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Blue Monday: A Novel

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Overview

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, ...

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Blue Monday: A Novel

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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review
“A neat puzzle with a satisfying resolution and a terrific twist at the end.”
Booklist
“With its smart plot, crisp prose, and a stunning final twist, this is psychological suspense at its best. Absolutely riveting.”
Publishers Weekly
This superb psychological thriller from the pseudonymous French (The Other Side of the Door) stars a cerebral and self-contained London psychotherapist, Frieda Klein. When one of Frieda’s patients describes longings for a child eerily like five-year-old Matthew Faraday, whose recent abduction is front-page news, she reluctantly reports what she hopes is a coincidence to the authorities. Det. Chief Insp. Malcolm Karlsson asks for her insights first on one aspect of the case and then on another, drawing her into an investigation involving her patient’s shadowy past and an earlier abduction with subtle links to Matthew’s. In a further breach of her once impeccable boundaries, Klein’s personal life gets tangled as well, when her lover decides to relocate overseas, her adolescent niece grows troubled, and a colleague spins out of control. 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. French is the husband-wife writing team of Sean French and Nicci Gerard. Agent: Joy Harris, Joy Harris Literary Agency. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Launching a new series of psychological thrillers, French (a husband-and-wife writing team; Losing You) introduces therapist Frieda Klein, who values the privacy of her patients as much as her own. So when a new patient describes a child he longs to have and his description closely matches that of Matthew Farraday, a five-year-old boy recently abducted, Frieda is torn. Are these the imaginings of a man who is only dreaming about what might be, or are these the musings of a man who has already acted? Did he kidnap Matthew? If he did, Frieda knows she has to go to the police. What is a conscientious therapist to do? VERDICT 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. [See Prepub Alert, 9/11/11.]—Jane Jorgenson, Madison P.L., WI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143122722
  • Publisher: Viking Penguin
  • Publication date: 3/5/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 210,581
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet 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

Average Rating 3.5
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

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(1)

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(8)

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    3.5/5 Blue Monday marks the start of a new series from bestselli

    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. The chapters written from Matthew's point of view in captivity were, as to be expected, hard to read.

    I always like being able to get in on the ground floor and read the first novel in a new series. I think this will be an interesting series, focusing on more of the psychological aspects of the crimes and characters versus a 'gritty' crime series. Now that the stage has been set and the players introduced, I'm sure further books will be a bit 'smoother' and we'll get to know Frieda and Malcolm a little better.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent start to a new suspense series!

    This book opens with the kidnapping of a five year old girl in 1987. I thought that I would not be able to read it but I kept going. Am I glad I kept reading! This story is one that you just cannot put down.
    Frieda Klein is a therapist who gets a new patient after her boss and former mentor screws up the patient’s initial appointment. The patient Alan, talks about how he wants a child and fantasizes about a red headed son he mysteriously gets. When a little boy matching the described fantasy child disappears, Frieda goes to the police and starts a series of events that she never would have imagined. Even though this lead doesn’t pan out Frieda keeps getting contacted by the lead detective and the two of them plug through many twists and turns involving Alan, the kidnapping, and even the 1987 kidnapping.
    Frieda herself is going through some difficulties with her family and the man who has recently become her lover. The police detective is having family issues. Her boss, Reuben has split with his lover and of course the patient at the center of it all, Alan, is coming to Frieda for anxiety related to his family or lack of one.. The interesting thing about Alan is that he seems to be in the most stable relationship of all the characters. The book goes into the workings in a therapist’s mind when she knows she may be crossing an ethical line in service of the greater good of the community and whether that is really a valid reason to do so. Frieda does seem to be a principled person, who finds herself in an unimaginable situation.
    Every time you think you have figured out what is happening in this book, you are surprised by a new twist. The final twist is especially shocking (although I had suspected) and the book does not tie up all of the loose ends. This is the first book in a series by Nicci French, who is actually a husband and wife writing team and maybe some things will be revisited or as in real life, sometimes we never get answers. I eagerly await book two in the series!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Frieda Klein believes the world is out of control and the only t

    Frieda Klein believes the world is out of control and the only thing we can control is what is inside our own heads. Yes, she is a psychotherapist. A very obsessive compulsive one at that. She spends her free time walking the streets of London to clear her head and get her thoughts in order.

    Frieda has a patient that keeps having recurring dreams for a child that looks just like him. He and his wife have been unable to conceive and it has tormented him so that he is very near a mental break. When she learns of the disappearance of 5 year old Matthew Farraday and sees his resemblance to the child her patient has described he feels she must notify someone is charge of the investigation. She never imagined she would be working with the chief investigator to find the boy.

    Dollycas’s Thoughts
    It is very important to lay out a really good foundation when starting a new mystery series and these authors (Nicci Gerrard + Sean French) have done an excellent job. Revealing enough about the primary characters to immerse us in the current story but leaving us intrigued about where these characters will go and grow in future installments.

    Frieda Klein is a perfect imperfect protagonist. She already has many layers. Reuben is a troubled soul that continues to emerge. Josef is a mystery himself and because of his background adds a little humor to a very intense story. Inspector Karlsson is a tough nut to crack but we can see a relationship with Frieda moving forward. The primary character to this story, Alan, was very well written as he struggled through his pain and dealt with a therapist he thought had betrayed him and had secrets revealed about his life that he never could have fathomed. All the characters are flawed which gives them so much depth.

