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
A long time reader and listener - I just can't get enough of Audible! (Especially mysteries and Buddhist texts and history and ...etc!
The narrator was excellent, and really captured the characters' voices well. I liked the concept of a psychologist and a detective pairing up.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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,
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.
This is probably one of the best audiobooks I have listened to.
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.
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.
Riveting all the way to the last word!
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!
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.
I thought it was great how Joseph enters the story
Chalmers does a great job- right amount of emotion, love the different voices and the accent. I hope she reads the next one too!
I love to read books set in interesting places or historical settings. I especially love mysteries and thrillers.
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.
No, her voice and accents were grating. The whiny, nasal voices given to a couple of the male characters were especially bad.
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.
Painful. Slow. Frustrating. Filled with characters that have nothing to do with the actual "crime".
I imagine this book to be exactly like the actual investigation. It was painful. Inept. Confusing. The authors seem to have some genuine skill...but they tried too hard to do something spectacular and only got a muddled, endless, tired mess.
Cannot imagine even considering the next book in the series.
After completing Tana French's Broken Harbor, Recorded Books suggested that, "If you liked this book, we recommend that you read "Blue Monday" by Nicci French."
Well, seeing as Broken Harbor was an exceptionally well written book and a great listen, I decided to take the advice of Recorded Books and give Blue Monday a try.
I am usually very careful when researching a book and, as a result, I am rarely disappointed. However, disappointment is one way to describe Blue Monday. Although the writing wasn't awful, I thought of giving the story a "1". It was so inferior to the the brilliant writing of Tana French (no relation), that it seemed to be outright deception for Recorded Books to suggest that, if I liked Broken Harbor, I should give Blue Monday a try!
Not only is the writing sub-par, but the story line and character development are so superficial, that I thought of quitting the book altogether two or three times.
The best that I can say about the book is that it was just good enough to put up with until the end and,at the end, it was a relief to have it be over.
After Blue Monday ended, Recorded Books announced that Blue Monday was "the first book in an exciting new series."
Lesson learned.....don't listen to the false and self-serving recommendations at the end of good books. Instead, do your homework or else you to will end-up with a "Blue Monday."
Yes, this was an excellent murder mystery, with interesting characters, in a great London setting. I will definitely be getting the other books in this series!
It is hard to say without giving things away. There is a great twist in the story, that is very intriguing, and I think with be enjoyable to anyone who loves a good mystery.
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