Blue Monday, by Nicci French

First in a promised series of books about the psychotherapist Frieda Klein. In this one she has a patient who's been experiencing vivid thoughts of being a father, and seeing images of his "son". The boy he describes is very similar to a child who is subsequently abducted, although there's no possibility that Frieda's patient could have been involved in that. Frieda feels compelled to talk to the police though, and gets drawn into the investigation.

It was readable enough, although pretty far-fetched. Actually, thinking back on it, it was extremely far-fetched.

The book is fairly clearly billed as being first in a series about Frieda, which meant that I found myself approaching it slightly differently. For example there are various characters in the story (such as Josef, a Ukranian builder) who, if this had been a stand-alone book, would have to have been involved in the crime (given the amount of narrative coverage he gets). But knowing that more books about Frieda will follow, you can see that Josef is actually just a running character who doesn't have anything to do with the plot, but is a means to provide continuity through the series. There were a few people like this who I'd expect to see pop up in the next books.

I would read the next one if I found it in the charity shop. The French books are easy to read - I wouldn't say they're all compulsive and un-put-downable, but they do pass the time nicely. This wasn't as much of a disappointment as Brookmyre's departure from stand-alone novels.

Completed : 16-Nov-2012

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