Monday, January 22, 2018

Thursday's Child by Nicci French

Things haven't been easy for Frieda of late and when she's approached by an old schoolmate looking for therapy for her daughter, things get worse. 

The teen claims to have been attacked and raped in her own bedroom. Her mother doesn't believe her, in fact she thinks it's a cry for attention. But Frieda not only believes the girl, she knows personally that she's telling the truth. Because the girl's story resembles one Frieda knows well - her own. 

When Frieda was a teen, a man broke into her home and attacked her. And her own mother didn't believe her either. Now, convinced the rapists are one and the same, Frieda is determined to unmask the man guilty of that long ago crime and make sure he pays for this most recent one as well. 

I'm doing some backlist reading of late. In this case, I missed a couple before Saturday and now Sunday is out and I need to catch up!

This one isn't an easy read, especially if you're sensitive to rape plot lines, but I feel it's both timely and handled well. Frieda herself, while a victim, doesn't see herself that way. In fact, she believes she's come through it ok (arguably that's not quite the case). But she sees herself in this new patient and knows that she can help. Even when she gets pushback from all directions.

Her own mother still holds true to her own opinion that Frieda lied. But we get to see exactly what the issue has been between Frieda and her mother all this time - her mother's horrid! Poor Frieda realizes, though, that her mother is unwell and has to deal with that issue while also facing her past demons!

The book centers around an impending high school reunion, and as Frieda investigates she has to question her own small group of friends from all those years ago. It's clear that they're hiding things and even, in a few cases, harboring some not so fond feelings for the therapist. Which drives home even more just how much Frieda has moved forward both as the series has progressed and in terms of her past.

Her own progression is counterbalanced by the friends who stayed behind. It's an interesting perspective as a reader, and of course it enhances that feeling that Frieda is now an outsider - and maybe always has been - in her hometown. Which was, as she discovers, why she was chosen as a victim.

In spite of my falling behind, each entry in this series by husband and wife writing team Nicci French just further cements how much of a favorite it is of mine! As I mentioned above, Frieda has come so far as a character in these books - and she's not alone. While there's a clear main character, the series has such a strong cast of characters that all get ample and fabulous development as the series goes by. And that includes some of the baddies.

This series can easily be read out of order - I'm a prime example of late. But there are threads that continue and progress as the series does. And of course the character relationships as well. So maybe don't follow my example and do read them in order :)

1 comment:

Kay said...

I love this series too and THURSDAY'S CHILD may be my favorite of the books. Maybe. I've liked all of them. Looking forward to reading #8, DAY OF THE DEAD - it's supposed to be the last one. I snagged an e-arc and am very happy about that. Can't wait to read it, but I'll likely put it off a bit and save it as a treat. :-)