Written by Nicci French

Review written by Carole Tyrell

Carole Tyrrell worked in the theatre for nearly 10 years and was always fascinating by the way death and the supernatural formed many of the greatest and most enduring works. She has read crime fiction for many years and enjoys the broad range of the genre.

RRP: £12.99
Released: 19th July 2012

Maggie Brennan, an overworked social worker  is visiting a new client, Michelle Doyce.  Newly released from hospital, Michelle is living in a Deptford hostel with other flotsam and jetsam of humanity. Maggie doesn’t like the place, or the other residents she encounters, but Michelle’s flat is clean and tidy.  Then she asks Maggie if she’d like to meet her friend and it’s a meeting that Maggie is unlikely to ever forget. Michelle’s friend is sitting naked and very dead on her sofa covered in flies. But is Michelle murderer or victim?

She believes that he’s still alive and sings to her and is quickly readmitted to hospital for evaluation as the investigation begins.  DC Yvette Long and DCI Malcolm Karlsson are assigned to the case and he decides to call in psychotherapist, Dr Frieda Klein, again to unlock Michelle’s mind. She soon realises that the key lies in Michelle’s obsessive collecting as her flat is full of boxes  of nail clippings and birds bones amongst other items.  Frieda thinks that Michelle found her friend by chance, ‘collected’ him up from a nearby alley and took him home.  But despite DC Long’s reluctance to have her involved with the case, Frieda manages to find an identity for the dead man. He is Rob Poole, a jobbing painter and decorator.  This is confirmed when Janet Ferris, reports her neighbour,  Robert Poole,  as missing.  Poole’s flat is a cold and impersonal living space when Yvette begins to search it. But he had nearly £4000,000 in his bank account according to his bank statements.  And even stranger is that Robert Poole’s brother tells Long and Karlsson that his brother died 6 or 7 years ago.  So who is the dead man?

Frieda digs deeper and discovers a devious conman who preyed on vulnerable people and took money from them. ‘He made me feel attended to’ says one victim who he persuaded to change her will in his favour.  The solicitor involved with it, Tessa Welles, was suspicious and her brother, Harry, begins to have a non-professional interest in Frieda.     Janet Ferris’ unexpected death is treated initially as a suicide but Frieda is unconvinced and begins to wonder when  Poole stopped being the villain and became the victim.

There’s  several ingenious subplots such as Commander Crawford’s determination to charge Michelle with the mystery man’s murder and have her put away quickly and having his management consultant, Jake Newton, sniffing round for cutbacks to be made.  And an anonymous girl alone and abandoned on a houseboat waits for her lover to return as she begins to starve and steal with echoes of Frieda’s previous case coming back to haunt her.

 I liked the way that French drew all the strands together which also included several from the previous book, Blue Monday.  Tuesday’s Gone was a very enjoyable read and one of the best crime novels I’ve read in a while.  It made a change to prowl contemporary London’s mean streets in the run up to the Olympics, especially in Frieda’s company, with her anecdotes about the city.  The plot twists were often unexpected and plausible as with Michelle’s acquisition of a new object to her collection.  The pace is brisk but not so much that you feel left behind or miss clues.   A recommended read.

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