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Blue Monday: A Novel [Hardcover]

Nicci French
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Hardcover, Bargain Price CDN $11.40  
Hardcover, March 6 2012 --  
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Book Description

March 6 2012

The stunning first book in a new series of psychological thrillers introducing an unforgettable London psychotherapist

Frieda Klein is a solitary, incisive psychotherapist who spends her sleepless nights walking along the ancient rivers that have been forced underground in modern London. She believes that the world is a messy, uncontrollable place, but what we can control is what is inside our heads. This attitude is reflected in her own life, which is an austere one of refuge, personal integrity, and order.

The abduction of five-year-old Matthew Farraday provokes a national outcry and a desperate police hunt. And when his face is splashed over the newspapers, Frieda cannot ignore the coincidence: one of her patients has been having dreams in which he has a hunger for a child. A red-haired child he can describe in perfect detail, a child the spitting image of Matthew. She finds herself in the center of the investigation, serving as the reluctant sidekick of the chief inspector.

Drawing readers into a haunting world in which the terrors of the mind have spilled over into real life, Blue Monday introduces a compelling protagonist and a chilling mystery that will appeal to readers of dark crime fiction and fans of In Treatment and The Killing.


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Review

“Fast-paced and spooky…it leaves readers with the promise of intriguing tales to come.”
—People (****)


“A neat puzzle with a satisfying resolution and a terrific twist at the end.”
The New York Times Book Review


 “A superb psychological thriller…With its brooding atmosphere, sustained suspense, last-minute plot twist, and memorable cast of characters, this series debut will leave readers eager to discover what color Tuesday will be.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review


“With its smart plot, crisp prose, and a stunning final twist, this is psychological suspense at its best. Absolutely riveting.”
Booklist, starred review

“This is psychological suspense done right. The authors pace themselves and build the tension slowly while carefully developing each of the players. For fans of Tana French’s and Lisa Gardner’s moody, dark, twisty thrillers.”
Library Journal


“A searing psychological thriller in the rich vein of Kate Atkinson and Laura Lippman, Blue Monday is powerful and gripping—a page-turner with heart and soul.  Psychotherapist Frieda Klein is an enormously appealing new series hero.”
Joseph Finder, bestselling author of Buried Secrets



 “Unrelenting …unnerving…unforgettable. Psychological dynamite.”
Alan Bradley, bestselling author of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie


“Complex and flawed, Frieda Klein is a refreshingly human protagonist, an intriguing debut for a truly unique character.”
Tami Hoag, bestselling author of Down the Darkest Road





About the Author

Nicci French is the pseudonym for the internationally bestselling writing partnership of suspense writers Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. They are married and live in Suffolk and London, England.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Darlene TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
I received this audiobook for review from the publisher. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own.

The prologue sets out the circumstances surrounding the abduction of 5 year-old Joanna Vine, who is never found. Joanna's parents split up, and her mom remarries and seems to have moved on with her life. Her dad, on the other hand, cannot move on and is so wrapped up in his grief that he still waits every day for news that Joanna's body has been found. Joanna's sister, Rose, who was supposed to be watching Joanna at the time of her disappearance (and was then only 9 years old) blames herself and is riddled with guilt.

Frieda Klein is a psychologist living in London, England. Psychology has always intrigued me and, if I was ever to go into the medical field, psychology would be my area of study. One of Frieda's patients has been having dreams about a red-haired boy with freckles. When he shows Frieda a childhood picture of himself, she thinks that he is just seeing himself as a childhood boy in his dreams. However, when five year-old Matthew Farraday goes missing, Freida cannot forget her patient's dream about a red-haired, freckled boy...just like Matthew. He also revealed that he felt a similar obsession for a young girl when he was in his early 20s, and then it just went away. Now, these intense feelings have returned and a young boy has gone missing. Are the two abductions related, and is her patient involved?

