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Blue Monday: A Novel Hardcover – March 1, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


“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

“Nicci French creates a haunting and complex psychological puzzle about memory and heredity, with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing until the very end. This gripping thriller certainly bodes well for the future of the series and I look forward to reading more about unlikely heroine Frieda Klein.”

Camilla Läckberg, bestselling author of The Ice Princess

“A fabulous, unsettling, and riveting look at motives and memory and relationships. And what drives people to do the unthinkable.”

Louise Penny, bestselling author of A Trick of the Light

“Nicci French is undeniably at the top of British psychological suspense writing.”

The Observer (UK)

“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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books; 1 edition (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780670023363
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670023363
  • ASIN: 0670023361
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,260,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By FictionFan TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 16, 2011
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.
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 5, 2011
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.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By My2Cents VINE VOICE on May 7, 2012
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.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Elka on March 18, 2012
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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Marlene @ Reading Reality on March 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"Blue Monday", according to some very shaky pseudoscience, is the most depressing day of the year.

Which makes Blue Monday a fitting title for the first book in Nicci French's new mystery series. Psychotherapist Frieda Klein features as the reader's guide into the darker recesses into the human mind.

Frieda's first "case" delves into dark places, indeed. Because this mystery is a case about lost people. Not just the initial tragedy of a missing child that opens the story, but all of the characters in this multi-act tragedy have lost essential pieces of themselves.

Including the psychotherapists who are supposed to guide their patients out of the depths. And the deeper this case goes, the murkier it gets. But it is enthralling until long after the last page is turned.

It all starts with a lost child. Twenty years ago, Joanna Vine disappeared on her way home from school. Her sister Rose lost track of her for just a couple of minutes, and little Jo vanished. Joanna was five years old. Rose Vine was only nine.

Joanna was never found. Not the child, not her body. Rose never stopped blaming herself for that one moment of childish selfishness.

The Vine's marriage didn't survive the tragedy. Richard Vine drank too much. Deborah Vine remarried and tried to move on.

Then a little boy disappeared, under almost identical circumstances, over twenty years later. But serial criminals don't usually wait that long. Two doesn't make a serial anything. But there is no other child snatching like these two, not in the long intervening years.

And psychotherapist Frieda Klein has a new patient. A patient who came to her before the boy, Matthew Faraday, was kidnapped.
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