Dark Saturday (Frieda Klein #6) by Nicci French
ISBN: 9780062676665 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780062676672 (ebook)
ASIN: B01LZD3A1P (Kindle edition)
Publication date: July 11, 2017
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
A decade ago, 18-year-old Hannah Docherty was arrested for the shocking murder of her family. It was an open-and-shut case, and Hannah has been incarcerated in a secure psychiatric hospital ever since.
When psychotherapist Frieda Klein is asked to meet Hannah and give her assessment, she reluctantly agrees. But what she finds horrifies her. Hannah has become a tragic figure, old before her time. And Frieda is haunted by the idea that Hannah might be as much of a victim as her family — that she might, in fact, be innocent.
As Hannah’s case takes hold of her, Frieda begins to realize that she’s up against someone who will go to any lengths to keep the truth from surfacing — even kill again.
Frieda Klein is a practicing psychotherapist in London with a penchant for trouble. This time the trouble seems to be linked to a thirteen-year-old crime that horrified London at the time, the brutal murder of a family and the apparent slam-dunk arrest and conviction of then eighteen-year-old Hannah Docherty for the murder of her mother, stepfather, and younger brother. The only problem is that the more Frieda reviews the case and after visiting Hannah at a hospital for the criminally insane, does she begin to suspect that Hannah just might not be guilty of the crime. But who committed the murder all those years ago and just how far will they go to ensure no one knows the truth is the question raised in the sixth installment in the Frieda Klein series, Dark Saturday by Nicci French.
It becomes readily apparent that Frieda Klein has consulted with the Metro Police Department in London quite often and that she doesn’t have a good reputation with some of the officers there. Some feel that she has been the cause of the death of several people in the past if not by circumstance than by her own hands. Others feel that she is just a bit too wild in her “investigative assistance” to the department and has done more harm than good. Frieda has friends and frenemies within the MPD, and it is the friends of those friends that have called upon her to review Hannah Docherty’s case. What initially appears to be an open-and-shut case, quickly becomes anything but open-and-shut to Frieda once she sees Hannah, reviews the conditions she’s lived in over the past thirteen years, and sees the obvious shock and trauma the teen was under at the time of her family’s murder. The more Frieda delves into this case, the more enemies she seems to make with one exception, a conspiracy theorist blogger that apparently snatched garbage from the Docherty’s shortly after the murder. When the blogger’s home goes up in flames it becomes clear to Frieda that there is much more going on than just garbage that has been sitting for 13 years. Now she’s got several friends assisting her on the case, including her handyman and the police officer in charge of the investigation all those years ago. Just when it seems like there’s no way she can unearth the truth, she discovers something shocking? Surely this will cause the police to reopen their case? Can Frieda get justice for Hannah Docherty after all these years or will the real murderer do whatever it takes to keep the truth hidden?
I didn’t realize that Dark Saturday was the sixth book in the Frieda Klein series until I was a few pages into the book (and no, it in no way took away from my enjoyment of the story). There were some references to past history that I didn’t get as a result, but I was able to follow along without any difficulties. Most of you know that I generally read a book in one sitting. Sadly, a series of severe migraine headaches interrupted my reading of Dark Saturday so it took me a day and a half to read this book. Even while I was lying in bed awaiting my migraine pain medication to kick in, I couldn’t wait to get back to this story (yes, it was just that good or at least I thought it was). Dark Saturday was the first Nicci French book that I’ve read, but let me tell you that I’ll be going back and reading them all very shortly starting with the previous Frieda Klein books. How can I describe Frieda Klein? Think of amateur television detective and fictional author Jessica Fletcher of Murder She Wrote fame mixed with a bit of the HBO psychoanalyst Paul Weston from In Treatment and throw in a bit of the repetitive questioning and quirkiness of television’s Columbo and you start to get a feel for Frieda Klein or at least how I imagine her. Frieda is feisty, fierce, and formidable (no, she’s not Wonder Woman, but she is pretty mighty). She’s highly protective of her friends and family, and once she has something in her mind, she runs with it. Frieda has had a lot of ups and downs over the years and there are many people that feel as if she’s asked for the trouble she’s had but through it all, she perseveres. Let me tell you something, if I’m ever in trouble and there’s someone I need in my corner, I want someone like Frieda at bat for me! Okay back to the story, there are obvious bad guys in this story, because hey multiple murders. On top of that is the injustice that Hannah has suffered at the hands of the inmates/patients while the hospital has turned a blind eye for the past 13 years. This is a woman that has been forced in solitary confinement for months on end when she fights back, has been repeatedly beaten, suffered numerous concussions, lost teeth, etc. without any recourse to those around her until Frieda arrived on the scene. It’s truly sad to think that the mental health situation for the criminally insane in the United Kingdom is just as bad as it is in the United States (a sad commentary on our worldwide concern for the mentally ill). Nicci French has crafted a psychological suspense thriller that kept this reader on edge page after page until the bitter end only to leave me hanging (yes, there’s a cliffhanger ending and no I won’t tell you what it is…read the book!). For those of you that enjoy reading quality suspense thrillers and have read the previous Frieda Klein books, grab yourself a copy of Dark Saturday to read ASAP. For those of you that enjoy reading quality suspense thrillers and haven’t read any of the previous Frieda Klein books, go ahead and grab a copy of Dark Saturday to read anyway, you can thank me later. While I wait for the next book in the Frieda Klein series, I’ll be reading the previous books in this series and rereading Dark Saturday. I’m always excited to find a new-to-me author or series, so finding Nicci French (better late than never) and the Frieda Klein series was a much-welcomed introduction.
Read an excerpt from Dark Saturday by Nicci French here.
About Nicci French
Nicci French is the pseudonym of English wife-and-husband team Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. Their acclaimed novels of psychological suspense have sold more than 8 million copies around the world.
LOUISE PENNY says Nicci French’s books are “fabulous.”
JOSEPH FINDER says they’re “in the rich vein of Kate Atkinson.”
And TAMI HOAG calls them “truly unique.”
Enter the world of NICCI FRENCH with Dark Saturday, an electrifying, sophisticated psychological thriller about past crimes and present dangers, featuring an unforgettable protagonist…
Utterly compelling and enthralling, Dark Saturday speeds readers down a twisting trail of secrets, suspense, and murder.
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