What I loved most about this book is how flawed all of the characters are. Frieda is a woman who is as in need of psychological help as her patients! One of my favourite characters is Josef, a Ukrainian carpenter who falls through the ceiling of Freida's office while doing repairs on the floor above.
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3.0 out of 5 stars good enough Jan. 29 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Maybe it's because I've read so many sub-standard books lately, but I found this one to be agreeable, not a complete farce. Interesting enough.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great plotting March 27 2012
By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
3.5/5

Blue Monday marks the start of a new series from bestselling husband and wife team Nicci French.

Frieda Klein is a psychotherapist in London, England. She is a private person, who keeps her own emotions and life tightly in check.

One of her latest patients has been having dreams . Dreams where he 'obtains' a son - a red haired little boy that he describes in great detail.

"She thought of all the secrets she had been told over the years, all those illicit thoughts, desires, fears that people gave to her for safe keeping. ...she had always carried them with a sense of privilege, that people allowed her to see their fears, allowed her to be their light."

But when little red headed Matthew Farraday goes missing and the details are eerily like her patient described, Frieda feels she has no choice but to go to the police with her concerns.

Detective Chief Inspector Malcolm Karlsson is the other protagonist in this series. He's a bit all over the map, but is a likable character who will grow into his role I believe.

I found the opening of this book to be a bit slow. Indeed, I started it, read about 50 pages and put it down. It was only on picking it up a second time, that it really got good for me. I did found it hard to believe that Josef, a carpenter who falls through Frieda's office ceiling becomes such an important and trusted confidante in her life. On the other hand, it does speak volumes about her personal life. Other characters, such as her niece Chloe, don't overly add to the story, but seem to have been to lay the background for further books.

French has crafted an excellent plot. I don't want to give any of it away, but it truly was unique.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent thriller!! March 11 2012
By Myckyee
Format:Hardcover
If I belonged to a mystery/thriller book club, Blue Monday would be an excellent choice for the club read. There are so many things going on in this book that would lead to good discussions. Is such and such character really who they claim to be? What is the main character's real motivation? What is she hiding? There are so many questions and it would be fun to get other opinions, so I'll be reading other reviews aside from mine. I can't imagine however that I will read a bad review!

Blue Monday kept me awake until the wee hours on Sunday night and made me late for work (yes, I blame it on the book!) the next morning. Not because I slept in too late but because I picked it up again in the morning and just had to finish those last fifty pages!

The premise is an interesting one: a psychotherapist suspects one of her patients is involved in the disappearance of a young boy. What the therapist does with her suspicions leads the reader on an ever-deepening mystery about what exactly is going on. Meanwhile, the boy is still missing. There are lighter moments too in the form of a builder from the Ukraine. He conveys a humorously solemn feeling to the scenes he is in.

Blue Monday is a must-read for mystery and thriller fans and for those who haven't tried that genre yet. This book has just the right amount of creepiness. It's got what I call the 'chill' factor in spades: that feeling you get when you thought you knew what was going on but come to the slow realization that there was something else eerily creepy taking place right under your nose. This is an engrossing read and one I highly recommend.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  137 reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very nearly 5-star Aug. 16 2011
By FictionFan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Frieda Klein, psychotherapist, becomes concerned when one of her patients reveals fantasies that seem to tie in with the abduction of 5-year-old Matthew Faraday. As she gradually gets sucked into the investigation of the abduction, she has to deal with the dilemma of whether her priority should be the safety of the child or her professional duty to her patient.

Apparently, this is the first in a series of novels featuring Frieda Klein. I certainly found that she and the other presumably recurring characters were intriguing enough to make me want to meet them again and get to know more about their back-stories.

As the story progresses, the plot becomes more complex, sometimes to the point where it stretches credibility. However, the characters are well drawn and the suspense is maintained to the very end. Some other reviewers on Amazon UK have commented that the story took some time to get going. I found the quality of the writing carried me through the early chapters easily. The writers made me want to know what had happened to Matthew and to care about the outcome.

