Blue Monday by Nicci French

Blue Monday by Nicci French
Publisher: Penguin Group

As I mentioned before, I started with book 7 – yeah, brilliant. But I was so taken with the story and characters that I decided I would grab book 1 and read the beginning, even if I do have a few spoilers along the way.

This book is the start of the Frieda Klein series and it begins in 1987.

It takes a while to get started, it moves rather slowly at first while you get to know the characters but, in my opinion, the character development is worth it. Frieda is a psychotherapist. She isn’t a warm character but I like her. She’s complex, cool and competent. Intelligent and a problem solver. Her mind never seems to shut down and so she walks the streets of London at night until she is weary. I like her rituals such as laying the fire in the morning so she can start a fire each evening when she returns home. I like her organizational method to approaching….anything.

This book introduces us to Frieda’s latest client, a troubled man named Alan Dekker. The short gist of it is he is an emotional mess. He is on the verge of a breakdown and anxious all the time about so many things in his life. To add to it, he and his wife Carrie are having trouble conceiving a child. He wants a child of his own rather than adopting and gives Frieda great detailed descriptions of his fantasy child, down to the hair color and build. He explains all this during his therapy sessions, a place where he should be safe and know his feelings won’t be shared. Unfortunately a little red-haired boy named Matthew Faraday has been abducted and he fits the description of the fantasy child to the letter. Big red flag here! Did Dekker abduct Matthew?

Now comes the ethical dilemma for Frieda about whether she needs to go to the police. Detective Chief Inspector Karlsson is assigned the missing child case and this is where he crosses paths with Frieda Klein. It’s explosive in so many ways. This sets up the premise that Frieda may be working, albeit hesitantly, with the police now and again.
The end wraps up fairly nicely yet leaves you curious about a few possible loose ends.

So. Now that I have read both the last book and then this book  I can say that I will read the series  – but I liked the characters in Sunday Silence better than this one. Clear as mud right? Knowing how some of these folks turn out and clearly the writing was crisper in book 7, that’s what interests me. Blue Monday needed to have the character development and the explanations about their lives but it wasn’t a I’m-in-love-with-this-series instantly had I started with this book.
Please don’t let me turn you off to the Frieda Klein series, I honestly do think it’s good.

Food mentioned here and there……
Curried cauliflower and chick pea salad
Marmalade Bakewell tart
Holubsti (pickled fish)
Kutya (wheat, honey, poppyseed and nuts)

Recipe for chickpea salad may be found HERE.


Linking up with Joy’s British Isles Friday , Beth Fish’s Weekend Cooking Series and January Foodies Read at Spirit Blog.


24 thoughts on “Blue Monday by Nicci French

  1. So often I think I should give series a second chance because the first books are not as good as later books in the series. Some authors spend time in the first book setting up the character, background and setting and it might seem slow. Sometimes too, authors just get better as they write. Nicci French is a husband and wife of writers and I don’t know if this is the first thing they wrote together. It probably takes time to get into sync with each other as writers. This series definitely is better as it goes along.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you here, I was completely absorbed in book 7 and yet, I don’t know if I would have sought out the second one in this series if I’d started with the first. Funny how the writing gets better and better. I feel that way about the DCI Banks books too.


    • I’m just the opposite there, Vicki. I love a fat series and always hope the first books will pull me in. I think I am now caught up on the DCI Banks series of 24 books!


  2. The books sound like something I’d enjoy, will have to check them out, starting with the first, though thanks for the warning to stick with it as the series gets better. The recipe sounds pretty good as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m intrigued by the Marmalade Bakewell tart. I’m not entirely sure what it is but it sounds amazing! I think I read Book 6 in this series but I sped through it so fast it’s on my reread list so that I can savor it more. It’s a bit darker than my normal but I was impressed with the complexity of Frieda especially. This sounds like the potential would keep me reading more than the actual book. From the sounds of it may be better to start with the later books so you can fall love with the series and then go back and read the earlier books!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Elegy for Eddie #BookReview #BriFri – Joy's Book Blog

  5. Pingback: Top Ten Tuesday – Books with Color in the Titles | Novel Meals

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