Review – Audiobook: Blue Monday by Nicci French
Genre: Mystery, Psychological Suspense
Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks
Publish Date: March 1, 2012
Format: Audio, 11 hours | 14 minutes
Audio Listening Level: Medium
Rating: 4 of 5
Blue Monday is the first book in a new series by Nicci French featuring psychotherapist Frieda Klein, a solitary character whose life is her job.
We begin 20 years ago with an unsolved child abduction. Joanna Vine’s sister was supposed to be keeping watch over her on their way home from school but she was distracted for a moment, and Joanna disappeared. Now another child has gone missing only this time a boy, and under similar circumstances. This couldn’t possibly have been done by the same person, too much time had passed between the abductions. Or had it?
Meanwhile Frieda has a new patient who is having disturbing dreams of a little boy, a child he longs to have. The description of the child he sees matches that of the missing boy, Matthew. Frieda is disturbed by this and informs the police. At first the police don’t take Frieda’s concerns seriously, but soon a connection develops between this abduction and the one from 20 years ago, and Frieda becomes involved in the case.
I love a good mystery and Blue Monday, my first experience reading Nicci French, had all the right elements. It’s a suspenseful, well-plotted and fairly complex mystery with just enough creepy to give the reader a few shivers, but not so intense as to scare away more sensitive readers/listeners.
The story is told from Frieda’s point of view with occasional short, disturbing, passages from the missing child, Matthew. Frieda spends time introducing us to what I believe will be recurring characters in future books in the series. The pacing is moderate through most of the book but picks up towards the climax at the end and contains a couple of neat twists, one of which I didn’t suspect until just before it was revealed. The ending I predicted, but I believe we, the reader, were supposed to see that coming. Perhaps Frieda doesn’t see this yet because we will be revisiting this plot element in the next book, and I hope we do. Think of an episode of television’s Criminal Minds, where the hour is over but you want to know more about the bad guy.
Even though the plot was fairly complex, the audio was a pleasure to listen to. I never lost the story line and always knew which characters were speaking. Narrator Beth Chalmers did an excellent job with the accents and the pacing. Her rendition of Josef, Frieda’s handyman, was delightful and her voice for Matthew, the frightened abducted child, had just the right amount of fear.
Overall a good psychological suspense story and recommended first book in a new series. I’m looking forward to reading more of Frieda Klein in future books in this series.
Source: Review copy from the publisher.
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