Review: Blue Monday

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Blue Monday by Nicci French
Series: Frieda Klein #1
Published by Pamela Dorman on March 1, 2012
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 322
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
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four-stars

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.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a big mystery reader. I enjoy them, but they tend a bit too much to the formulaic for me, although I realize the irony given how much time I spend reading YA paranormal novels. Also, being a character-driven reader, I generally have trouble relating to the hard-boiled detective types.

That said, I really enjoyed reading this, perhaps even loved it. I have always been fascinated by the minds of criminals, along with everyone else apparently, given the popularity of shows like Criminal Minds. Blue Monday focuses on the kidnapping of young children, a girl and 20 years later a boy. The reader gets a third person view into the mind of every character, which really worked for this novel.

What I definitely loved was that the focus of the book, and the series, is Frieda. She is awesome and a character I can totally relate to, even in her desire to push people away. She is really why I so much enjoyed reading this book, because she really has a strength as a character. Plus, I liked that the mystery was from the perspective of a psychologist rather than a detective, which gave a different filter to the story.

I know I will be reading more Nicci French (Nicci Gerrard + Sean French) novels in the future, especially the next Frieda Klein book. So glad there’s more!

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