I could understand his frustration. He’s just taken up road biking with a vengeance and five miles out of Oxford, lashed by wind and rain, his bike had suffered a flat tyre. He didn‘t have a puncture kit or bike pump so he did the next best thing and rang and asked me to collect him. No problem, except it was rush hour and by the time I got there he was dejected and completely drenched.
With rain forecast for the next few days (probably the next few months) I reckon there’s only one thing for it. Don’t emigrate, just batten down the hatches and get reading. As the rain pelted down, I curled up on my sofa and whizzed through Nicci French’s new novel in one go.
I’ve blogged about my admiration for Nicci French before. Nicci French is actually two writers - Suffolk-based husband and wife Nicci Gerrard and Sean French, who turn out cracking psychological thrillers. They have now launched a new eight-book crime series featuring a psychotherapist called Frieda Klein and I’m completely hooked.
The second in the series, Tuesday’s Gone, is out next week, and it’s even better than the first, Blue Monday. I’m very squeamish and the opening scene, where a social worker discovers a rotting, naked corpse in a delapidated Deptford flat, stopped me in my tracks. But I was so desperate to discover who he was and why on earth the confused woman living there kept trying to serve him afternoon tea that even if I’d wanted to, I simply couldn’t stop reading.
The copper leading the police investigation, DCI Karlsson (no one ever uses his first name), calls in Frieda Klein to help him get to the bottom of it all. And the deeper Frieda digs, the murkier the story gets.
Frieda is an intriguing character, with a complicated family history, an on-off lover and a fondness for walking the streets of London in the dead of night.
But after reading Tuesday's Gone I feel I’m getting to know her better. And with a plot that kept me on the edge of my seat and the promise of six more to come, all I can say is “ roll on book three…”
Tuesday's Gone by Nicci French (Michael Joseph, £12.99)