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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BLUE MONDAY
A five year old boy gets kidnapped outside his school and Psychotherapist Frieda Klein strongly suspects that one of the patients she is treating may be a link to the child's disappearance. Frieda turns to Chief Inspector Karlsson who is quite dismissive over her fears, until it transpires that there could possibly be a connection to the case of a young girl who went...
Published on 13 Feb. 2012 by Amanda

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49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disjointed and disappointing
I've read all Nicci French's novels - often in hardback - and have mostly enjoyed them for what they are: better-than-average psychological thrillers with intriguing scenarios, pacey plots and genuine tension. Unfortunately, 'Blue Monday' is one of my least favourite, with a bitty - very unlikely - plot that doesn't really add up, sketchy characterisation and a complete...
Published on 30 May 2011 by Sarah W


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BLUE MONDAY, 13 Feb. 2012
By 
Amanda "sac" (uk) - See all my reviews
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A five year old boy gets kidnapped outside his school and Psychotherapist Frieda Klein strongly suspects that one of the patients she is treating may be a link to the child's disappearance. Frieda turns to Chief Inspector Karlsson who is quite dismissive over her fears, until it transpires that there could possibly be a connection to the case of a young girl who went missing never to be found twenty years earlier.
The last few books by these authors have not been in my opinion as good as their earlier ones, but this was brilliant. A thoroughly interesting and captivating read and I am very much looking forward to the next novel about the strong-willed Frieda Klein.
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65 of 70 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very nearly 5-star, 9 May 2011
By 
FictionFan (Kirkintilloch, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blue Monday (Hardcover)
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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 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.
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49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disjointed and disappointing, 30 May 2011
By 
Sarah W (North West London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blue Monday (Hardcover)
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I've read all Nicci French's novels - often in hardback - and have mostly enjoyed them for what they are: better-than-average psychological thrillers with intriguing scenarios, pacey plots and genuine tension. Unfortunately, 'Blue Monday' is one of my least favourite, with a bitty - very unlikely - plot that doesn't really add up, sketchy characterisation and a complete lack of tension. It's easy to snare the reader's attention with a story about kids going missing, but the plot doesn't deliver. There is a twist, which comes too late, and is not very original. It feels like this book has been written to launch a new series and is more about introducing the heroine and her associates than telling a compelling story. In fact, it feels written with a TV series in mind.

Psychotherapist Frieda Klein is a promising protagonist, a self-composed, quirky loner who is 40-something, single and seemingly comfortable in her own skin. However, I didn't engage with her, and we are told about her characteristics, rather than discovering them in the course of the writing. The supporting characters are either window-dressing or devices. In most (if not all) of their previous books (husband and wife writing team) Nicci French have written first person narrative, which is an easy way of drawing the reader into the world - and mind - of the central character. Here, third person narration is used, requiring more skillful, consistent writing in order to weave together different perspectives and threads of plot. The writing falls short. I could almost 'feel the joins' where it ought to have been seamless.

I hate to be so negative, having enjoyed earlier novels such as 'Land of the Living' and 'Beneath the Skin' but 'Blue Monday' didn't work for me; if it is the start of a new series, I'll give the next one a go, but that might well be my lot!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interpreting what is inside people's heads., 25 Oct. 2011
By 
L. H. Healy "Books are life, beauty and truth." (Cambridgeshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blue Monday (Hardcover)
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This is another novel from the successful husband and wife writing collaboration between Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. This time they are introducing a character who it appears may be set to feature in a series of books, psychotherapist Frieda Klein. She is a complicated and interesting character, evidently with a complex past, and it is her sessions with one of her new clients, Alan, that form the basis for this story. Certain facts, descriptions of dreams, fantasies and memories that come up in her therapy sessions with him seem to bear strange resemblances to an actual case in the news involving the abduction of a young boy. Frieda becomes involved in helping the police, working with and sometimes without the cooperation of DCI Malcolm Karlsson, himself an engaging character with a seemingly impossible task on his hands with this crime.

This is an intriguing thriller, and if you've enjoyed this partnership's writing before I think you are likely to enjoy this novel too. I did feel that there were so many new strands and characters introduced one after the other early on in the novel that it was a bit overwhelming, but it did settle down further into the book, and the major characters became more established. The idea that is key to finding the guilty party is clever. I liked how the current story was linked back to the seemingly separate story that is introduced in the prologue, and how this then weaved into the present day investigation. I enjoyed the good couple of twists and revelations at the end. I was drawn in enough to be interested in following the character should there be more books in this series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exciting read..., 21 Jun. 2011
By 
jaffareadstoo (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blue Monday (Hardcover)
This tense, psychological thriller hits the ground running with a bleak tale of missing children. When similarities turn up in cases that are separated by twenty two years, the police are just as mystified as their predecessors at the lack of clues. It's only when psychoanalyst Frieda Klein becomes suspicious, that alarm bells start to ring. What then follows is a tight psychological game between the perpetrator and the police.
There is an abundance of characters from the eccentric, to the downright creepy, all are seamlessly woven into the plot, and soon become an integral part of the story. Klein's character is quirkily different, and at times she seems to be more of a hindrance to the police than a help, but her eccentricity is part of her charm , and this is certainly worth exploring in future novels, which I'm sure will follow this excellent start. The conclusion is well thought out, and definitely had the "oh, my goodness" factor. This is definitely one of those books that I shall recommend to my friends.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sadly didn't like it, 18 Feb. 2012
By 
Lainy (Bonnie Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Blue Monday (Hardcover)
This is the first book in a series (the rest to follow), Frieda Klein is a psychotherapist who ends up taking on a patient from another doctor and notices similarities between what he has been fantasizing about and a child who has gone missing. Soon a whole tangled web unfolds and a connection to a missing child from 20 years back ties in with this recent disappearance.

