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Thursday's Children

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When psychotherapist Frieda Klein left the sleepy Suffolk coastal town she grew up in she never intended to return. Left behind were friends, family, life and loves but, alongside them, painful memories; a past she couldn't allow to destroy her. So when an old classmate appears in London asking Frieda to help her teenage daughter, long buried memories resurface. But when t When psychotherapist Frieda Klein left the sleepy Suffolk coastal town she grew up in she never intended to return. Left behind were friends, family, life and loves but, alongside them, painful memories; a past she couldn't allow to destroy her. So when an old classmate appears in London asking Frieda to help her teenage daughter, long buried memories resurface. But when tragedy strikes, Frieda has no choice but to return home and confront her past. And monsters no one else believes are real . . . Through a fog of alibis, conflicting accounts, hidden agendas and questionable alibis, Frieda can trust no one in trying to piece together the shocking truth, past and present. When it comes to psychological suspense there's none better than Nicci French. And Thursday's Children is Nicci French at her very best.


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When psychotherapist Frieda Klein left the sleepy Suffolk coastal town she grew up in she never intended to return. Left behind were friends, family, life and loves but, alongside them, painful memories; a past she couldn't allow to destroy her. So when an old classmate appears in London asking Frieda to help her teenage daughter, long buried memories resurface. But when t When psychotherapist Frieda Klein left the sleepy Suffolk coastal town she grew up in she never intended to return. Left behind were friends, family, life and loves but, alongside them, painful memories; a past she couldn't allow to destroy her. So when an old classmate appears in London asking Frieda to help her teenage daughter, long buried memories resurface. But when tragedy strikes, Frieda has no choice but to return home and confront her past. And monsters no one else believes are real . . . Through a fog of alibis, conflicting accounts, hidden agendas and questionable alibis, Frieda can trust no one in trying to piece together the shocking truth, past and present. When it comes to psychological suspense there's none better than Nicci French. And Thursday's Children is Nicci French at her very best.

30 review for Thursday's Children

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stefano P

    I am a huge Nicci French fan and I have thoroughly enjoyed the Frieda Klein series... so far. I found this particular installment quite disappointing. Nicci French has always played with the boundaries of realism and verisimilitude, but in this case I feel they streched our "willing suspension of disbelief" a tad too far. The whole premise of the book, as well as the fortuitous connection with Frieda's past, rings fake. Good well-rounded characters, vivid descriptions and deep pshycological insi I am a huge Nicci French fan and I have thoroughly enjoyed the Frieda Klein series... so far. I found this particular installment quite disappointing. Nicci French has always played with the boundaries of realism and verisimilitude, but in this case I feel they streched our "willing suspension of disbelief" a tad too far. The whole premise of the book, as well as the fortuitous connection with Frieda's past, rings fake. Good well-rounded characters, vivid descriptions and deep pshycological insight are not enough to balance a feeble story. The end, with again another deus-ex-machina intervention from Dean, is a huge predictable disappointment as was the identity of the culprit, which could be easily identified. I also found the explanation of Frieda's reason to leave her hometown and her family as well as the interaction between her and her relatives/friends really robotic. In fairness, I realised that the reaction to death in any Nicci French novel is so cold and unaffected that the whole concept of death loses importance and weight. And the importance of human emotion and love is so downplayed everywhere that it makes the characters sound and feel mechanic. It might make them very "English", but this type of Englishness is long dead and Nicci French might find that the display of emotion and the irrationality of feelings play a much more important role in modern British society.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Thursday’s Child by Nicci French is a 2014 Penguin publication. This fourth installment in the Frieda Klein British mystery procedural is a bit of a departure from the previous chapters. Frieda is approached by an old schoolmate asking for help with her teenage daughter who has stopped eating and has become withdrawn. Frieda agrees to an initial consultation, and manages to draw the young woman out. When it is revealed the girl had been raped, and her mother did not believe her, Frieda experienc Thursday’s Child by Nicci French is a 2014 Penguin publication. This fourth installment in the Frieda Klein British mystery procedural is a bit of a departure from the previous chapters. Frieda is approached by an old schoolmate asking for help with her teenage daughter who has stopped eating and has become withdrawn. Frieda agrees to an initial consultation, and manages to draw the young woman out. When it is revealed the girl had been raped, and her mother did not believe her, Frieda experiences a shocking moment of déjà vu when the girl reveals what the rapist said to her. This prompts Frieda to return to her hometown in hopes of drawing out the rapist, but other complications arise when she visits her mother for the first time in a long while, and when Frieda makes some startling decisions regarding her personal life. The subject of rape is one I find difficult to read, period. Although this book doesn’t go into graphic details, the reaction of parents, friends, police officers, and men in general, is enough to boil the blood and is both disturbing and emotional watching the victims suffer this way. But, sadly, this is most likely a more accurate depiction than I want to believe. But, the thing about this story is how the characters we have come to know, suddenly changed, or were not in the picture at all and I kind of missed that element. Frieda is the lead investigator in this story, and gets little help at all from her inspector friend. She is the one pounding the pavement, doing interviews, and trying to gather evidence, even DNA evidence, which was pretty far fetched. Frieda’s personality does not lend itself well to this role and it becomes obvious to those who may be involved, what she is up to, which of course puts her in danger. The other thing I couldn’t wrap my brain around was the relationship with Frieda’s mother, and the way Frieda behaved to some recurring characters that just did not make sense, and how some characters underwent lobotomies. Seriously, they changed so completely, I couldn’t understand it. But, the story is not without merit. Although it drags in places, the way everything wrapped up in the end is unexpected, and left me feeling conflicted, and a little confused about Frieda’s future, and perhaps a little concerned as well. But, the ending was chilling and disturbing, and had me wanting to immediately dive into the fifth installment, which I hope to do very soon. This is a very different setup, and I’m not sure I wish for Frieda to continue playing lead detective, but overall it turned out okay. The beginning and ending is strong enough to override much of what happened in the middle, but this is not the best book of the series, in my opinion. Hopefully, 'Friday on My Mind' will be back on track! 3 stars

