Caitlin's Reviews > Blue Monday

Blue Monday by Nicci French
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's review
Feb 19, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012

Nicci French is actually a married couple who write as a team - Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. I haven't read them before, but the plot description grabbed me and I dug in.

I keep reading British thrillers that blow me away and are often by writers who are new to me - Sister by Rosamund Lupon and Now You See Me by S.J. Bolton come to mind. Blue Monday joined that category. There is something very delicate about the way this book is written and the way its story unfolds.

Against the backdrop of a child abduction, we are introduced to Frieda Klein, a psychoanalyst living very much inside of her head - a woman after my own heart because she walks all over London (just as I do all over Berkeley). The story of the child abduction and the various ways it comes to be connected to another abduction and, sort of, solved is the context that Frieda inhabits. In many ways the strength of the telling lies with the focus on character and relationship and inner voices, rather than the actual (very disturbing) set of crimes.

When one of Frieda's patients tells her of a dream that mirrors the recent abduction, she is forced out of her solitary chair and walks and out into the world, reluctantly joining the police in trying to find out what happened to this child. There are many twists and turns and a surprise at the end that I should have seen coming, but somehow didn't (very rare for me - good job, authors).

There are wonderful secondary characters, my favorite being Josef, the Ukrainian builder who appears in the book quite suddenly. I don't want to give too much away, but his appearance and subsequent involvement with events in the book is a highlight. Josef brings the real, practical world of maintaining the structures in a way that is real, interesting, and much needed. He is not living in his head, but in the world.

Add the starring role that London plays, a disturbing and effective mystery and you have a great read. I'll definitely look for the second in this series.

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