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Blue Monday - Nicci French
Member Name: Doglovers
Blue Monday - Nicci French
Date: 03/04/12, updated on 07/07/13 (84 review reads)
Advantages: Gripping and some good twists
Disadvantages: Guessed some of the twists. Some character add nothing
I became a big Nicci French fan after reading Land of the Living, which in my opinion is their best book.
A Sunday paper printed an extract and I rushed out to buy the book as I was so intrigued and gripped by the storyline I could not wait to find out what happened next.
I have bought and enjoyed every book since, with the exception of the last one Complicit , which I thought was rubbish.
So I was not sure whether I should buy Blue Monday, but my husband bought it for me as he also likes Nicci French. I think I would have bought it as one bad book is allowed when all the others have been so good.
Nicci French is the name used by husband and wife team Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. The partnership works well as I personally can't tell who writes which part and apart from the last book I think they write well together.
I would describe their books as psychological thrillers that keep you guessing and in the case of Land of the Living make you want to read them nonstop until you finish. They are absolute masters in this genre. The books are aimed at adults you should be aware they contain violence sex swearing and can be quite graphic.
Blue Monday I understand is the first in a series of books that will feature Freida Klein a psychotherapist. Something of a departure for the writers who generally write stand alone novels.
This first instalment begins with the abduction of five year old Mathew Faraday which as you would expect is front page news and the police and his family are desperate to find him as quickly as possible.
As time ticks by the police know that their chances of finding Matthew alive are becoming slimmer.
Psychotherapist Frieda may be able to help as when one of her patients describes a dream featuring a child just like Matthew, Frieda is so concerned she reports this to the police As events unfold Frieda becomes more and more involved in identifying the abductor who took Mathew.
To find out whether she succeeds you will have to read the book.
I am not sure whether I can recommend this book as I was completely underwhelmed by the first few chapters and the jury is out on what I think about Frieda the psychotherapist.
It is difficult to say too much as I will give the plot away and spoil your enjoyment if you choose to read this.
I really struggle with books where I don't like or am indifferent to the main character and that is the problem with this book. Frieda is portrayed as a loner, an independent woman who when she can't sleep, walks the streets of London so she can think.
I just could not identify with her and as we the reader are only given snippets of information about her it is difficult to understand what drives her to do the things she does in the novel. She takes incredible risks and displays really poor judgement at times and that makes her character slightly unbelievable.
There is a love interest and a range of characters connected to Frieda are introduced that don't seem to add anything to the plot, other than demonstrate her single mindedness and perhaps that she does care about people.
The first few chapters left me cold and then all of a sudden the book picked up and I started to warm to it. Of course I wanted to know what happened to Matthew but at the beginning that was the only reason I carried on reading.
So the book picked up and it seemed like the partnership was back on track, throwing in twists, building up the tension and plenty of suspense and I started to really enjoy the book and could not put it down.
Unfortunately that didn't continue.
I guessed a couple of the major twists and then started to wonder whether Frieda was a little mad as she blundered about exposing herself and others to danger. At times I felt like you do in those films where people hear a noise and go look without a thought that there might be a lunatic about. I always shout at the TV - 'stay where you are'. Well Frieda has quite a few moments like that.
I think the reason this didn't work for me is that I needed to know a little more about Frieda , OK leave some things for the next books, but a little more background was required to understand why she acts the way she does. Plus some of the characters were not necessary and more could have been made of DCI Karlsson who desperately wanted to solve the case.
I really think they have left the details of some of the characters really sketchy simply because this is a first in a series. For me that dilutes the strength in their writing which has up to press been the characters, the victims and the perpetrators.
However my husband has since read this and totally disagrees with me. He thinks the couple are back on track and thoroughly enjoyed this and is looking forward to the next one - I don't think he guessed the twists!
This has quite a few reviews on Amazon and overall it is rated 4 stars , so it seems I am in the minority, but for me this isn't a patch on their earlier novels which I found really gripping.
Amazon have this in paperback for £4.19 and £3.99 on Kindle and £9.74 on Audio Download or buy a Used one for 1p + £2.80 postage.
In parts 5 star , but other parts only 2 Stars so just 3 stars from me.
If you have not read Nicci French before go for the earlier books as they are much better.
I thought thet the duo would not choose such an iconic title and not do it justice . However unlike the song I don't think this will become a classic.
Summary: Great in parts , but overall disappointed.