Television’s most obsessive-compulsive investigator (Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants, 2007, etc.) de-compensates when his psychiatrist goes to a conference overseas.
Since his breakdown following the car-bomb death of his reporter wife Trudy, Adrian Monk has been doing better. He still obsesses over the disappearance of his sock (“a left sock,” he points out) and frets that his one-legged neighbor is a cannibal, but he solves the murders of Amy and Eric Clayson without leaving the Telegraph Hill apartment in which their corpses are found, and he unmasks Clarke Trotter’s killer overnight. Although his therapist doesn’t think he’s quite ready to rejoin the police force, Dr. Kroger does think Monk will be able to skip a session while Kroger attends a seminar in Germany. Too bad Monk doesn’t agree. He’s so freaked at the thought of a missed appointment that he browbeats his assistant Natalie Teeger into flying to Lohr with him (on a plane! with recirculated air!) so he can see his shrink. Of course, Lohr is a nightmare to Monk (cobblestone streets! buildings with no right angles!), but the scariest sight is a six-fingered man—like the man who ordered Trudy’s death—arm in arm with his psychiatrist. Committed to proving that the polydactylic Dr. Rahner is a killer, Monk tangles with Hauptkriminalkommissar Stoffmacher of the local Polizei and nearly gets committed for good.
Monk’s antic neurosis may be cute on television, but on the page, it’s just silly.