I recently ‘discovered’ Nicci French, and it’s pleasing to know that this couple (yes, there’s two of them in this one author’s name) lives not so far from here, in Suffolk to be precise. Suffolk is one county up from Norfolk, both are in East Anglia. There’s a bit of useless and irrelevant information…
Nicci is Nicci Gerard and French is Sean French, both authors in their own right until they met, got married and decided to join forces under the Nicci French brand name. I wonder how you go about writing a book together, taking it in turns to write chapters. They must be very well attuned although I seem to remember that in one interview they admit to quarreling, at least Nicci does.
However they do it, this first book that I read, also their first joint effort, The Memory Game, is good. It’s intelligent, it’s pacy, the characters are believable and even the crime committed is believable although I began to suspect who the real murderer was before it was all revealed. Perhaps we were meant to? This is a good psychological thriller, by writers who have obviously done some reading themselves and who craftily use the false memory syndrome to keep the reader on tiptoes.
Jane is in the middle of divorce proceedings against her Claud, both part of an extended family with, Jane thinks, a very happy childhood which was cruelly disrupted when Claud’s sister and Jane’s best friend Natalie was murdered when they were 16 going on 17. At the yearly mushroom picking family gathering some 25 years later Natalie’s body is discovered buried quite close to the family house where they are all gathered together, Jane and her brother and father and Claud’s extended family, twin brothers, parents, their children and partners and ex-partners.
(I just like this picture of mushroom pickers ….)
It’s a great story well told and I enjoyed the writing style – could not stop reading until the very satisfactory end.
Their most recent book is Blue Monday, and a review of this book in one of the Sunday papers (or perhaps all of the Sunday papers) brought me on the trail of Nicci French and I am quite pleased to have ‘discovered’ these books.
But first of all I’m going to catch up on some of my long list of books already downloaded, starting with Linda Grant’s ‘We Had it So Good’. This looks promising – tomorrow I’m on the road again so will need something good to read whilst waiting for trains, trying to sleep in hotel rooms, and for those journeys when you’re too tired to work or the train is simply too crowded to try and perch your laptop on your knee.