Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Literally the Best Reviews: Blue Monday

Blue Monday - Nicci French
Pamela Dorman Books
322 Pages

Several months ago, someone recommended the Louise Penny mystery series. When I was looking on Amazon on similar books (something I do all the time when I find a book I like), one of the recommended books was Blue Monday by Nicci French. Ironically, I had just seen Sunday Silence on the New Releases shelf at the Lockport Library, and I thought the book looked interesting. I realized that this was part of the series and I was looking at the first and latest books of said series. Well, my OCD locked in and I brought the first book home with hopes of finding a new series to read. (I love series. You gain a more intimate relationship with the characters when you meet them again and again in book after book.)

Frieda Klein, the main protagonist of the series, is a psychologist. She is somewhat anti-social and carrying a lot of baggage of her own, as is the case with most characters of this genre. When five-year-old Matthew Farraday goes missing, Klein has no idea how deeply she will be dragged into that case. She takes over a case from a former colleague and mentor, the patient has a unique look into the case which turns into an incredible twist throughout the book.

Underlying the disappearance of Matthew is a similar disappearance over two decades before the modern case. Joanna Vine was five years old when she went missing on the walk home from school. Is there a connection to the Farraday case? The twists and turns of this case and what Klein uncovers as the story carries on will keep the readers turning the pages.

Nicci French is the pseudonym of Nicci Gerrard and Sean French, a husband and wife writing team from England. They both have written works separately under their real names as well as under their collaborative pseudonym. They have written seven of the Frieda Klein books since 2011. The writing team gives a unique psychological journey in the pages.

A lot of authors are able to write several characters from different points of view. They do the job very well. However, underneath all that, despite making different characters, there is a similarity coming from the same mind. Sometimes, it is barely perceptible. With Nicci French, we get tow writers creating characters from two very different points of view. There were moments that the transitions were downright frightening.

As I began reading this book, I thought I had the character of the kidnapper totally figured out. Then I was thrown for an unexpected loop, although I did figure out the very end of the book before I got to it. The diabolical nature of the antagonist was beautifully written. The psychopathic nature of this character drips from the pages. The flaws of Frieda Klein illustrate her inner conflicts and propel her forward with some of her avoidance issues.

This novel was scary good. Literally. The Nicci French writing group writes a thrilling and engaging book. I already can’t wait to get back to the library to get the next book in the series. Tuesday’s Gone is the next book on the list. Tuesday is also my next scheduled visit to the library. I’m sure I’ll let you know how it all turns out.

Craig Bacon loves a book that keeps him guessing and throws solid curveballs. He’s always excited to find a new series to read.