In the pseudonymous French’s eerie sequel to 2012’s Blue Monday, strong-willed but brittle London psychotherapist Frieda Klein once again assists Det. Chief Insp. Malcolm Karlsson, this time in piecing together a murdered conman’s true identity. After a social worker finds a decaying corpse in her client Michelle Doyce’s run-down apartment, Karlsson asks Frieda to interview the severely mentally ill woman. Her cryptic sayings eventually lead to Frieda identifying the woman’s grisly souvenir as Rob Poole, an enigmatic man with no apparent life beyond the extensive network of people he’d befriended, seduced, or otherwise manipulated into his confidence. Karlsson, meanwhile, faces impending budget cuts in the department, as Frieda deals with lingering suspicions that the previous volume’s villain is still out there. Despite sometimes thin characterizations, French—the husband-wife writing team of Sean French and Nicci Gerard—seamlessly mixes a foreboding tone and deliberate pacing with deft plot twists that should leave readers pleasantly chilled to the bone. Agent: Joy Harris, Joy Harris Literary Agency. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/07/2013 Release date: 04/04/2013 Genre: Fiction
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