‘Thursday’s Children’ is the fourth book in the Frieda Klein series by Nicci French. When I read the first book in the series ‘Blue Monday’, I didn’t enjoy it as much as the non-series Nicci French books, but the series has just got better and better. It is a good idea to read the series in order because there is a background story (involving Dean Reeve) that progresses throughout the series. It is also worthwhile meeting the main characters (Frieda’s friends) as they are introduced.
While Frieda now lives in London, she grew up in the small town of Braxton on the Suffolk coast. She left 23 years ago and has never been back and she never discusses her childhood. So, she is not happy when Maddie, an old class mate, seeks her out in London.
Maddie is having trouble coping with her teenage daughter’s behaviour. Frieda reluctantly agrees to speak to 15 year old Becky. When Becky eventually tells Frieda that she was raped, Frieda encourages her to tell her mother and to go to the police. But, there are details of Becky’s story that ring alarm bells for Frieda and she feels that she must go back to Braxton to track down Becky’s rapist.
Maddie doesn’t believe that Becky was raped and it looks to Frieda that Becky was targeted because she was unlikely to be believed.
Frieda focuses her attention on her old school friends, trying to work out where they all were on one fateful night when Frieda was 16 years old.
A great deal of this story was incredibly sad, with teenage girls raped and not believed when they tried to report it. Frieda’s interactions with her own mother were also sad – there was more hostility than warmth in the relationship. And, when Frieda’s niece Chloe comes to meet her grandmother, she is treated even worse than Frieda is.
Frieda’s small group of loyal friends are all involved in the story. Reuben regrets that he could never get Frieda to talk about her past. Josef gives his usual brand of love and help (you have to love him). Jack and Chloe are totally absorbed in each other. Sasha is facing her own motherhood crisis. Karlsson helps Frieda where he can. And, Sandy just wants to be loved.
This was a brilliant book, the best in the series so far. I’m looking forward to continuing the series with the Friday book.
Book Published 2014