Book Review: Dark Saturday by Nicci French

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Dear Bookworms,

I received a free copy of this book from LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review.

In order to repay a debt to an associate, Frieda Klein, psychotherapist, is to interview a patient at Chelsworth Hospital which houses the criminally insane. Hannah Docherty has been incarcerated/hospitalized for over a decade for the brutal murder of her family in what was deemed at the time to be a very straightforward case. Friedas assignment seems easy in what is described to her as standard procedure. The lead investigator of the Docherty case has come under some heat from irregularities in his investigating, thus leaving all of his previous cases up for review. Little more than a shell of the once vibrant, albeit troubled, teenager she once was, Hannah is unable to be of much use to Frieda. Like a dog with a bone, Frieda delves deeper into the long ago closed case, increasingly more sure that Hannah is in fact, innocent. As Frieda uncovers long forgotten truths, someone is actively trying to keep those truths hidden, and will stop at nothing to do so. Can Frieda uncover the truth before it’s too late?

So, this book is part of a continuing series but an independent story. Because of this, there were relationships I didn’t fully understand the complexity of, or the shared history of past cases between characters. The author does a good job of presenting information in a way that I did not feel totally lost and was able to follow along well despite not having read any of the other Frieda Klein novels. I enjoyed the writing style and the complexity of the plot which contained all the elements to any good mystery. I always enjoy thrillers, and this particular novel especially peaked my interest as it centered on a character in a psychiatric hospital (I myself work at such a hospital and always find these stories fascinating). The plot took many interesting turns, many of which caught me completely by surprise. This novel was unique to me in that there were not many “shady” characters lurking around of which I could try and sleuth out who I thought the real killer would be. The plot was also much more technical and clue riddled, perhaps due to the fact that it was more PI work than a regular citizen trying to ascertain some truth. Overall, it was a perfectly enthralling mystery which kept me engaged from beginning to end. I would definitely pick up another Frieda Klein novel, most likely the next one what with that jaw dropping cliffhanger of a last chapter…..

See you guys next week!




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Real-life bookworm with a taste for adventure. Coco enjoys reading as much as she enjoys good coffee. Coco is an experienced book reader, and expert book reviewer. If you need a book reviewed, you are in good hands.

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