I really enjoyed the novel, so much so that I read it in one marathon sitting - not something I do often. It would easily have got 5 stars for the writing, characterisation and descriptive passages. Only the fairly minor credibility issues I mentioned earlier have persuaded me to give it 4 stars, but nonetheless I would strongly recommend this book and I look forward to reading the next in the series.
42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not their best. July 5 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I normally can't put a Nicci French novel down and have it done within a day or two but this one took me over a week to read as it was so hard to get involved in the story. Once it eventually kicked off it became more interesting, although as much as I like a bit of scene-setting I got really sick of reading page after page after page after page describing the streets. While still enjoyable this would have to be my least favourite Nicci French book, and I really don't know if I could be bothered to read the seven more books planned about the same not-particularly-interesting main character when nothing much really happens for half the story.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat disappointing for a 1st in a series May 7 2012
By My2Cents - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Blue Monday, by Nicci French is actually the work of husband and wife team of Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. It is the first novel of seven in a new psychological thriller series featuring a 30-something, protagonist, Dr. Frieda Klein. The story takes place in London, England where Dr. Klein is a psychotherapist. She's a private, somewhat aloof person who sleeps too little and sometimes drinks a bit too much, and definitely has her demons. This first book of the new series is about a child abduction case.

The novel begins 22 years earlier with two young sisters walking home from school. The younger one Joanna Vine is taking he sweet old time walking, while older sister, Rosie, is anxious to get to the candy shop. Rosie calls for her sister to hurry up, but then goes inside the shop, and Joanna very shows up. The little girl is never found, and, she is believed to be dead.

Fast forward 22 years and five-year old Matthew Farraday goes missing. When Dr. Klein's takes on a new patient, Alan Dekker, a man who feels like he is going crazy. When he begins to tell his story to Dr. Klein, she is faced with a quite the dilemma. Her patient is troubled by dreams and constant thoughts of a child who looks like the boy who was just abducted. Unsure what to do with the information, Frieda goes to the police where Chief Inspector Malcolm Karlsson has been assigned to the Matthew Farraday abduction case. With very little information other than some rather vague information provided by Dr. Klein, Inspector Karlsson begins his investigation. Although Dekker has a pretty solid alibi for his whereabouts when Matthew went missing, before long it appears as if the Joanna Vine missing child case from 1987 and the Matthew Farraday case might have some similarities.

I loved the way the novel started out with the abduction which took place 22 years earlier. It's a complex mystery with characters that are complex and flawed. However, after that terrific opening, the story moved at a snail's pace. There were lots and lots of details about the streets of London which I grew tired of, however the clues peppered along the way kept me holding on. Once the story began to pick up again, there were lots of twists and turns, and a few nail-biting moments, but I was really looking forward to more from this first of a series. In the end I was a bit disappointed.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Something missing March 18 2012
By Elka - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Afraid Nicci French's latest offering missed the mark for me a little.
I have previously enjoyed many of their earlier books but this one felt quite disjointed.
It was difficult , at times, to figure out which character we were with.
Apparently this may be the first of a series with these characters but whilst I liked them well enough and their backgrounds have been set in this book they did seem quite stereotypical.
Frieda Klein, a psychotherapist , has a disturbed patient who is fantasizing about having a son. When a similar boy goes missing shortly after she starts to investigate and connections are then made with a similar mystery from 20 years previously.
As mysteries go it lacked the suspense, tension and the surprise element for me.
The action at the end happens off page and is described to us and I'm afraid I did guess the twists before they came out.
Not an altogether bad read, I did feel that I wanted to read till the end and see how it would all be tied up. Not ready to give up on them yet and I'm sure I'll be reading their next one.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, couldn't put it down! Jan. 14 2012
By SallyKate - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have always loved the Nicci French books and this one was no exception. I literally couldn't put it down until I had finished it. I've come to expect complex (and at times dark) characters from Nicci French and this book was no exception. Even the characters in bit parts were intriguing.

I finished reading this and immediately recommended it to several friends so that I could talk to someone about it! Without wanting to give anything away, I also loved the ending.
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