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by Nicci French
William Morrow, July 2018
416 pages
ISBN: 0062846086

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

For almost ten years, after having killed his twin brother, Dean Reeve, a dangerous psychopath, has been stalking psychologist Frieda Klein, killing people in her name, almost like an obsessive lover. For most of that time, Frieda was alone in the belief that Dean was still alive, even as she worked with police as a consultant on other cases.

Now, in this final book of the eight-part series, it all comes to a head. Frieda Klein has gone into hiding, taking on an assumed name. Dean, on the other hand, has started to come out of hiding, killing and displaying bodies as a message to Frieda. Into the middle of this comes criminology student Lola Hayes, who has decided to write her dissertation about Frieda and sets out to track down her subject—an action that will soon expose the young woman to the same dangers that Frieda faces.

While police are working to find Dean and stop his latest string of killings, there appears to be a leak in the department, and Dean always seems to be one step ahead of Frieda. But Frieda, a chess player, knows that this is the endgame—one way or another, it will soon end, even if it means that Frieda has to sacrifice herself.

Frieda is not the most likable protagonist in crime fiction—she is cold and aloof, a loner who spends hours walking besides the rivers of London (which play a central part in this book's plot). Frieda doesn't shed tears for the victims and doesn't drown her sorrows in alcohol, but nevertheless she does show compassion toward the innocent and those victimized. She also has a dedicated circle of family and friends who love and protect her. It's her friends and family—who have faced danger because of her actions—that motivate her to leave her home.

The books in the series are not meant to be read alone, as each builds on the previous. DAY OF THE DEAD does recap what has gone on in previous books—it has been, after all, seven years since the first book was published—but one really needs to have followed the series from the beginning. And what a series this has been—with a strong narrative arc and some unexpected twists along the way. I highly recommend this series. Book after book delivers a strong story, culminating in a final ending that ties up the series nicely.

§ Lourdes Venard is an independent editor who divides her time between New York and Maui.

Reviewed by Lourdes Venard, June 2018

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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