I have read a few Nicci French books and really liked them but I struggled so much with this one for a few reasons. Firstly I don't normally mind typos or mistakes but there seemed to be a lot in this book which put me off pace a bit. The chapters are confusing in that the detectuve is speaking to someone then there is a small gap (page break) and the "the first punch missed his jaw and landed on his neck". Leading us onto a different scene and it happens quite a bit, another time it is someone describing sounds and just words and you have to re read and go back to figure out who it is and the scene has changed.

Freida's character also annoyed me as she seemed very indecisive and always seeking out colleagues and double checking her findings and asking for advice. I would have loved to have seen a strong minded able woman in this role. She was also contradictory in that she would be needing advice and questioning constantly but then go to her boss (ex boss) and tell him off or give advice then go back into pupil mode. The inconsistency really irked me as did they way her and the detective interacted with each other, it was very flat and forced and almost childish in some points.

Most of the twists for me weren't really twists as I could see them coming which is a first for me although there was one I was Oh My God as I didn't see it coming but overall I didn't like this book much at all. I do like this author and would read the next book if it came into my possession but I wouldn't be rushing out to get it so 2/5 for me. That said some people loved it so it seems we have another marmite book so give it a go and see which side you fall on.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Abit preposterous but still enjoyable...., 24 July 2012
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This review is from: Blue Monday (Hardcover)
This book started off so well. The prologue was fantastic and demonstrates just how well Nicci French can write edgy creepy prose. Then - moving to present day and introducing its protagonists it just lost its way to the point where I almost gave up on it. But I stuck with it and was glad. Freida Klein is actually a great leading lady - a smart feisty psychoanalyst who gets embroiled into an investigation into a missing child. I couldn't put it down and had to read it in one sitting.But the plot twist regarding her client Alan's past was preposterous! In fact there were too many 'surely not' moments to make this a five star thriller which is a shame because the authors are usually so good at this genre of psychological thriller. The book kept twisting and turning until the end - right until the creepy final few pages which were also unbelieveable but by this point I was viewing the book as the literary equivalent of a rather silly but enjoyable Hollywood movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poorly written, 19 April 2013
By 
Ms. M. Cheung (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blue Monday (Hardcover)
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The blurb made this book sound really exciting, a kidnapped child and a psychiatric doctor whose patient wants a child of the same description. Unfortunately, the authors never realiss the massive potential of such a storyline, and it was a bit of a slog to finish the book.

The main character, Frieda, was really boring and unattractive, and the authors never managed to convey any of the urgency that Frieda must have felt when realising that her patient was connected to the kidnapping. I really didn't care about Frieda in any way, nothing I read made me feel an inkling of emotion for her at all.

In fact, I didn't care about any of the characters at all. Even the kidnapper was unexciting, and the kidnapped boy...well, I guess I should have cared about a little boy in danger, especially as I have young children around the same age, but the way his feelings and concerns were described just felt run of the mill and I couldn't care less.

The plot is quite good, which makes it all the more a great shame because normally I love these sort of crime novels, I devour them greedily. This one, well I couldn't wait to finish it because it felt like a waste of my time. As I read it, it seemd the passages were being narrated by someone in a very long drawn out voice full of boredom.

In fact, I was so disappointed in the book, being the first one I have read of Nicci French, that I will never read another one by them again. Poor writing, and just plain boring - avoid.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow, dark story featuring psychotherapist Frieda Klein., 25 Jun. 2011
By 
JK "J. K." (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blue Monday (Hardcover)
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Slow and brooding tale introducing psychotherapist Frieda Klein. Begins with a child abduction, 1980s, and then moves forward to current times and another abduction. This time it's a red haired little boy who matches the description given to Klein by one of her patients in a therapy session. I found Blue Monday began to lose a lot of focus here with too many characters and I had to backtrack to keep up with them all. At around the half way point there's little else going on other than a cat and mouse chase as Klein races against the clock to find the missing boy. Lots of psychotherapy elements which are well written and the main characters are believable. I didn't guess the ending which made for a refreshing change.

My criticism is the lack of tension and 'scary' which such a dark subject needs to hook the reader in and keep them interested. I switches off and found Blue Monday difficult to finish.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 12 Mar. 2012
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This was the first Nicci French novel I have read and maybe it will be the last. I had high hopes of a great psychological novel but found the writing disjointed & the content dubious at times. All in all definitely only a 2 star offering. The story just didn't seem to "hang together" and was very weak and uninspiring and I found the writing quite stilted at times. It was an effort to finish reading it.
I think I may have picked the worst book in their repertoire as reviews for many of their books are excellent.
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Blue Monday: A Frieda Klein Novel (Frieda Klein 1)
Blue Monday: A Frieda Klein Novel (Frieda Klein 1) by Nicci French (Paperback - 6 Dec. 2012)
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