  3. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    I think I’m done with this series. Frida Klein is not a character I can take to. She is intensely annoying. She’s cold. I don’t understand how she keeps the friends she has. I completely empathise with the people who don’t like her. She behaves in a ridiculous way, with no regard for her own health or well being and therefore completely unqualified to be a therapist.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Malia

    This is the fourth installment in the Frieda Klein mysteries series, and unfortunately one I found a bit on the weak side. The story is engaging, and I found it interesting enough, but my issue was with Frieda as a protagonist. She was always very cold (which makes me think being a therapist is not he right profession), but in this book I found her quite unlikable and stupidly reckless. It also really bothered me the way she treated her friends and family, as though they were all a nuisance to h This is the fourth installment in the Frieda Klein mysteries series, and unfortunately one I found a bit on the weak side. The story is engaging, and I found it interesting enough, but my issue was with Frieda as a protagonist. She was always very cold (which makes me think being a therapist is not he right profession), but in this book I found her quite unlikable and stupidly reckless. It also really bothered me the way she treated her friends and family, as though they were all a nuisance to her, except when she needed them. I have to say, the supporting characters are the highlight of these books, and it is for them that I keep returning to them. I also found the ending to be rather weak and her actions to be bordering on suicidal, though she insists that she does not need any more therapy herself. All in all, not terrible, but not as good as Waiting for Wednesday, the prior book in the series. Find more reviews and bookish fun at http://www.princessandpen.com

  5. 4 out of 5

    Erin (from Long Island, NY)

    4.5. 1 of my favorite series of all time! (Just please start at the beginning!)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Phrynne

    This is another excellent book from husband and wife writing team Nicci French. When they first started the Frieda Klein series I was not sure about Frieda but gosh,she grows on you. In this story she returns to the town of her youth and it is probably best to have read the earlier books in the series to get the most out of this one. Frieda is in top form as she plays amateur detective quite realistically and also gets herself into a difficult situation with Sandy. The book is a definite page tu This is another excellent book from husband and wife writing team Nicci French. When they first started the Frieda Klein series I was not sure about Frieda but gosh,she grows on you. In this story she returns to the town of her youth and it is probably best to have read the earlier books in the series to get the most out of this one. Frieda is in top form as she plays amateur detective quite realistically and also gets herself into a difficult situation with Sandy. The book is a definite page turner and is very enjoyable. I am already looking forward to the next one.

  7. 5 out of 5

    crίѕтίŋα•●♥Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ♥●•

    4.5 stars “I don’t tell people what to do. Well, not most of the time. I just wanted to lay out the options. The decision about what to do is yours.” - Frieda Klein -—- “There are things I’ve run away from all my life. My father’s death. My rape. Things that happened after. But it seems as though I’ve run in a perfect circle and I’m back with it again. In the thick of it.” - Frieda Klein -—- “Some people are leaders and some people are followers. It’s true in the playground and it’s true in the workpl 4.5 stars “I don’t tell people what to do. Well, not most of the time. I just wanted to lay out the options. The decision about what to do is yours.” - Frieda Klein -—- “There are things I’ve run away from all my life. My father’s death. My rape. Things that happened after. But it seems as though I’ve run in a perfect circle and I’m back with it again. In the thick of it.” - Frieda Klein -—- “Some people are leaders and some people are followers. It’s true in the playground and it’s true in the workplace. The followers want their leader. They like being told what to do. They need it.” - Chas Latimer -—- “I was an outsider too so I knew what it felt like not to be listened to or believed.” - Max Temple

