Saturday, March 7, 2009

Until It's Over-Nicci French

Until It's Over
Nicci French
Minotaur, Mar 17 2009, $25.95
ISBN: 9780312375393

In London Astrid Bell loves her life as a bike messenger and living with six roommates in a dumpy house on Maitland. She especially likes her flatmates who are best buddies to her though she knows each one of their flaws and idiosyncrasies.

Riding her bike on her way home from work, Astrid collides with the car door of a neighbor Margaret Farrell. Her pals assist a somewhat battered Astrid home. Soon after the collision, someone kills Margaret, beating her to death in what the cops believe was an out of control rage. The police question the seven mates, but each has an alibi. Soon a second homicide tied back to Astrid occurs followed by another. The police suspect a stunned Astrid who has no explanation as to why someone would kill for her over minor indiscretions.

The tale is broken into two interrelated segments with the first setting the stage mostly starring Astrid and the second how the acts were performed by the killer. Readers know early on who the serial killer is and why; yet the beauty of Nicci French’s talent is that the suspense keeps intensifying until the end. Astrid is a terrific young woman whose life turns upside down from the moment she collides with the car which was unknown at that time to her or her buds. That incident apparently set in motion the murdering spree. Fans will enjoy this engaging thriller wondering UNTIL IT’S OVER what will happen next to a beleaguered Astrid.

Harriet Klausner