The eighth mystifying William Monk novel from Anne Perry
Anne Perry is a New York Times bestselling author noted for her memorable characters, historical accuracy and exploration of social and ethical issues. Her two series, one featuring Thomas Pitt and one featuring William Monk, have been published in multiple languages. Anne Perry has also published a successful series based around World War One and the Reavley family, and the recent standalone novel The Sheen on the Silk. Anne Perry was selected by The Times as one of the twentieth century's '100 Masters of Crime'. She now lives in Scotland.
Prolific murder-mystery writer Perry has evaded the scientific precision of modern forensic fact-finding by weaving current-day issues and characters into a richly detailed Victorian-era milieu. One man is found murdered and another on the edge of death in the notorious London slum called St. Giles. Although it looks as if they may have engaged in a mortal fight, they are in fact father and son from a well-to-do family. Later, links develop between these men and a series of violent rapes of prostitutes. Hester Latterly, nurse and protector of the surviving son, Rhys, counterbalances detective William Monk in their mutual pursuit of the truth. By the novel's end, revelations of corruption and depravity break through the severe conventions of upper-class Victorian prudery in a dramatic courtroom scene. Perry followers and others will enjoy this new addition. Highly recommended.‘Michelle Foyt, Fairfield P.L., Ct.
Although lacking the panache of last year's Weighted in the Balance, William Monk's eighth outing adds to Perry's convincing yet disturbing picture of early Victorian London. Hired to find men whose evening entertainment runs to raping and beating prostitutes in the slum of St. Giles, Monk soon brushes up against murder: Leighton Duff, a respectable solicitor, was found beaten to death in St. Giles, with his son, Rhys Duff, nearby, barely alive. Despite his receiving excellent care from Hester Latterly, the nurse with whom Monk shares a volatile relationship, physical and emotional injuries have reduced Rhys to virtual silence: he can't speak and his hands are broken. Inquiries conducted by Monk and by the police suggest that Rhys was in the right place to beat the women (which interests police not at all) and murder Leighton (which interests them greatly). But, as in other Perry mysteries, it takes more than one perspective to reveal the truth, and Latterly maintains that Rhys, despite his displays of inarticulate rage, is innocent. When Latterly recruits barrister Sir Oliver Rathbone to Rhys's cause, and Sir Oliver naturally hires Monk to gather evidence, the investigator must question what he thinks he knows. Although the young man's silence and the suspicions surrounding him are ultimately resolved and tied neatly into the plot, readers may feel they are bearing the weight of this contrivance like so much overpacked luggage. (Oct.)