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tez

    Nicci French is one of the few crime authors whose work I've read up to date. Thursday's Children is another quality instalment in the Frieda Klein series, sad in many different circumstances. Victims are chosen specifically because the perp knows no one will believe them. That the victims' own mothers don't believe their daughters goes to show that the perp was correct in that, and it says a lot about society. It's depressing. There's victim-blaming and victim-shaming, and it's hard to read. But Nicci French is one of the few crime authors whose work I've read up to date. Thursday's Children is another quality instalment in the Frieda Klein series, sad in many different circumstances. Victims are chosen specifically because the perp knows no one will believe them. That the victims' own mothers don't believe their daughters goes to show that the perp was correct in that, and it says a lot about society. It's depressing. There's victim-blaming and victim-shaming, and it's hard to read. But this novel is less about daughters than it is about mothers: -There's a tiny subplot involving poor Sasha, who's having a tough time. -Frieda's mother is dying, and even if she wasn't, she'd still be unlikeable. Juliet Klein's granddaughter has had her issues, "Because her mother's a slut. Yes." -The most recent victim's mother lashes out at Frieda: "Don't you talk to me in that calm voice. You don't understand. You'll never understand. You're not a mother. You're just a machine. You don't know what it feels like HERE." It's that quote by Maddie that irks me the most. And it says a lot about society that unfortunately a lot of people would agree with her. Women who aren't mothers, by choice or otherwise, are treated as a lower species, inhuman. And as a non-mother, I do take offence to that. It's possible to be a mother without being obnoxious and derogatory about it, but unfortunately Maddie... That she's a victim's mother is no excuse for her to lash out at innocent people like Frieda. Fingers crossed there's a fifth Frieda Klein novel coming soon. I love catching up with the gang, especially Josef, the tradie with a heart of gold.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    When psychotherapist Frieda Klein agrees to see Becky, the daughter of an old school friend from her home town, she doesn't expect to be reminded of a violent incident that occurred to her when she was sixteen just before she left home. She hasn't been back in 23 years but returns to see her mother who is dying and to see if she can find out who harmed her all those years ago and may also be responsible for the present day attack on Becky. As usual Frieda's friends and colleagues rally round to s When psychotherapist Frieda Klein agrees to see Becky, the daughter of an old school friend from her home town, she doesn't expect to be reminded of a violent incident that occurred to her when she was sixteen just before she left home. She hasn't been back in 23 years but returns to see her mother who is dying and to see if she can find out who harmed her all those years ago and may also be responsible for the present day attack on Becky. As usual Frieda's friends and colleagues rally round to support her as she travels back in time to put together a picture of where everyone was and what they were doing on the night when she was attacked. Many people are understandably resentful of her enquiries and her direct manner upsets quite a few but she continues to unravel the events to hunt down the offender. An enjoyable episode with quite a few twists and turns before the guilty person is revealed.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bree T

