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Blue Monday: Frieda Klein, Book 1 | [Nicci French]

Blue Monday: Frieda Klein, Book 1

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. 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 just such a child.
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Publisher's Summary

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 listeners 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 listeners of dark crime fiction and fans of In Treatment and The Killing.

©2012 Nicci French (P)2012 Penguin

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (384 )
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  •  
    William Spring Creek, NV, United States 04-08-12
    William Spring Creek, NV, United States 04-08-12 Member Since 2009

    Listen to a lot of audio books driving across the wide open spaces of Nevada during monthly 450 mile trips to and from Las Vegas.

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    "Terrific!"

    Can't wait for the next book in the Frieda Klein series. My wife was able to predict some of the story, but it all took me by surprise. I like the Frieda character a lot. Beth Chalmers is a terrific reader, perfectly delivering different characters' voices, and the narration parts are done without the changes in volume that make it hard to listen to books when driving. Very good story and performance overall. Definitely worth a credit!

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hilary United States 08-15-13
    Hilary United States 08-15-13 Member Since 2012

    I heart audiobooks! Best way to "read"!

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    "Engrossing thriller - an easy "read""

    I often listen to books when I'm doing something else: walking the dog, stuck in traffic, doing housework. I listen on my smart phone with ear plugs. So I like books that capture my imagination from the get-go but also "easy" to follow along. For instance, I love Balzac but I'm not listening to one of his novels while doing housework! I'd get lost.

    I enjoy thrillers because when done well they are zippy and engrossing. This is the first in a series with psychologist Dr. Frieda Klein. So there is some ground work laid with the characters who will be regulars, like Frieda's mentor and also, her handyman. Their storylines aren't germane to this plot, really, so the introductions are a bit awkward. But after that business is done, the plot gets going and moves along. Overall, I'd say the book was well written. I was never bored or tempted to "fast forward". I very much liked Frieda as a protagonist. She's flawed but principled. Although, Frieda makes some very questionable ethical choices when it comes to her profession. In the US you might get your medical license revoked. But I am aware that Brits have different rules when it comes to medicine, especially "public" medicine that is paid for by the government.

    I am not sure what the complaints are in some other reviews about the narrator. I loved her, I thought she did a great job with all the voices, both men and women. I could tell which character was talking just by the timbre and cadence.

    The plot is about child abduction, so be warned if you're sensitive to that sort of thing. There are a couple of big twits -- a few I saw coming, a few I didn't. Which is always fun.

    Planning on reading the other books in this series!

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Calgary, AB, Canada 04-29-12
    Elizabeth Calgary, AB, Canada 04-29-12 Member Since 2008

    A gadabout with no room for heavy books, so love the audio ones.

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    "Good listen"

    I really enjoyed this book. I thought the narrator did a great job keeping the characters separate. The story was predictable, but interesting. It was a shame so much of the story was used setting up the series and not concentrating on the story itself. I would still recommend it tho.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer East Hartford, CT, United States 08-26-12
    Amazon Customer East Hartford, CT, United States 08-26-12 Member Since 2010

    Not a writer, a writer wannabe, editor, lit maj, or pretend literary critic. Just an avid reader/listener. My ratings are opinion only.

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    "Not in the same league as Tana French, but okay."

    This book was recommended at the end of Tana French's Broken Harbor. I allowed myself hope, but alas, the story was just okay and very predictable. The dialog was on the weak side, suspension or reality was high and the characters seemed a little forced.

    Overall there were points that were gripping, but to many others where I had to rewind because I drifted into my own thoughts.

    Don't know if I will try the second in the series.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cristina Somerville, MA, United States 08-15-12
    cristina Somerville, MA, United States 08-15-12 Member Since 2009
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    "I was hooked"

    The premise that makes the story possible is a tad silly (I cannot say more without divulging too much). That said, I was hooked from the very beginning and could not wait to see what would happen next. Some of the twists you see coming -- but not too, too far ahead of the moment when they are actually revealed (so it only makes you feel good about your sleuthing). The narrator was phenomenal. And the character of Frieda extremely human.

