The writing duo Nicci French has come out with another powerful Frieda Klein mystery with Waiting for Wednesday. Although it deals mostly with another case, there is still the threat of a serial killer from the first book in the background.
DCI Karlsson and his team are trying to solve the murder of Ruth Lennox, a housewife whose face was smashed by a heavy object. Although her death appears to be part of an interrupted robbery, when the police find the thief, he has an alibi for the actual time of the murder. Soon Karlsson and his team find evidence that Ruth was leading a secret life.
Frieda is recovering from injuries incurred at the end of Tuesday’s Gone, and she is on leave from her practice. Her absence from the case does not prevent another psychoanalyst who is working with the police, Hal Bradshaw, from seeing her as a threat and attempting to professionally humiliate her.
Bradshaw has set a trap for Frieda and some other analysts he dislikes by sending in graduate students for consultation who pretend to have sociopathic thoughts and ask for treatment. Frieda immediately realizes her subject is pretending and sends him away, but something he says captures her attention and she begins trying to track down the source of the story. In doing so, she meets Jim Feary, a retired journalist who is sure he has happened upon traces of a serial killer. When Frieda takes Jim and his evidence to see Karlsson, though, Karlsson believes that her judgment is impaired because she is still traumatized by her experiences and that Jim is a nutcase.
French presents a complex set of mysteries in this novel, which is really gripping and ultimately suspenseful. While Frieda flounders with too much going on in her usually quiet life to allow her to make her recovery, Karlsson, Yvette, and Riley struggle with a case that gets more and more complicated. Even if you can figure out a piece of one puzzle, as I did, there is still a lot more going on in this intelligent mystery novel.