    Twenty-three years ago, Frieda Klein left the small coastal town where she grew up. She has never been back. Instead she has forged her own life in London, working as a psychoanalyst and recently, getting a little attention for her work on several police cases. Frieda has never felt any desire to return to where she came from, in fact it’s the last thing she wants to do. However when an old school acquaintance looks her up, asking if Frieda will help her teenage daughter, she agrees to see her, Twenty-three years ago, Frieda Klein left the small coastal town where she grew up. She has never been back. Instead she has forged her own life in London, working as a psychoanalyst and recently, getting a little attention for her work on several police cases. Frieda has never felt any desire to return to where she came from, in fact it’s the last thing she wants to do. However when an old school acquaintance looks her up, asking if Frieda will help her teenage daughter, she agrees to see her, albeit reluctantly. What Becky, the teenage girl has to say tells Frieda several things. Firstly, this isn’t just a girl looking for attention, or going through some harmless teenage angst. She has had a real and terrible thing happen to her and it seems that no one really believes her and that there’s nothing she can do about it. Secondly it brings back a storm of memories for Frieda, of a time when she was sixteen and a secret she has buried for the past twenty-three years and tells Frieda that it’s time to do something about what happened. There’s nothing else Frieda can do except return to her hometown and confront her secrets head on. She has to find out what happened that night and she’s willing to do anything and speak to anyone in order to do so. People are dying because of this secret, because no one believed her all those years ago. Frieda needs to find answers and the killer before they can strike again and keep tormenting innocent young girls. Thursday’s Children is the fourth novel in the Frieda Klein psychological suspense series co-written by husband and wife team Nicci Gerard and Sean French. Given the titles of the novels, which all feature a day of the week, I guessed we’d be limited in the amount of novels this series would include. I found an old article saying there is expected to be 8 – one named for each day of the week and then a final novel to “bring resolution”. There’s no denying that Frieda is a bit of an odd character. She’s a loner who prefers long walks around London at night to socialising although over the last four books we’ve seen people shoehorn themselves into her lives: Josef, the Ukrainian builder, Sasha a woman who came to her as a patient being taken advantage of by her therapist, DCI Karlsson who first requested her help and the people she has time for, her niece Chloe and Chloe’s often incapable mother Olivia and Reuben, Frieda’s former supervisor and analyst. There’s also her on/off lover Sandy who disappears and reappears regularly depending on whether or not Frieda is comfortable with him at any given time. This book provides perhaps the most development of their relationship although that development is mostly puzzling. In this novel the reader learns perhaps more about Frieda than in any of the other books in terms of her past. Frieda has rarely, if ever spoken of her past and her family but a lot of her background is constructed here, including her teenage life with her group of friends, her devastation over her father and her disconnection with her mother. It sort of amazes me the way Frieda just strolled back into her hometown and started talking to people about a night some twenty-three years ago like it was yesterday and everyone was supposed to remember exactly what happened and what they were doing. Obviously some people didn’t react too well to her turning up and poking around, unsure exactly why she was doing it and what on earth she was doing there after so long. Frieda may inspire people’s loyalty now, in the present, but there are some definite mixed feelings towards her in her hometown. As always, I enjoyed reading about the way Frieda went about getting her information. She’s pretty much like a dog with a bone – she doesn’t let go and she keeps pushing, keeps demanding information until she gets it. She’s not intimidated when people don’t want to see her, or blame her for something horrible, she keeps turning up and keeps asking questions. I didn’t really pick the offender in this one either – I have to admit when Frieda made the connection and announced who it was I went “What?!” in my head because they weren’t someone who had registered on my radar. However, Josef guessed it easily which obviously reinforces how bad I am at picking the culprit in these types of books. Since the beginning now there’s been an unsolved issue running through these books – sometimes it’s a bit on the backburner, sometimes it’s more front and center. Given the limited amount of books that’s going to be in this series, I can guess that perhaps it’s all heading for a final showdown to resolve this unfinished issues that began in Blue Monday. Frieda and so far Karlsson are I think the only two people who know that there is a dangerous man on the loose, everyone else believes that he is dead. The powers that be who could reopen the case are unwilling to listen to Frieda, having already had huge problems with her and her methods in previous books and to be honest, I can understand how that would be the case. She does tend to tread on a lot of toes and is seemingly uncaring about that. When she’s on a mission, she’s an unstoppable force until she gets her answers. Another solid installment and it only builds the anticipation for what is going to happen in the future.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Aisling

    This series is great. In this one an old classmate from high school begs Frieda to help her distraught teenager. Freida is disturbed when the teen's troubles parallels her own from her childhood and Frieda determines to return and help and also solve her own past. We learn more of Frieda's back story and the mystery was very well done. Lots of twists and unexpected reveals all determined by Frieda's training/listening and noticing of tiny details. This series is great. In this one an old classmate from high school begs Frieda to help her distraught teenager. Freida is disturbed when the teen's troubles parallels her own from her childhood and Frieda determines to return and help and also solve her own past. We learn more of Frieda's back story and the mystery was very well done. Lots of twists and unexpected reveals all determined by Frieda's training/listening and noticing of tiny details.

  12. 5 out of 5

    A.J. Waines

    I love the books written by the duo that make up Nicci French and have read their books right from the first novel The Memory Game in 1997. Their books introduced me to the world of Psychological Thrillers. Sadly, I haven't taken to the latest series (using the days of the week, with psychotherapist, Frieda Klein). In Thursday's Children, I found Frieda's character cold, humourless, cheerless - and nothing warmed me to her or the story. If a character is not particularly likeable, she has to be I love the books written by the duo that make up Nicci French and have read their books right from the first novel The Memory Game in 1997. Their books introduced me to the world of Psychological Thrillers. Sadly, I haven't taken to the latest series (using the days of the week, with psychotherapist, Frieda Klein). In Thursday's Children, I found Frieda's character cold, humourless, cheerless - and nothing warmed me to her or the story. If a character is not particularly likeable, she has to be compelling in other ways - and I didn't find this either. Her dialogue is clipped and stilted, keeping the reader at a distance. It was hard to get involved when the reader is not particularly interested in the lead character. The storyline isn't terribly fresh or exciting, either. Most of the novel is spent raking over sketchy memories of Frieda's contemporaries from the school in her old home town in Suffolk where Frieda left a 'painful memory' behind. In the present day, an old classmate appears in London asking Frieda to help her teenage daughter and 'long buried memories resurface.' Through a fog of conflicting accounts, hidden agendas and questionable alibis, Frieda can trust no one as she tries to piece together the shocking truth, past and present. Before another innocent dies - the blurb says. The quality of the writing (apart from some stilted - presumably intentional - dialogue) is good, but unfortunately, I didn't find myself rooting for Frieda and the story itself wasn't gripping enough to override this.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    3.5/5 I found this fourth novel in the Frieda Klein series by husband-wife writing team Nicci French to be more organized and quite a bit darker than her earlier novels. Perhaps this is because so much of this book is about Klein herself rather than about her clients or about victims (and perpetrators) of crimes. I do enjoy following the extended web of people with which Frieda works, and we read more about all of them here. There is still quite a bit of carryover of various threads from earlier 3.5/5 I found this fourth novel in the Frieda Klein series by husband-wife writing team Nicci French to be more organized and quite a bit darker than her earlier novels. Perhaps this is because so much of this book is about Klein herself rather than about her clients or about victims (and perpetrators) of crimes. I do enjoy following the extended web of people with which Frieda works, and we read more about all of them here. There is still quite a bit of carryover of various threads from earlier novels, so once again I suggest readers read the books in the series in order. If you like mysteries, you just might like this series.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

