Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Waiting for Wednesday, the thrilling third installment in the bestselling Frieda Klein series, written by Nicci French and read by the actress Beth Chalmers.
Ruth Lennox, beloved mother of three, is found by her daughter in a pool of her own blood. Who would want to murder an ordinary housewife? And why? Psychotherapist Frieda Klein finds she has an unusually personal connection with DCI Karlsson’s latest case. She is no longer working with him in an official capacity, but when her niece befriends Ruth Lennox’s son, Ted, she finds herself in the awkward position of confidante to both Karlsson and Ted. When it emerges that Ruth was leading a secret life, her family closes ranks and Karlsson finds he needs Frieda’s help more than ever before.
But Frieda is distracted. Having survived an attack on her life, she is struggling to stay in control and when a patient’s chance remark rings an alarm bell, she finds herself chasing down a path that seems to lead to a serial killer who has long escaped detection. Or is it merely a symptom of her own increasingly fragile mind? Because, as Frieda knows, every step closer to a killer is one more step into a darkness from which there may be no return…
©2013 Nicci French (P)2013 Penguin Books Limited
I find this series quite strange for Nicci French whose books I usually love. Such unlikeable characters, on the whole, probably made a lot worse by Beth Chalmers reading. She makes them all sound so angry and unpleasant. I wonder if the books would seem less annoying if I read them myself or if there were a different narrator. But I keep reading them and will read the next one if or when it appears.
I can't bear Beth Chalmers' performance. I hope to never have to listen to her again. Such ugly voices. Really spoils the books.
Even though I dislike the characters and particularly dislike the narration I would still buy any more books inthis series.
"Gripping and satisfactorily complex"
If you are new to this series I recommend you first read the preceding 2 books in the series. Most of the book is a stand-alone story, well-plotted and enjoyable, but there is the continuing background thread of Frieda's past coming back to haunt her in the nebulous form of Dean, so two stories really, developing at different paces.
Frieda is also developing nicely as a character too, and remains interesting - in this book we see a far more vulnerable person and sides of her character we haven't seen before. I found her more likeable as I began to understand some of her background and what drives her. Sandy is still a bit of a cardboard cut-out, but we get a bit more under the skin of Carlsson the detective - we learn more about the pressures of his working/private life and the relationship between him and Frieda deepens nicely.
Beth Chalmers narrates very crisply and cleanly and is a pleasure to listen to!
All in all, the satisfyingly complex plot that you would expect from a Nicci French novel, but with the added dimensions of longer term plot and character development that a series allows. If you are a fan then this will not disappoint!
"Interesting but depressing"
I bought this book because it was on offer and I enjoy thrillers. It started well, but I should have read the first 2 books in the series before beginning this one as the author kept referring to things that happened in the previous books, which was confusing.
This story did not sweep me along. I actually got bored with the plot and I was relieved when it was over. I also found the voice of the reader very depressing after a while.
"14 hours 6 minutes of my life wasted"
I really was so amazed by the banality of this book - I kept listening just to see if it got any better - it didn't!!!
The tale could have been told in about 3 hours, but no, we had a major incident made from the fact that a 'friend' dismantled and replaced the bathroom in Freida's house - there was absolutely no purpose at all to this incident - which went on for several chapters - I was left totally confused and expected there to be a reason for the sidebar - but no!!! This wasn't the only padding that was pointless, instead of saying - 'it was in the cupboard by the sink' we were treated to the list of 'other stuff' that was also in the cupboard ... God only knows why, it was totally irrelevant!
The characters were absolutely objectionable - treating figures of authority in a totally disrespectful and disgraceful way, for no apparent reason they were rude and obnoxious. The Police chief (cannot remember his title) also behaved in a really rude and unprofessional manner.
The narration is almost beyond description, the voices and the inflections were so irritating and very poor.
This is probably the first time that I have ever shouted at an audio book to relieve my irritation.
I can only be astonished that some perverse lack of self preservation made me listen to the end, maybe I couldn't believe my ears!!!
No. I rarely read / listen to a book twice. There is not enough depth to this one for a second visit, good first time though.
The characters are not quite believable. Stereotype 'dumb' policeman who doesn't believe the amateur, angelic lead who constantly wants her flat, a bath, to be left alone but always denies herself these things for others, she could have done with some bad traits/ moments to make her more realistic.
If you can overlook these weaknesses it is a fun read to pass the time. The narration is excellent.
"Beth Chalmers is a terrible narrator"
I was so distracted by the narration that I found it very hard to get into the book (I have to say this has never happened to me before in 5 years of monthly Audible books: I'm not picky!). She has a very nasal tone which makes all the characters sound sarcastic.
"Best so far"
Intriguing, well-written, exciting
Towards the end - discovering who was guilty!
She is not very good with men's voices - in particular her portrayal of Karlsson I found grated a bit. Very good with women, and Frieda in particular.
Sad, more than anything - particularly with the family being torn apart.
To my mind, the best of the Frieda novels to date.
"Fab 3rd Novel starring the atypical Frieda Klein"
This book is complex, tangled and subtly enthralling
(Note: I recommend reading/listening to books 1 & 2 in the series to gain the full impact of Waiting for Wednesday - it really is a series that needs to be followed from book 1 -Blue Monday.)
Having read the first two novels in the Frieda Klein series I was really looking forward to Waiting for Wednesday and I must say I was not disappointed.
As a reader the most interesting element of the book was change in Frieda's character from the first novel. As always she is really well written and I enjoyed the subtle but constant changes of her emotions and the gradual slipping of her grip on her own mind and the world around her. Frieda is now a much more vulnerable character, emotionally at least, and she is definitely much less self assured in this novel.
I have read quite a few reviews that say Frieda isn't very likeable - I have to disagree I think she is interesting and intriguing and I find her character to be refreshing and unique.
As always it was also good to catch up with the other characters from the previous books - Ruben, Karlsson, Chloe, Evette and my personal favourite Joseph!
The crime cases in this book are good - both the main murder of Ruth Lennox and the other case pursued by journalist Jim Fearby. The description of murder victim, at the beginning is detailed and quite gruesome, but not so bad that it made me turn off so don't let that put you off.
For me, it was the "B-story" case followed by Jim Fearby that I found most intriguing and the conclusion was more surprising. But, both cases are well written, interesting and satisfying concluded.
Above all I think this book is a mixture of character study and crime.
No doubt it is good enough to read as a stand alone but I do feel that to get the most from the book you need to read it as part of the series - for it is the characters, their journeys and their evolution that make this series great.
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