In this city there were many ghosts. She had to take care. She avoided the cracks between the paving stones, skipping and jumping, her feet in their scuffed lace- up shoes landing in the blank spaces. She was nimble at this hopscotch by now. She had done it every day on the way to school and back ever since she could remember, first holding on to her mother’s hand, dragging and jerking her as she leaped from one safe place to the next; then on her own. Don’t step on the cracks. Or what? She was probably too old for such a game now, already nine, and in a few weeks’ time she would be ten, just before the summer holidays began. Still she played it, mostly out of habit but also nervous about what might happen if she stopped.
This bit was tricky— the paving was broken up into a jagged mosaic. She got across it, one toe pressing into the little island between the lines. Her plaits swung against her hot cheek, her school bag bumped against her hip, heavy with books and her half- eaten packed lunch. Behind her, she could hear Joanna’s feet following in her steps. She didn’t turn. Her little sister was always trailing after her, always getting in her way. Now she heard her whimpering, “Rosie! Rosie, wait for me!”
“Hurry up, then,” she called over her shoulder. There were several people between them now, but she caught a glimpse of Joanna’s face, hot and red under her dark fringe. She looked anxious. The tip of her tongue was on her lip in concentration. Her foot landed on a crack and she wobbled, hitting another. She always did that. She was a clumsy child who spilled food and stubbed her toes and stepped in dog poo. “Hurry!” Rosie repeated crossly, weaving her way past people.
It was four o’clock in the afternoon and the sky was a flat blue; the light flared on the pavement, hurting her eyes. She rounded the corner toward the shop and was suddenly in the shade where she slowed to a walk, for the danger was over. The paving stones were replaced by tarmac. She passed the man with the pockmarked face who sat in the doorway with a tin beside him. There weren’t any laces in his boots. She tried not to look at him. She didn’t like the way he smiled without really smiling, like her father sometimes, when he was saying good-bye on a Sunday. Today was Monday: Monday was when she missed him most, waking up to the week and knowing he wasn’t there again. Where was Joanna? She waited, watching the other people flow past her— a flurry of youths, a woman with a scarf round her head and a large bag, a man with a stick— and then her sister emerged from the dazzle of light into the shadows, a skinny figure with an oversized bag, knobbly knees, and grubby white ankle socks. Her hair was sticking to her forehead.
Reprinted by arrangement with Pamela Dorman Books/Viking, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., from BLUE MONDAY by Nicci French. Copyright © Nicci Gerrard and Sean French, 2011.
Blue Monday by Nicci French draws you into a chilling world in which the terrors of the mind spill over into real life.
London psychotherapist Frieda Klein is troubled. Her patient, Alan Dekker, has been having anxiety attacks based on a fantasy of having a son…a fantasy that shows up as realistic, guilty dreams of seizing a child. What disturbs Frieda is that 5-year-old Matthew Farraday has just gone missing—and he's the spitting image of the boy Dekker described.
DCI Malcolm Karlsson doesn't take Frieda's concerns seriously, until a link emerges with an unsolved child abduction case from 22 years ago. Before long, Frieda is at the center of the race to track the kidnapper—a chase down the darkest paths of a psychopath's mind.
Hardcover Book : 336 pages
Publisher: Viking Penguin/Division, Penguin Putnam ( March 01, 2012 )
Item #: 13-484192
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.75inches
Product Weight: 13.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
a good read! i will look for other books by this author.
Reviewer: j. b
This book was good, but fell short of being great and one I would highly recommend. Like so many books I've read lately, it started out great, and the writing was good, and the suspense kept me reading far into the night, but toward the end the story didn't unfold or develop the way I imagined it would or should, and I was disappointed. I was frustrated at times with the lack of insight and intelligence exhibited by the main character, Dr. Klein. Without revealing too much of the story here, the explanation in the end was too far-fetched for me. I would have given the book a 3.7 rating if I could.
Good detective reading book. I like to read Nicci French books.
Reviewer: L. L