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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

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3.9 (600 )
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  •  
    Diana Perris, CA, United States 02-18-14
    Diana Perris, CA, United States 02-18-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Seriously , we are to believe this"

    Well first there a lot of characters. Sometimes mentioned almost in passing. When you hear their name again you are like 'wait, who was that?" now in a hard book you could easily thumb back through quickly until you spotted the name on a page. You cant do that on an audiobook. Then we Have Freida who seems pretty clever, she uses her therapist intuition wisely throughout, until the end! Seriously we are supposed to believe she 'figured' all the other stuff out and missed the most important aspect. Come on... really. It was so obviously, for a really long time what was going to happen, 'it' had happened before, to her, there is no way she should missed that. And then there's the Karlsson (sp?) he's hot, he's cold, he's hot, he cold. He thinks Freida is mumbo jumbo, then he sees a positive result, praises her. Then its mumbo jumbo again, more praise. again and again. either he has turned a believer or he hasn't.

    The story was entertaining. the narrator was AWESOME. I am not too fond of female narrators. But Beth Chalmers hits the mark. She transitions perfectly between the characters and is easily recognizable from one to the next. I would choose to listen to a book based on her alone.

    I will read the 2nd in series just to see where the authors go with Freida, and Joseph too. I wasn't sure why he was introduced in the story at all, I think if he weren't in the story he wouldn't be missed, I don't think he added anything. But he did grow on me as just a nice guy,

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wobbly WNC USA 08-14-13
    wobbly WNC USA 08-14-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Only one criticism"

    I didn't like the narrator's rendition of Carson's voice - always so angry, he became irritating. Enjoyed all the rest - story and narration. I like Frieda very much so I will check out the next in the series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mary WESTFIELD, MA, United States 05-06-13
    mary WESTFIELD, MA, United States 05-06-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Didn't see that coming!"
    Where does Blue Monday rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is probably one of the best audiobooks I have listened to.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Alan's character was one of my favorites because the turmoil he was experiencing was almost palpable and I found myself really feeling for him. This is not to say the others weren't memorable as well - Matthew drew me in and Freida herself was such a strong figure.


    What does Beth Chalmers bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narrator's voices for the different characters was so spot on...I could picture each of these characters as Chalmers moved in and out of them during conversations. She brought a different type of clarity to the book.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Riveting all the way to the last word!


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommend the story itself and- as an audiobook - OUTSTANDING! I am downloading the next in the series as soon as I finish this review!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JMom Seneca, SC USA 08-27-12
    JMom Seneca, SC USA 08-27-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Dull exposition; awful narrator"
    Would you be willing to try another one of Beth Chalmers’s performances?

    No, her voice and accents were grating. The whiny, nasal voices given to a couple of the male characters were especially bad.


    Any additional comments?

    The amount of time devoted to the philosophy and methods of psychoanalysis was excessive and deadly boring. The main character was apparently meant to be intriguing, with hints of family secrets to be revealed later in the series, but was not in the least an interesting person. Too much description of long walks, biting wind and sleet, and Freida's inexplicable love of London. Irrelevant cardboard romance that is supposed to show us Freida's proud independence and need for solitude (and, of course, love of London) but is just icky. Irrelevant and irritating plot interruptions by niece and sister-in-law. Cutesy relationship with Joseph that seems to have been inspired by Murphy Brown and her painter, Elden. If I sound excessively negative, it's because I was expecting a much better book on the basis of reviews, etc. I was looking forward to listening to it on a long car trip and it turned out to be like driving with someone that is kind of okay, but you can't stand being trapped in a car with for 12 hours.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jamie WATERTOWN, MA, United States 07-13-12
    Jamie WATERTOWN, MA, United States 07-13-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Couldn't stop listening"
    What did you love best about Blue Monday?

    This book has so many layers...I can see how a series is developing and the characters are likeable and real. The good thing is although there are a lot of characters, there is enough development that I had no trouble remembering who was who.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Blue Monday?

    I thought it was great how Joseph enters the story


    What about Beth Chalmers’s performance did you like?

    Chalmers does a great job- right amount of emotion, love the different voices and the accent. I hope she reads the next one too!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. O. Pardue Atlanta, GA United States 07-02-12
    L. O. Pardue Atlanta, GA United States 07-02-12 Member Since 2010

    I love to read books set in interesting places or historical settings. I especially love mysteries and thrillers.

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    "My first Nicci French book"

    The story started off brisk with the first abduction, but then the story became so slow that I found my mind would wonder instead of wanting to listening. Eventually, I would get back on track and enjoy parts of the story.

    One of my pet peeves with audio books is when there is natural break in the story to accommodate a switch of scenario and characters, the narrator should take a significant pause instead of continuing to narrate as if the last sentence of one scene flows into the first sentence of the next scene. To be fair, I don't know if that is the narrators fault or the way the audio book is put together. Anyway, I had to replay parts of the book over and over to get the meaning of all the twists and turns and many different characters.

    In the end, I rate the characters well written, but the story was not appealing to me. That is probably more my taste in subject than a flaw of the authors. I do feel that the writers are worth another try and will pick another book of theirs sometime in the near future.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracy Canada 04-27-14
    Tracy Canada 04-27-14 Member Since 2012

    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...

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen M. Lee 06-03-15
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    "Very predictable and generally unsatisfying"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Probably nothing- a flawed book to start with


    What was most disappointing about Nicci French’s story?

    I saw what was happening way before the protagonists did- not usual for me. They were so dim that they didn't realize how they were manipulated by the villain. Using the evil twin motif is more associated with soap operas than a mystery/police procedural. The ending was very unsatisfying. Very few positive characters that one could care about.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Male voices were pretty bad.


    Any additional comments?

    I think will be the last Nicci French book I read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate 05-10-15
    Kate 05-10-15 Member Since 2013
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    "If u get through the beginning"

    The beginning is hard to follow in audio, but later it makes more sense. Frieda is an intriguing character that you learn to respect as you go along. Overall the story was a bit predictable but still keeps you interested in the what will happen next in the characters lives. I will give the next book a chance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carmen C 05-07-15
    Carmen C 05-07-15

    I'm addicted to audiobooks, particularly thrillers and erotic reads. I'd love for you to follow my reviews!

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    "A Huge Miss for Me"

    This book was simply not for me. It didn't hold my attention well and Joseph was the only character who interested me. (What was the reason for the horribly obnoxious teenager with no boundaries? I don't know anyone who needs MORE of that in their day. Might as well include a baby crying for pages and pages!) I felt like the story was disjointed, didn't have a point, and was supremely unsatisfying. I'm a doctor of clinical psychology, and the psych parts bored me beyond tears. I felt like this book spent the majority of the time setting up a series, and since I won't be reading the other books that was a waste of my time. Possible Spoiler: In the end, the thing I disliked most was how stupid the main character and the cops turned out to be with regards to the crime. Why base a series on a bunch that are outsmarted by the criminals? I don't get that.

    The narration was spot on, but not good enough to make up for the story for me. If you tend to like most everything you read, or if you liked the Profiler's Daughter, you might like this book/series. The writing itself in this one is good. But if you're on the picky side (like me), I'd recommend Tana French instead.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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