    The fourth book by Nicci French (the pseudonym for husband and wife team Nicci Gerard and Sean French) to feature Frieda Klein forces the enigmatic psychotherapist to confront the demons of her own past when an old classmate begs her to help her troubled daughter. "Don't think of telling anyone sweetheart. Nobody will believe you." When fifteen year old Becky reveals she was raped in her own bed, Frieda is stunned by the similarities to her own experience as a teenager, twenty three years before. The fourth book by Nicci French (the pseudonym for husband and wife team Nicci Gerard and Sean French) to feature Frieda Klein forces the enigmatic psychotherapist to confront the demons of her own past when an old classmate begs her to help her troubled daughter. "Don't think of telling anyone sweetheart. Nobody will believe you." When fifteen year old Becky reveals she was raped in her own bed, Frieda is stunned by the similarities to her own experience as a teenager, twenty three years before. Compelled to investigate the link, Frieda returns to her hometown of Braxton where she reconnects with her both her estranged mother, and her high school peer group in search of answers. Thursday's Children is another enjoyable psychological thriller offering plenty of drama and intrigue as Frieda tracks down a murderous rapist who has evaded detection for more than two decades. The setting of Thursday's Children is also an opportunity for the author to expose the roots of Frieda's cold and reserved demeanour, often remarked upon by readers. When Frieda returns to Braxton she reluctantly visits her mother, and her interaction with the woman who raised her provides important insight into the psychotherapist's personality. "'There are things I've run away from all my life. My father's death. My rape. Things that happened after. But it seems as though I've run in a perfect circle and I'm back with it again. In the thick of it.'" While Freida grapples with her past, her loyal friends, Josef, Reuben, and Karlsson among them, rally to support her, even though Frieda is as always determinated to go it alone. The only element of the storyline that had me puzzled was Frieda's seemingly sudden rejection of Sandy, I could guess at the psychology of it but it was rather abrupt and I still can't quite make sense of it. Unsurprisingly, in the background of Thursday's Children, lurks Dean Reeve, the murderous sociopath obsessed with Frieda. He is never far from Freida's awareness and as the series is at the midway point, a final confrontation between the pair approaches. I couldn't recommend Thursday's Child as a stand alone read but for fans of the Frieda Klein series, it is an unmissable installment. I'm excited to move straight on to book 5, Friday On My Mind.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tweedledum

    It's always a bit disconcerting starting a good story and then discovering that there are a lot of earlier stories that you haven't read. Still I guess this is a reflection of real life. We are always meeting people in the middle of their lives and this can sometimes lead to us making completely incorrect assumptions about them. As a psychotherapist, Frieda Klein, the heroine of Thursday's child, is constantly picking up people at crisis points in their lives and this profession marries well wit It's always a bit disconcerting starting a good story and then discovering that there are a lot of earlier stories that you haven't read. Still I guess this is a reflection of real life. We are always meeting people in the middle of their lives and this can sometimes lead to us making completely incorrect assumptions about them. As a psychotherapist, Frieda Klein, the heroine of Thursday's child, is constantly picking up people at crisis points in their lives and this profession marries well with her amateur sleuthing. As crime novels go I found this to be a fast paced story, easy to read but well plotted and I am keen now to read the back novels.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Olenka

    As much as I liked the start of the series, I found this book boring, unrealistic and unimaginative. I will skip the rest of the week I'm afraid. As much as I liked the start of the series, I found this book boring, unrealistic and unimaginative. I will skip the rest of the week I'm afraid.

