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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 Ratings

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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.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

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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!

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • tallevast, FL, United States
  • 08-11-13

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

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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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!

22 of 24 people found this review helpful

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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.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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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.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • cristina
  • Somerville, MA, United States
  • 08-15-12

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.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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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!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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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.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • mary
  • WESTFIELD, MA, United States
  • 05-06-13

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!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Kath of Oz
  • 07-03-16

Brilliant

A great lead character. A suspenseful plot. Intriguing at every turn. Looking forward to the next in the series.