybe this series is different in so far as it will end soon. Latest with Sunday, I’d presume.
      I love that days of the week concept.

  3. This is probably not something I’d read, but I wandered over to ask if there’s any connection with the Eartha Kitt song (also the title of Kitt’s incredible autobiography) – or is the title just one of those free-floating cultural artifacts that made a good fit for the series?

    • No, there’s no connection whatsoever. There’s aband called The Thursday’s Children mentioned in the book. It’s the second title. Maybe in the UK or in the US. I’m not sure which edition I have.

  4. I’m delighted to hear this one is good. I loved the start of this series but have got stuck on Wednesday after reading a lot of halfhearted reviews of it. I should find a moment to get through it, with low expectations, and then I can move onto this (which I do have in paperback). Frieda is such a potentially fascinating character – I am so pleased to know that they have been true to her unusual possibilities.

    • This one is so much better than Wednesday. I almost gave up on the series after Wednesdays. I like stories in which characters go back to their troubled past and this one was well done.

  5. Looks like someone is back to reading her favourite author🙂 Nice review, Caroline! I remember reading your reviews of the earlier books in the series and liking them. Interesting that the book is about reunions. I used to love school reunions, but not so much now. After the initial euphoria, the old school cliques seem to repeat themselves in reunions🙂 Hope you enjoy ‘Friday on my mind’ too. I will look forward to hearing your thoughts on it. The titles of the series makes me think of the Janet Evanovich series which starts with ‘One for the Money’.

    • Yes, I’m back.🙂 I would never attend a school reunion but I was so unhappy at school. I wouldn’t want to see those awful people again. Those I got along with very well don’t live in Switzerland anymore.
      There are a few crime series with titles like this. Sue Grafton’s – A is for Alibi . . . It’s a good way to let us know i what order to read. I’m looking forward to Friday.

  6. Oh, good, I’m looking for another series to read right now. I too get tired of the heroine being in danger at the end with the police crashing in. And I will never attend a high school reunion.🙂

  7. Pingback: Nicci French: Friday On My Mind (2015) Frieda Klein 5 | Beauty is a Sleeping Cat

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