  17. 5 out of 5

    D Dyer

    I definitely enjoyed this deep dive into the personal history of Frieda Klein though I have to admit I found the closing scene just a bit overwrought. I appreciated the way that French handled sexual assault in this book, it affects Freda and several of the other major figures deeply but none of the scenes or descriptions are unnecessarily grotesque and the book mostly deals with the lingering after effects as opposed to displaying the crimes themselves. I didn’t anticipate some of the twists th I definitely enjoyed this deep dive into the personal history of Frieda Klein though I have to admit I found the closing scene just a bit overwrought. I appreciated the way that French handled sexual assault in this book, it affects Freda and several of the other major figures deeply but none of the scenes or descriptions are unnecessarily grotesque and the book mostly deals with the lingering after effects as opposed to displaying the crimes themselves. I didn’t anticipate some of the twists that occurred in this book but I will say that while I’ve come to be quite fond of some of the London characters they felt more than a bit like intruders in this particular entry in the series.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Deb Jones

    I enjoy Nicci French's writing style and storytelling. I'm not enamored with Freida Klein, the protagonist of this series, but that doesn't mar my enjoyment of the reading journey. I enjoy Nicci French's writing style and storytelling. I'm not enamored with Freida Klein, the protagonist of this series, but that doesn't mar my enjoyment of the reading journey.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    Review: 4 out of 5 stars Thursday’s Children is the fourth book in the Frieda Klein series, when Maria from Penguin sent me the whole series I literally devoured them; I tend to read only YA and NA these days but it was nice to re-visit a genre I always find myself enjoying. Thursday’s Children follows Frieda Klein, a psychotherapist as she tracks down a serial rapist and killer. When an old friend of frieda’s, Maddie Cappel unexpectedly approaches her for help with her withdrawn 15 year old daugh Review: 4 out of 5 stars Thursday’s Children is the fourth book in the Frieda Klein series, when Maria from Penguin sent me the whole series I literally devoured them; I tend to read only YA and NA these days but it was nice to re-visit a genre I always find myself enjoying. Thursday’s Children follows Frieda Klein, a psychotherapist as she tracks down a serial rapist and killer. When an old friend of frieda’s, Maddie Cappel unexpectedly approaches her for help with her withdrawn 15 year old daughter it inadvertently draws her back to the town she left over twenty years ago and to a past and haunting memories she has tried to forget. Thursday’s Children is a tightly written psychological thriller, we learn a lot about Frieda, her childhood and her family life in this instalment which I feel had been omitted in the previous books, we gained more insight into her personality which I appreciated but she can still be quite detached and frustrating which also grated on my nerves. This book had a nice balance of drama, mystery and intrigue with a few twists and turns thrown in to keep things exciting – I always enjoy the whodunnit aspect and rarely get it right; the setting is appealing and atmospheric, you are drawn into the smallest of details and the complex plot with intricate storylines made for a riveting read. As much as I think these books can be read as stand-alone novels I think to fully understand all of the characters and the continuing happenings they are best to be read in order. Nicci French is the pseudonym for the writing partnership of journalists Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. Overall, with a well-crafted plot and fascinating characters, Thursday’s Children is a great addition to the series; if you enjoy psychological thrillers with darker edges this series is ideal. Thank-you to Maria and Penguin Group Australia for introducing me to this series and for sending me the books.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    Frieda Klein psychotherapist, has helped many, even the police at times. This case will take her back twenty years and into her own past, involving something that happened to her at a young age. The suicide of a young girl will send her reeling to a place she never again wanted to go. There are some great characters in this series, my personal favorite is Josef. There is also an invisible, well at least the police don't seem to believe he is alive, presence that helps Frieda whether she asks for Frieda Klein psychotherapist, has helped many, even the police at times. This case will take her back twenty years and into her own past, involving something that happened to her at a young age. The suicide of a young girl will send her reeling to a place she never again wanted to go. There are some great characters in this series, my personal favorite is Josef. There is also an invisible, well at least the police don't seem to believe he is alive, presence that helps Frieda whether she asks for his help or not. A good very interesting series, intense at times but it is the forays into the human mind that fascinates. For me the pages in these books just fly by. Now to wait for Friday's offering from this talented author.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Azita Rassi

    I was listening to this fascinating mystery novel, all the while grieving over the idea that there were only 3 more Frieda Klein books left to read. Now I see that there’s more to come and I’m a happy camper. :-)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Helena Wildsmith

    This was actually my favourite of the Frieda Klein series so far - it was interesting to see into her past and what helped make her into the cold, detached person she is. I found the story exciting and gripping but still struggle to like Frieda Klein herself, but maybe that's the point? This was actually my favourite of the Frieda Klein series so far - it was interesting to see into her past and what helped make her into the cold, detached person she is. I found the story exciting and gripping but still struggle to like Frieda Klein herself, but maybe that's the point?