    The mystery is extremely complex and suspenseful. A few white knuckle moments. These are experienced authors with several other bestsellers. They know how to create a thrilling tale to keep us turning those pages. It starts slow and builds. I am anxious to see where the next Frieda Klein takes us.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Another Think

    This novel, whose protagonist, Frieda Klein, is a psychotherapist, is promised to be the first of a new series of psychological thrillers authored by this husband-and-wife team. It has the makings of an interesting work, but it seems to me that Frieda, whose profession is helping other people to cope with life, needs a lot of help herself, which makes for a lot of ambiguity and confusion.

    At the heart of the plot is the disappearance of two children a couple of decades apart, and somehow Frieda, while treating a patient, divines clues to help the police solve the two kidnappings. Of course, the idea seems to be based on solid psychology principles, but appears to be contrived.

    Maybe the plot is too complex and Frieda a too-complicated personality for the reader to sustain undivided interest. On the other hand, it is interesting and one hopes another effort will be more rewarding.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2012

    This is the first novel I've read by Nicci French and was very i

    This is the first novel I've read by Nicci French and was very impressed. Blue Monday is smart, suspensful, serious but yet has light-hearted characters. I couldn't put it down and was sorry when it was over. I look forward to the next book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 12, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent 1st in a series. Two children are missing-one twenty t

    Excellent 1st in a series. Two children are missing-one twenty two years ago(the start of this story) and one current. Mystery taking place in current London. Freida Klein is a psychotherapist. She takes on a patient and through her treatment of this patient the story intersects with the mystery of the missing children and Freida aiding the police to solve the kidnappings. Freida is a loner, loves her profession and her home, confident in herself and her life, yet is very human with her own love and family issues,and her interactions with co-workers and friends.. This is a page turne, very interesting and keeps your attention. Writing is staccotto, somewhat jumpy, sifting alot.Plot twists, some surprising and some unexpected. Overall VERY GOOD; will look forward to more in this series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Mysterious And Compelling

    Dr. Frieda Klein is a psychotherapist who practices in London. Intensely private and reclusive in her private life, she is insightful and able to help those few patients she agrees to take on. London is abuzz with the latest crime story--five year old Matthew Farraday has been kidnapped from the street and is missing. The police are trying everything they can, but Matthew has just vanished into thin air. Drawing on his years of expertise, Chief Inspector Karlsson believes that this crime may be related to one that occurred twenty years ago where five-year-old Joanna Vine was also taken from the street. She was never found, her body never identifed although common wisdom says she is long dead. Frieda meets Karlsson when she is moved to break a patient's confidence; something she has never done. This man, a new patient, has recurring dreams of having a child; specifically a son. That son looks exactly like Matthew Farraday. Dr. Klein is disturbed enough by the resemblance that she has her patient checked out. His alibi for the time of the disappearance is solid, but as Frieda continues to probe she uncovers the shocking secrets of his life. This is the first book in a new series by the writing team of Nicci French, the writers Nicci Gerrald and Sean French. Readers will be immediately drawn to the reclusive Dr. Klein and interested in both the Chief Inspector and the flow of the investigation. The writing is brooding, mysterious, compelling. This book is recommended for mystery lovers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Sometimes I'm timid about taking on an English novelist (or two

    Sometimes I'm timid about taking on an English novelist (or two in this case) when it comes to suspense and mystery. I don't always "get" the nuances and I wonder if that causes me to lose something in the whole. But, when I started reading "Blue Monday" I knew immediately this was going to be a book I could tuck between my fingers and rest assured I wouldn't miss a blink understanding! This book is killer. I couldn't wait to get to the resolution of the story, but I didn't want it to end. You know exactly the kind of book I mean! A true suspense/thriller.


    The character of Freida Klein, psychiatrist and eccentric, is just genius. She's no ordinary blank- slate minded doctor. She's involved and going outside the acceptable boundaries to help her patients. It's enough to have me out of my apple green recliner applauding!! What an amazingly humane and respectable creation she is. Hurray for women psychiatrists!! I could tag along with this one in as many books as Nicci French wants to write. Klein's friends and companions are equally entertaining and invested in helping others even when it makes them climb outside the box. This is an entire crew of people to cheer for! I adore them. Their grit, panache and absurdities are so familiar I want to jump on them!

    The other, more mysterious characters developed in "Blue Monday" revolve around the kidnapping of two children of a close age, 20 years apart, within a similar circumstance. It's very difficult to do more than tell you there are fascinating connections between odd and seemingly random people. This major plot will make your head spin. Each of these primary characters are so intricately drawn that it's as if they'd been specifically diagrammed on a page of their own. They are perfection of person and psychology. Rangey, ratty and raw of emotion, these are people from the darker side of life. Scary even to read about them, even scarier to get a peek into their psychological make up.


    You will find this a fantastic suspense novel with extraordinary plotting and conniving from Machiavellian minds. You'll be turned around and around in slammed doors of dead end resolutions, false turns and pot holes. Mirror-like reflections will keep you in suspense. A thrilling race for time will keep you on your toes as if you're the one hunting for the lost child. And a final drop in deep space will have you gasping.


    I can't wait to read more books with Dr. Frieda Klein as the psychiatrist in charge. This is a top-notch suspense/thriller.


    Deborah/TheBookishDame

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2012

    what is this?

    WASTE OF TIME

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2012

    A very satisfying thriller. Looking forward to more Frieda Klei

    A very satisfying thriller. Looking forward to more Frieda Klein.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2012

    Compelling characters

    The Nicci French team's first novel in a proposed series includes compelling characters and some interesting plot twists. I enjoyed the story's structure and the writing.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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