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Sunday Silence: A Novel (A Frieda Klein Novel) Hardcover – January 9, 2018
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“Fabulous, unsettling, and riveting.” (Louise Penny)
“Complex...intriguing...truly unique.” (Tami Hoag)
“Gripping.... In the rich vein of Kate Atkinson.” (Joseph Finder)
“Unforgettable. Psychological dynamite.” (Alan Bradley)
“Fans of Nicci French... will ask for one thing after reading this book: more... Suspense does not get better than this.” (Suspense Magazine)
From the Back Cover
Nicci French returns with Sunday Silence, an unforgettable thriller that pits its fascinating heroine against not one but two murderous enemies, each playing his own deadly game . . .
Lover of London, gifted psychologist, frequent police consultant—Frieda Klein is many things. And now she’s a person of interest in a murder case. A body has been discovered in the most unlikely and horrifying of places: beneath the floorboards of Frieda’s house.
The corpse is only months old, but the chief suspect appears to have died more than seven years ago. Except as Frieda knows all too well, he’s alive—and living in secret. And it seems he’s inspired a copycat . . .
As the days pass and the body count rises, Frieda finds herself caught in a fatal tug-of-war between two killers: one who won’t let her go and another who can’t let her live.
Crackling with suspense and packed with emotion, Sunday Silence is a psychological thriller perfect for fans of Elizabeth George and Paula Hawkins.
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If this latest effort is any indication, Team French intends to leave Frieda’s London on a creative high note as they continue to constructively tinker in different ways with the structure of the traditional mystery.
SUNDAY SILENCE begins with the grisly discovery of a body buried beneath the floorboards of a living room in a London home. This would be shocking enough in any case, but the home in question is Frieda’s and the discovery is made by her good friend, Josef, the enigmatic construction worker whose presence constitutes one of the many interesting threads that has run through these seven books.
The police are brought in, of course, and Frieda ever so briefly becomes a person of interest due to the location of the body and its identity. It becomes clear, though, that the doer is none other than Dean Reeve, the killer who is supposed to have died several years before. Frieda, to the chagrin of the police, has been insisting that Reeve is alive and stalking her, and the discovery of the corpse and some other evidence demonstrates that she has been right all along.
However, the news inspires a copycat whose actions are directed at Frieda through those whom she cares about. These actions escalate over the course of the novel, and it is apparent that he is working toward some sort of grand finale for reasons that gradually become clear, but only after his identity is revealed to the reader. Yes, French pulls off a neat trick here, turning SUNDAY SILENCE from a mystery into a thriller about halfway through the book, with cat-and-mouse elements where the roles keep getting switched. Where does it all lead? The answer to that question is a grand and mysterious last sentence that no doubt will lead directly into that final volume I mentioned previously.
This series developed into one of my favorites almost from its inception, and the prospect of seeing the off-kilter Frieda and the wonderful cast of supporting characters --- good, bad and ugly --- fade off into the sunset in the next volume is a sad one. Frieda’s prickly personality guarantees that she won’t leave quietly, but there is a depth to her that hasn’t quite been plumbed yet. Newcomers to the series can and should read SUNDAY SILENCE, then go back and catch up on what has gone before while waiting for the concluding installment. Meanwhile, those who have been aboard this well-maintained train from the beginning will find a cornucopia of reasons to love this next-to-last visit.
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Psychotherapist and occasional police consultant Frieda Klein is very upset to discover the mutilated corpse of Bruce Stringer, the private detective she hired, under the floorboards in her home. She suspects the killer is Dean Reeve, who is a presumed dead serial killer. With her friend DCI Malcolm Karlsson on leave with an injury, Frieda must convince Chief Inspector Petra Burge that Reeve is not only alive, but responsible for Stringer’s death. Six months later, the case is cold, and Frieda’s family and friends are being targeted for random acts of violence and the police are forced to admit Reeve is still alive. But Frieda soon believes that someone other than Reeve is responsible for these recent attacks. With the media hounding her, Frieda agrees to an interview with reporter Daniel Blackstock in hopes of flushing out the elusive killer.
Frieda is very cool and reserved under pressure which leads people to believe that she is not distressed by the recent events. When her friends and family are in danger, her concern for their safety leads her to make a very out of character decision to try to keep them safe. Despite having mixed feelings about this choice and fearing she has made a big mistake, Frieda nonetheless presses on in her attempt to find the person responsible for harming her loved ones. With often nebulous impressions that are hard to explain to the police working the case, Frieda concentrates on finding the link between her and the person who is using her family to rattle her. Certain she has zeroed in the right suspect, Frieda is soon in a race against time to locate the most recent victim before it is too late.
Sunday Silence is an engrossing and suspense laden mystery with a clever storyline. With plenty of twists and turns, Nicci French pits Frieda against a formidable foe who is convinced no one will figure out their devious plan. With most of the loose ends completely wrapped up, the novel ends with a stunning cliffhanger that will leave readers desperately awaiting the next installment in the Frieda Klein series.
I received a complimentary copy for review.