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The Red Room
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About the Author

Nicci French is the pseudonym for the writing partnership of journalists Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. The couple are married and live in Suffolk. There are twenty bestselling novels by Nicci French, published in thirty-one languages. Blue Monday was the first thrilling story in the Frieda Klein series, which concludes with Day of the Dead.

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Following two highly praised psychothrillers (Killing Me Softly and Beneath the Skin), this fiction noir will be welcomed by French's avid readers. However, the fragmented, wandering at times almost directionless narrative won't do much to add to French's (actually a husband-and-wife writing team) list of fans. Attractive young London forensic psychiatrist Kit Quinn is having a run of rotten luck. First she catches her lover with another woman, then she's maimed by Michael Doll, a disturbed young man the police were questioning for loitering near an elementary school. When Doll is arrested again, suspected of murdering a young woman whose body is found by a canal where he fishes, Kit is asked to do a psychological assessment. Uncertain about Doll's guilt, Kit points out that the cops have no case. A tenuous connection to Will Pavic, the director of the homeless shelter frequented by runaway teens in a seedy ghetto, leads nowhere. Over protests from the smug police that she is wasting her time, Kit, following her intuition, wanders far afield and questions the affluent family of a young mother, the victim of an earlier, seemingly unrelated kidnapping and murder. Also, she intuits a link with the suicide of a troubled teen. Ignoring her fear that he may be involved, Kit, out of loneliness, enters a bittersweet affair with Will. Despite a literary yard sale of gratuitous characters, superfluous subplots and prose that at times seems remote and abstract, the chimerical plot is rescued as the signature climax is delivered right on cue. Major ad/promo. (Aug. 7) FYI: MGM will release the film version of Killing Me Softly, starring Heather Graham and Joseph Fiennes, this October. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Psychologist Kit Quinn inhabits crime scenes, interrogation rooms and hospitals for the criminally insane. Horribly scarred in an attack by a suspect she is asked by the police to help in a murder enquiry and the chief suspect is the man who wounded her.But she refuses to accept appearances and her obsessive search for the truth draws her into the dangerous underworld of the missing and the unloved.

Psychologist Grace Shilling, heroine of French's popular Beneath the Skin, is back. She's not looking for trouble in fact, she is overwhelmed by images of the dead women who as a police consultant she still was not able to save but then the police hand her a tough new case that is not what it appears to be. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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