When her brother arrives on her doorstep, Hester Monk is shocked - as much by the unexpectedness of the visit as by the reason for it. For since her marriage to Monk, Charles and his elegant wife, Imogen, have kept their distance. But now Charles needs Hester's help. He believes Imogen is having an affair - there can be no other explanation for ...
When her brother arrives on her doorstep, Hester Monk is shocked - as much by the unexpectedness of the visit as by the reason for it. For since her marriage to Monk, Charles and his elegant wife, Imogen, have kept their distance. But now Charles needs Hester's help. He believes Imogen is having an affair - there can be no other explanation for her recent strange behaviour. However, before Hester is able to investigate, a tragedy occurs. In a nearby artist's studio two women have been brutally killed. Having left the police force with extreme ill feeling between himself and his superior, the last thing Monk wants to do is face the demons of his past. But, in the course of his work, Monk is left with no choice but to visit his old adversary, Runcorn, and involve himself with the sensational murder case.
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Publishers Weekly, 2001-11-05 The uncut audio version of Perry's latest book about the enigmatic, rough-edged private detective William Monk and his wife, Hester the no-nonsense nurse who learned her trade with Florence Nightingale in Crimea is a veritable time machine. Aided by Colacci's cool but carefully calibrated reading, which cleverly cranks up the excitement when necessary, Perry's tale transports readers to Victorian London along with a splendid side trip to Vienna, as the Monks try to clear a doctor friend of two murder charges. Along the way, Perry gets to show off again her seamless talent for illustrating the era's social evils this time addictive gambling and barely hidden anti-Semitism without making her obviously prodigious research seem lumpy or excessive. There's more about period medical practices here than some listeners might have the stomach for, as Hester and Dr. Kristian Beck (the man accused of killing his wife and an artist's model) perform some very bloody surgery, but it certainly roots the story in reality. So do Perry's writing and Colacci's sly reading about women's fashions and what they had to say about the social roles of the people forced to wear them. This is a perfect example of an audiobook that deftly captures a book's spirit. Simultaneous release with the Ballantine hardcover. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2001-09-17 From the enormously popular and hard-working Perry comes her 11th Victorian mystery featuring Hester and William Monk, to the certain delight of her faithful admirers. In the studio of a London artist, two women have been murdered, one of them the wife of Dr. Kristian Beck, a physician from Vienna with whom Hester's dear friend, Lady Callandra, is secretly in love. When Beck is charged with the murder, Callandra enlists the aid of Hester and William. Neither of the Monks fits tidily into polite society. William, a former policeman now working as a private enquiry agent, has no memory of his life before a serious injury five years ago; it may partly explain his cantankerous personality. Hester, a nurse who served under Florence Nightingale in the Crimean War, is outspoken, courageous, passionate, independent and stubborn not exactly your typical subservient Victorian gentlewoman. Indeed, a common theme for Perry is spotlighting the social ills of 19th-century England, particularly the treatment accorded to women. Here she layers a new evil into the plot: anti-Semitism, widely accepted then and a haunting precursor of ugliness to come. The author excels at re-creating the ambience of 1860s London streets, but stumbles in plot cohesion, succumbing at the last moment to out-of-left-field syndrome. Throughout, the key characters engage in a great deal of inner reflection made ponderous by wordiness and repetition. No doubt Perry's myriad fans won't care a whit. (Oct. 2) Forecast: The sample chapter included in the mass market edition of Slaves of Obsession, featuring Thomas and Charlotte Pitt from Perry's other Victorian series, will help fuel this novel's surefire sales. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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