Anne Perry Brings Back William Monk in A Sunless Sea
By Amy Lignor
It’s never a surprise to say that Anne Perry has created yet another unforgettable book featuring William Monk. For those of you who have been on an island with no libraries or Kindle service, Monk is the Commander of the Thames River Police, and his longtime friend is Barrister Oliver Rathbone.
It is November, 1864, and Commander and Mrs. Monk, along with Oliver Rathbone, are investigating the murder of a very expensive prostitute on the London docks. In addition they are looking into the apparent suicide of Dr. Joel Lambourn. It seems that Dr. Lambourn had supported Zenia for many years, and was also creating a report to send to the government on the abuse of opium in England; he’d just finished and was about to unveil the horrific issue and ask for regulations of this very dangerous drug.
It would seem that most Londoners wouldn’t care very much about the murder of a prostitute, except for the fact that her demise occurred very openly and was horribly done. And finding out that the person who’d paid all her expenses each month had also turned up dead, well…the people want to know more.
Barclay Herne, who is the brother-in-law of the dead doctor, is part of the Commission and involved in the whole case; and Dr. Lambourn’s widow, Dinah, tells Commander Monk that he did not commit suicide, and insists that he investigate. Little does she realize that by making Monk reopen the case, she will end up being arrested and charged in her husband’s murder. But did she do it? And who, exactly, took out the prostitute, and why? Was someone afraid of the government report, or is this a crime of jealousy?
The cast of characters are fascinating as always and there’s a whole lot of courtroom drama from Rathbone, who’s worried one minute and intensely brilliant the next.
A truly entertaining novel (as always) and full of intrigue. Readers of Victorian suspense will eat it up!
Until Next Time, Everybody,