Friday, August 30, 2013

Blind Justice by Anne Perry

First Sentence:  Hester let the hansom cab pass, then crossed Portpool Lane and went in through the door to the clinic for sick and injured prostitutes.
When one of the workers Hester Monk's women's shelter is concerned that her father has been the victim of an unscrupulous pastor, she asks for Hester's help.   In time, the case is brought to court with Oliver Rathborn, newly raised to being a judge,  to preside.  No one could have anticipated the devastation such a case could cause to all their lives.

From the very beginning, we are introduced to the main characters, as well as being provided their backstories.  While this may not be strictly necessary for continuing readers, it is a boon for readers new to the series and an author who doesn’t take forget new readers is one to be commended. Perry has wonderful ability for conveying insights into the lives of her characters and their thoughts.  They become very real people to the reader; people about whom you care.  In this book, that is particularly important.

Ms. Perry excels at raising social, moral and ethical issues and looking at them from various sides.  She poses questions and, while she may provide her answers, she causes the reader to consider and weigh their own answers.  She even address crime by those who feel they are entitled…”…they all think they will be the one to get away with it.”   Although this introspection does slow the first part of the book, she more than makes up for that later.   

Perry creates a very strong sense of time and societal conventions, yet often in subtle ways.  A character is admiring a particular painting…”it is quite lovely,” he said instead, looking at the little painting.  “I think he could well become professional, don’t you?”  Henry smiled.  “Actually it’s a ‘she,’ so I doubt it…”

There is nothing fluffy about a Perry book.  She asks serious questions, addresses serious issues, and makes you look at things in a way you may not have previously.  Although set in Victorian England, all the issues she raises are just as relevant today.  At the same time, the story has an excellent twist, plenty of suspense, drama and tension.

Blind Justice” may be a bit of a morality play, but it’s also a cracking good and suspenseful mystery.  Although a bit slow and repetitive in the beginning, one should always trust that Ms. Perry will make it well worth your while to stay with it and read to the end.  You won’t regret it.

BLIND JUSTICE (Hist Mys-Monk/Hester/Oliver Rathbone-England-Victorian) - VG+
Perry, Anne - 19th in series
Ballentine Books - 2013

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