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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Audiobook Review: Blue Monday by Nicci French

TITLE: Blue Monday 
SERIES: Frieda Klein, Book #1 
AUTHOR: Nicci French 
PUBLISHER: Penguin Audiobooks
PUBLICATION DATE: March 1, 2012
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook, 11 hrs and 14 mins
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense, Thriller
ISBN: 978-1101538685
Monday, the lowest point of the week. A day of dark impulses. A day to snatch a child from the streets...

The abduction of five-year-old Matthew Farraday provokes a national outcry and a desperate police hunt. And when a picture of his face is splashed over the newspapers, psychotherapist Frieda Klein is left troubled: one of her patients has been relating dreams in which he has a hunger for a child. A child he can describe in perfect detail, a child the spitting image of Matthew.

Detective Chief Inspector Karlsson doesn't take Frieda's concerns seriously until a link emerges with an unsolved child abduction twenty years ago and he summons Frieda to interview the victim's sister, hoping she can stir hidden memories. Before long, Frieda is at the center of the race to track the kidnapper.

But her race isn't physical. She must chase down the darkest paths of a psychopath's mind to find the answers to Matthew Farraday's whereabouts.

And sometimes the mind is the deadliest place to lose yourself.



MY REVIEW: 

I received this audiobook for review from the publisher. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own.  

The prologue sets out the circumstances surrounding the abduction of 5 year-old Joanna Vine, who is never found. Joanna’s parents split up, and her mom remarries and seems to have moved on with her life. Her dad, on the other hand, cannot move on and is so wrapped up in his grief that he still waits every day for news that Joanna’s body has been found. Joanna’s sister, Rose, who was supposed to be watching Joanna at the time of her disappearance (and was then only 9 years old) blames herself and is riddled with guilt.

Frieda Klein is a psychologist living in London, England. Psychology has always intrigued me and, if I was ever to go into the medical field, psychology would be my area of study. One of Frieda’s patients has been having dreams about a red-haired boy with freckles. When he shows Frieda a childhood picture of himself, she thinks that he is just seeing himself as a childhood boy in his dreams. However, when five year-old Matthew Farraday goes missing, Freida cannot forget her patient’s dream about a red-haired, freckled boy...just like Matthew. He also revealed that he felt a similar obsession for a young girl when he was in his early 20s, and then it just went away. Now, these intense feelings have returned and a young boy has gone missing. Are the two abductions related, and is her patient involved?

What I loved most about this book is how flawed all of the characters are. Frieda is a woman who is as in need of psychological help as her patients! One of my favourite characters is Josef, a Ukrainian carpenter who falls through the ceiling of Freida’s office while doing repairs on the floor above. Her friendship with Josef was endearing, and their relationship is a bit like the patient counselling the shrink! He was my favourite character, by far, and I hope he will continue to play a role in the series.

I love when authors throw twists into the story, and French did not disappoint! This is a great psychological thriller, and the pace moves rather quickly. French creates a sense of urgency and anticipation, which enveloped me as I listened to the story. As a mom, I found the plot pretty unsettling. Not all loose ends are tied up at the conclusion, and I am eager to see what happens in the next one in the series!

New-to-me narrator Beth Chalmers did a wonderful job bringing the characters to life, and she adjusted the timbre of her voice to make each one distinct. I do not know whether her British accent is genuine or not, but she certainly is convincing! The voice she used to portray Matthew Farraday is creepy and haunting. I will definitely look for other books narrated by her.

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