    The second book in the series is already out (last month, I believe), but not on Audible. I hope it's only a matter of (not much) time. I can't wait to read it.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meggin Reno, NV, United States 05-28-12
    Meggin Reno, NV, United States 05-28-12 Member Since 2009

    Speaker, Coach, Author - in Reno, NV (A GREAT place!) I've been an avid Audible fan for several years. Listen on my iPhone many hours each week.

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    "First Nicci French Book, but Not the Last!"

    Outstanding on many levels! The story line was unexpected, the characters were different (not caricatured), the plot pulled me in and held me throughout. The narrator was superb!! I hope the future books by the Nicci French writing team (with Dr. Frieda Klein as the main character) are narrated by Beth Chalmers as well. Highly recommend.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John tallevast, FL, United States 08-11-13
    John tallevast, FL, United States 08-11-13 Member Since 2011

    To get a better idea of my background. I am a working class white male in my forties. I love good fiction, and I love smart books. I have drifted towards a lot of European writers like Reginald Hill, Val McDermid.,Etc....

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    "Finally - A pretty good book"

    After reading all the mixed reviews - I am glad I got this book.....

    The down side? I thought the detective handling the case was more of a jerk then needed.

    The good parts....

    1. The narration was very good.

    2. I don't get the negative as fa as the two writers. I thought they made it flow nicely. I think when you have the killer do a different voice to recognize he is the killer - People get into their heads.

    3. The story line and the plot were very good. It tries to get you with an couple aha! moments, and I think it did it's best. I'm cynical - because I am always looking for the twist and unfortunately found them before they happened - But that didn't change my opinion.

    To me - It's an easy 4 stars....

    J

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Pembroke Pines, FL, United States 09-26-12
    Robert Pembroke Pines, FL, United States 09-26-12 Member Since 2010
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    "One of the Best"

    The book started off a little slow in the very beginning (intentional I'm sure) but kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the rest of the book to the end. I would like more!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna 06-19-14
    Anna 06-19-14 Member Since 2008
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    "Good characters shadowed by author's fat phobia"

    If you disagree that being fat and middle-aged is the worst thing that can happen to a person, this may not be the book for you. Suspicious characters are often described as being overweight with inexpertly applied makeup as if this gives us some insight into their morality. I really liked the character of Frieda Klein but was frustrated by the prejudice of the narration. I was able to guess the ending so somewhat predictable.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracy Canada 04-27-14
    Tracy Canada 04-27-14 Member Since 2010

    A long time reader and listener - I just can't get enough of Audible! (Especially mysteries and Buddhist texts and history and ...etc!

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    "Figured It Out Right Away"
    What did you like best about Blue Monday? What did you like least?

    The narrator was excellent, and really captured the characters' voices well. I liked the concept of a psychologist and a detective pairing up.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I would have made the story a bit more gripping, and a lot less predictable. I seriously figured out a lot of the plot and the ending super early on in the novel. I kept listening anyway, but would prefer a better-crafted plot. Additionally - some of the events were completely unbelievable.


    Which character – as performed by Beth Chalmers – was your favorite?

    She did a really good job portraying all the characters. I think my favorite character was a minor one - Joseph.

    Note - there are quite a few minor characters in the novel, and they have NO bearing on the main plot. I also found Chloe, the main character's 16-year-old niece, totally unnecessary, and VERY annoying.


    Do you think Blue Monday needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I know this is the first in a series. The others may pick up on a couple of loose threads, but not necessary at all.


    Any additional comments?

    This is not a bad book at all, and I think the two main characters - Freida and Karlson (a psychologist and a cop) - are a really good investigative pair. It would be interesting to see how their professional relationship develops.

    But - I am not sure that I will read or listen to more in the series...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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