Jill's Reviews > Blue Monday

Blue Monday by Nicci French
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Mar 01, 2012

really liked it

Frieda Klein is a psychotherapist in her mid-thirties who is seeing a patient, Alan Dekker, for panic attacks. His dreams and thoughts preceding these attacks have aspects which sound remarkably like details of the abductions of children that have terrorized London. In spite of her commitment to the confidentiality of patient confessions, she feels obliged to go to the police. She begins to work with Detective Chief Inspector Malcolm Karlsson, and soon is in incredible danger herself.

Discussion: Frieda tries to lead a very controlled, regulated life. She is afraid of deviation from routine, and afraid of being happy. She is unapt to reveal her vulnerabilities or doubts, and as Karlsson observes to his frustration, keeps herself to herself. And in fact, at one point she tells someone that she never falls in love with her patients because she knows too much about their thoughts: “You can’t fall in love with someone if you know everything about them.” It’s a good character portrait, but it doesn’t help the reader get to know Frieda anymore than it helps Karlsson. I’m hoping that in future installments of this new series, the omniscient narrator will relent a little a give us more about Frieda’s interior life.

Evaluation: This is an incredibly scary thriller with plenty of twists. The main source of the twists is a clever gimmick that the authors won’t be able to repeat in the future, so I look forward to seeing if future books come up with as many twists and turns. (This is the first in a planned series of eight featuring Dr. Klein.) I also really like Karlsson, and hope to see him again as well.
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