Second parts of series, no matter whether movies or books are concerned, often seem weaker to me than their first parts. Funnily, this is something, the Japanese court lady and author Sei Shonagon already commented on more than 1000 years ago in her Makura no sosh (The Pillow Book). Sei Shonagon loved to make lists and under the headline Things that give you pleasure she listed
You’ve read the first volume of a tale you hadn’t come across before, and are longing to go on with it — then you find the other volume. The rest of it can sometimes turn out to be disappointing, however.
Keeping this in mind, I stopped myself becoming too overexcited about part #2 of Nicci French’s psychological crime series with psychotherapist Frieda Klein and DCI Karlsson.
That I read Blue Monday isn’t such a long time ago, so I thought it would take a longer time to hold the sequel in my hands. Blue Monday was a real discovery for me, probably because it was so unexpectedly good. I thought it might be one of these prototypical thrillers, which didn’t leave much of an impression after the case is solved and the culprit caught. Boy, was I wrong! With Blue Monday it was entirely different. It had complex and interesting characters, a clever background consisting of a psychologically motivated crime story. I was excited what would await me now.
What happens in Tuesday’s Gone? A social worker finds the corpse of a man in one of her clients‘ flat. The woman who lives there seems highly delusional and confused and therefore seems to be the ideal suspect. The victim’s identification gets rather difficult but the police force seems content in framing the mad woman for the murder. Not so content is DCI Karlsson and definitely not so is Frieda Klein who believes that Michelle Doyce isn’t in the right state of mind to commit a crime at all. The crucial questions turn out to be: Who was the dead man really? What did he do in the woman’s flat? And, obviously: Who killed him? Frieda, who always goes her own way and preferably wants to leave the world of crime behind altogether, finds herself again in the middle of an investigation, not only because of Karlssons true estimation: „It doesn’t get better, unless you stop caring.“ (127)
The following paragraph might reveal some facts regarding Blue Monday, if you haven’t read it yet but plan to do so:
What I especially like about the Frieda Klein series are the “inter-bookish” connections which are established. Often in crime stories it is: case solved and closed – end of story. Frieda Klein, however, has a lot of issues lagging behind. There are the consequences from the preceding case: Missing student Kathy Ripon is found and Frieda has to deal with her guilty feelings. She knows, that either Kathy oder the abducted child would have died but how do you chose in such a situation. You feel guilty no matter what decision you made. Furthermore, there seems something to be going on with the second twin brother from book I – Alan Decker. Then, there is Frieda’s private life, her family with her sister-in-law Olivia and her rebellious niece Chloe or the story about Frieda’s Ukrainian builder friend Josef. These “leftovers” all add to the depth of the story, the characters’ personality and uniqueness.
Frieda herself has some things going on in her life. She is slighted by the press for allegedly manipulating clients and betraying their trust. Her former lover Sandy announces a visit to London which leaves Frieda to decide whether to see him or not. You see, the book is a combination of taking up the threads of the first book and adding new ones to them. I liked Tuesday’s Gone very much and tend to become much more daring in anticipating book three!
There was something Frieda said that I wanted to share. Being a typical summer person who always suffers under the short, dark and miserable days in winter, this passage exactly reflected my method of survival:
It’s like winter. I just trudge through, head down, and hope that spring won’t be delayed. (335)
Who is feeling the same about winter? Ducking and hoping it will pass soon? 😕