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tan

    I WANT TO SCREAM! THIS WAS SUCH A GOOD READ! Okay, okay, calm yourself, Tan. Okay. Phew. So, I love love LOVED that we delved into Frieda's past. I mean, FINALLY. But, also, AHHHHHH, so much shit went down! I feel like, even though Frieda was adamant that things in her past didn't define her, they totally did, but I think it just makes her more...her (if that makes sense?). I loved visiting Braxton with Frieda. It was nice to escape London for a while and to visit a small town. It was intriguing I WANT TO SCREAM! THIS WAS SUCH A GOOD READ! Okay, okay, calm yourself, Tan. Okay. Phew. So, I love love LOVED that we delved into Frieda's past. I mean, FINALLY. But, also, AHHHHHH, so much shit went down! I feel like, even though Frieda was adamant that things in her past didn't define her, they totally did, but I think it just makes her more...her (if that makes sense?). I loved visiting Braxton with Frieda. It was nice to escape London for a while and to visit a small town. It was intriguing to get to know Frieda's friends from high school (both when they were teenagers and as they are in the present), and to see how they saw Frieda. I loved how uncomfortable it made Frieda to see her two worlds collide. The mystery itself was compelling. I liked the notion of two exact crimes happening two decades apart. Obviously, it was the same person who did it...but the mystery to finding out who was a journey in itself. I knew that a lot of hints and clues led to red herrings, and I had my detective hat on thinking that, well, hey, that person is getting a lot of page time...it's gonna be waaaaay too obvious if it's them... so, when it was actually revealed, I was like OH DAMN. But, then, I was like, oh, that makes sense. And Dean Reeve. Bloody Dean. Always showing up. I cannot wait for the final showdown between him and Frieda. I feel like we're slowly leading up to the end. ALSO! Can I get a fucking HELL YES to Frieda (FINALLY) saying goodbye (and good riddance) to Sandy!!!!? I've been waiting for this day since Blue Monday. It was just a shame that he couldn't be the "good guy" that he is portrayed to be in the breakup. Maybe I would have liked him more (lol nah). Instead, he was the same clingy, obsessed person who couldn't accept that Frieda had broken up with him (danger signs, I'm telling you). Rack off mate. Leave her alone.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jem

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Again, couldn’t stop reading. (I’ve been enjoying the series so much I’ve now bought them physically so it was fun to actually read the pages this time instead of on my phone!) So good. It was very interesting to dive into Frieda’s past, was slightly concerned at her carelessness for her cat but I guess she had more pressing matters to deal with. (Also does she ever just have a cheeky binge eat of choccy cos I cannot relate to her never wanting food but everyone is different I guess) It was also Again, couldn’t stop reading. (I’ve been enjoying the series so much I’ve now bought them physically so it was fun to actually read the pages this time instead of on my phone!) So good. It was very interesting to dive into Frieda’s past, was slightly concerned at her carelessness for her cat but I guess she had more pressing matters to deal with. (Also does she ever just have a cheeky binge eat of choccy cos I cannot relate to her never wanting food but everyone is different I guess) It was also a bit annoying to find out she was just a generic teenager who got with gross bois but I guess every teenager is like that and I’m just weird so okay. I didn’t see the ending coming at all lol but I think that is Cos I am incredibly dumb. Bc really the person who did it is always gonna be the one who seems the nicest hahaha so why didn’t I guess?! I don’t even know. Very creepy to see all the things Dean is doing, haunting Frieda. I’m wondering how it will all end and how she will eventually get rid of him... As always really enjoyed the characters. They all feel very real and I enjoy their interactions even if some of them are kinda annoying like Chloe. I still love Josef and Karlsson so much😍 Anyway I was considering what to read next, but I’ve just read the blurb of Friday on my mind and omfg. I’m gonna have to keep reading. How much more shit is Frieda gonna have to deal with OMG 😂

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alison S

    This is such a great series. This particular installment revealed more details about the main character's personality and past which had only been hinted at before. It was also a masterly evocation of life in a small provincial town, and the sometimes painful and intense aspects of the teenage years. Reading it, I was so glad that my teens and early twenties were well and truly behind me. Very well written as ever, with a believable cast of characters and a twisty thrilleresque mystery to solve. This is such a great series. This particular installment revealed more details about the main character's personality and past which had only been hinted at before. It was also a masterly evocation of life in a small provincial town, and the sometimes painful and intense aspects of the teenage years. Reading it, I was so glad that my teens and early twenties were well and truly behind me. Very well written as ever, with a believable cast of characters and a twisty thrilleresque mystery to solve.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Carol - Reading Writing and Riesling

