Blue Monday by Nicci French

Blue Monday
by
Nicci French

Rating:

Before I tell you why I loved this terrific book, I want to give you a little background about the novel and the authors. Published in 2011 and set in London, Blue Monday is the first in a series of eight mystery thrillers featuring Frieda Klein, a highly regarded psychoanalyst who, in this story, becomes entangled in a kidnapping investigation. Nicci French is the pseudonym for married suspense writers, Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. Together they have written over twenty books. You can find out more about Nicci French and the Frieda Klein series here.

Blue Monday’s story begins with Alan Dekker, one of Klein’s patients, who is tormented by disturbing recurring dreams of a young boy. Dekker is desperate to have a son of his own and the boy in his dreams eerily resembles recently kidnapped five-year-old Matthew Faraday. What’s the connection?

“This is the place where you’re allowed to say anything. There are no limits,” she tells Dekker. But is that really the case? In no time, Frieda finds herself in the middle of the investigation, led by Chief Inspector Malcolm Karlsson. He wonders if Matthew’s disappearance is related to a similar kidnapping twenty years earlier. A concrete evidence detective, he must then rely on Klein’s unconventional methods, and giving into her ideas may take them down the wrong path.

Getting to know Klein is not an easy task. Only happy when in control, professionally and personally, she relies on long late-night walks through deserted London neighborhoods to clear her head. Readers get to know her as she manages relationships with several secondary characters, including Sandy, a new love interest who wants a bigger commitment.

One of the things I enjoyed about Blue Monday is that it is a character-driven mystery. The authors’ characters are both interesting and complex, with their own sets of problems. They give the reader plenty to think about as they come into contact with what I’ll call the authors’ mood influencers: the dark London streets, deserted neighborhoods, gray fog and mist, all connected by the various rivers that run into and through the River Thames. In addition, I especially liked reading about Klein’s apartment, a safe spot she fiercely protects against intrusion.

I won’t spoil the story by revealing the authors’ clever and changing plot development. Twists and turns to the very last pages make Blue Monday a highly entertaining book. Some hanging details and a whopper development at the finish set the scene for the next book, Tuesday’s Gone. I’m looking forward to working my way through this series.

I recommend Blue Monday to readers who enjoy interesting characters and the challenge of unraveling a smart mystery.

And what’s the meaning behind the book’s title, Blue Monday? It “is about beginnings but also about the difficulty of beginning, its pains and regrets and fears. It also happens to be the title of two (very different) great songs—by Fats Domino and New Order,” explain the authors. (Read the full interview at penguinrandomhouse.com.)

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

21 thoughts on “Blue Monday by Nicci French

    1. I am definitely going to keep reading. It may take me a while to get through all of them, though, as I need to read other books too. Do you know if The Day of the Dead is the final book in the series or will the authors keep going? Thanks for reading and commenting.

    1. Hi Books and Bakes! Yes I enjoyed so much about Blue Monday and the authors’ writing – it has a lot of layers which is something I love in books. Thanks for stopping by! Stay warm over there – super cold here today!

      1. It’s getting cold here too. However, it’s just perfect to get snuggled down with a book. I’m off to research more Nikki French. It’s about time I got back into this! Xx

  1. Barbara, this is a wonderful review and one that is going straight in my list of books to read! I’ve just started what I think was your all time favourite book ‘Youngblood Hawke’ … wow! I’m there, with him and his raw energy and that of the writing is incredible.

    1. Oh Annika – I’m so glad you’re reading Youngblood Hawke. I get teased a lot for this being my favorite but I can’t help gush about it. I really enjoyed Blue Monday. I’m a sucker when I read mysteries because I don’t try to figure them out – I just go along and enjoy what happens. I read them for my library job and our Whodunits book group and was so happy to read Blue Monday! Thanks for visiting and commenting. Hope you’re having a nice Monday – very very cold here today!

    1. Hi Ann – I read mysteries for my library job and, although I prefer other genres, I have to say we have read some excellent ones, including this one. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

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