Nicci French

Blue Monday

"...a truly gorgeous, well handled, dark, Gothic psychological chiller that slowly and luxuriously unwinds with every page."


Frieda Klein is a psychotherapist. She is currently helping a middle-aged man called Alan who has been seeing Frieda since he threatened to complain about another therapist he had been seeing. But instead of being disinterested, Frieda is worried that she is hearing more than a man’s fears and worries - she believes he may be confessing to her.

Alan is unable to have children but in his imagination he craves a child - a boy that is his, has his features, his bright red hair…

Then a child is taken. Matthew Farraday - a young boy with bright red hair.

Caught between her conscience and professional discretion, Frieda must make a decision, one she cannot take lightly as she has Alan’s interests to think of as well as possibly saving the life of a young boy. But nothing is as it seems and soon Frieda is embroiled in a race that will put her and others in danger from a predator who will do whatever is necessary to survive.

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‘Blue Monday’ is a wonderful tour-de-force, a novel that makes the reader think as well as the authors dishing up a credible story that grips like a vice. French has decided it is time to step away from ‘standalones’ and to concentrate on a series - ‘Blue Monday’ being the opener. As expected with this author there are no guns blazing, no car chases, no in-depth description of eviscerated body parts... Thankfully, no. What ‘Blue Monday’ delivers is a truly gorgeous, well handled, dark, Gothic psychological chiller that slowly and luxuriously unwinds with every page. Readers can feel the serpent of the story slowly uncoiling, waiting to spring and strike but not before the precise moment of attack. As with all French’s novels, the supporting artists are just as important as the main protagonists and we find ourselves in the very good company of Reuben and Josef – two brilliantly eccentric characters who bring a mood of levity to the proceedings - as every tragedy needs its comedy to balance out the good and evil; the dark and the light. The book is littered with references to Frieda’s estrangement to her family which are intriguing and which the author promises will be fully explored in the arc of these novels featuring Klein. Nicci and Sean French seem to have firmly installed fifth gear to get the Klein story arc started on full throttle. ‘Blue Monday’ has a clear moral compass and no character is merely a plot device – everyone who is there ‘needs’ to be there and has their reason. It is this gut feeling for people that puts these writers amongst good company such as Patricia Highsmith, Lesley Grant-Adamson and Frances Fyfield who have carved amazing novels by showing the reader not only ordinary people, but also their souls. ‘Blue Monday’ is a study in people’s needs; their wants and desires. This is what makes this novel a truly chilling read. The only thing that jars with me is having to wait a book a year before all is revealed with Frieda Klein!!!

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