    My View: Another brilliant episode in the life of Frieda Klein; painful memories are evoked when a client’s current trauma have a personal connection to Frieda and incidents she had previously forced herself to bury and run away from. As usual we have a cast of familiar faces; Frieda’s ensembles of colleagues/friends that make her (and the reader) feel comfortable, included and safe. With her friends Frieda can be herself, she is supported on her life’s journey. In this episode we learn more about My View: Another brilliant episode in the life of Frieda Klein; painful memories are evoked when a client’s current trauma have a personal connection to Frieda and incidents she had previously forced herself to bury and run away from. As usual we have a cast of familiar faces; Frieda’s ensembles of colleagues/friends that make her (and the reader) feel comfortable, included and safe. With her friends Frieda can be herself, she is supported on her life’s journey. In this episode we learn more about Frieda’s past and family as she doggedly tracks down a serial rapist and killer. I like the pace of this novel; leisurely and effortless. The Nicci French team have written another flawless narrative; the settings and characterisations are real and solid, the mystery is intriguing, the sadness and regrets revealed are commonplace, displayed by so many around us and the strengths some individuals show in difficult situations is inspiring. And then there is the continuing subplot of the menace and evil that lurks in the shadows; the threat that shadows Frieda’s every movement. A great narrative and my appreciation of this talent grows with each book in this series I read as I embrace Frieda and her band of friends.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Thank you so much to the publishers and Netgalley for allowing me to read this book!!!! Wow!!! Another great instalment featuring therapist Frieda and her wonderful band of friends. I am particularly fond of Josef, who is such a loyal friend and Chloe, Frieda's niece. Frieda is asked to speak to a traumatised schoolgirl, by an old friend Maddie. She soon realises the girl has been raped and no one is willing to believe her. Frieda is soon on the trail of a rapist and killer, back on her home turf Thank you so much to the publishers and Netgalley for allowing me to read this book!!!! Wow!!! Another great instalment featuring therapist Frieda and her wonderful band of friends. I am particularly fond of Josef, who is such a loyal friend and Chloe, Frieda's niece. Frieda is asked to speak to a traumatised schoolgirl, by an old friend Maddie. She soon realises the girl has been raped and no one is willing to believe her. Frieda is soon on the trail of a rapist and killer, back on her home turf in Suffolk. The book has dark themes of rape and victim blaming. They had a strong feel of realism about them. It was very moving and sad to read how a young female rape victim was perceived and judged by inexperienced male police officers and her family. The hardest part of the book for me was remembering the history Frieda has with Dean Reeve, her nemesis. This book is best read in sequence with the others in the series. A really entertaining dark read that makes you reflect on how society treats rape victims. The ending was very satisfying. I want to adopt Josef.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    You can't go home again as the very private psychotherapist Frieda Klein discovers when she must return to her roots to stop a serial rapist. A classmate pulls Frieda into the case; her daughter is anorexic and the woman would like her fixed. Discussions reveal she was raped, but even more terrifying for Frieda is the realization that the crime was committed by the same man who raped her 23 years earlier. The investigation turns up a host of possible perpetrators and finds Frieda in danger befor You can't go home again as the very private psychotherapist Frieda Klein discovers when she must return to her roots to stop a serial rapist. A classmate pulls Frieda into the case; her daughter is anorexic and the woman would like her fixed. Discussions reveal she was raped, but even more terrifying for Frieda is the realization that the crime was committed by the same man who raped her 23 years earlier. The investigation turns up a host of possible perpetrators and finds Frieda in danger before she can solve the mystery. This is certainly not the place to start the series but for fans like me it provides another interesting glimpse into this prickly, flawed, but sympathetic character. The story is not French's best, but the the tale builds in intensity. The story line is character-centered, introspective, and filled with flashbacks to Frieda's rape and her relationships with her classmates. Lots of issues arise. The style is compelling and rich in dialog, and the tone is atmospheric and menacing, but I don't remember any of the titles in this series being particularly sunny and upbeat. A satisfying addition for series fans; newcomers should start with Blue Monday.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Dr. Freida Klein is one messed-up woman and she is a psycho-therapist. She pushes away people who want to be close to her. She had a horrible childhood with a mother who didn't want to be a parent and resented her children and a father who committed suicide when she was 11. She returns to her childhood home which she escaped at the age of 18, never to look back. Frida sees a teenage girl who claims to have been raped in her home, which happens to be in Frida's hometown. The girl shares a detail Dr. Freida Klein is one messed-up woman and she is a psycho-therapist. She pushes away people who want to be close to her. She had a horrible childhood with a mother who didn't want to be a parent and resented her children and a father who committed suicide when she was 11. She returns to her childhood home which she escaped at the age of 18, never to look back. Frida sees a teenage girl who claims to have been raped in her home, which happens to be in Frida's hometown. The girl shares a detail which convinces Frida the same man committed both rapes. Despite the fact that Frida is really a total basket case, this is a very good read. It keeps you guessing to the end!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I love when stories connect past & present, but I just couldn't really like Frieda - she is very closed off emotionally (we find out it is partly from being raped, partly from her unloving mother) - but her pushing Sandy away without any explanation or even internal thoughts about it was just odd. And her long walks didn't add anything to the story, I found myself skimming pages because it was boring. I might try another book down the line with this character, but I have no desire to read previo I love when stories connect past & present, but I just couldn't really like Frieda - she is very closed off emotionally (we find out it is partly from being raped, partly from her unloving mother) - but her pushing Sandy away without any explanation or even internal thoughts about it was just odd. And her long walks didn't add anything to the story, I found myself skimming pages because it was boring. I might try another book down the line with this character, but I have no desire to read previous books with such an automaton-like heroine.

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