Blue Monday Hardcover – 23 Jun 2011
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Exerts a vice-like grip (Daily Telegraph )
Reels in readers from the start (Independent )
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 twelve other bestselling novels by Nicci French, all published by Penguin. Blue Monday is the first thrilling instalment in the Frieda Klein series.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Nicci French never disappoints. Great story, with some amazing twists and turns. If you like an engrossing thriller then I definitely recommend this - and check out some of her... Read morePublished 15 days ago by SecretManda
A dark thriller with a slightly claustrophobic edge. We peer into the dark recesses of a troubled cast of characters through the eyes of an analyst, herself weighed down by... Read morePublished 25 days ago by Chris
Loved it from the beginning... And couldn't wait to turn and turn the pages. Great characters, great story, great authors.Published 1 month ago by Tim
Really good book looking forward to reading the res tof the seriesPublished 1 month ago by margaret stagg
I think I have read everything written by Nicci French and thoroughly enjoyed all of them, some more than others. I have loathed this first one in the Freida Klein series. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Suziekettles