Thursday, September 22, 2016

Revenge in a Cold River by Anne Perry

First Sentence:  William Monk stepped out of the boat and climbed up the stone steps from the river, leaving Hopper to tie the vessel to the bollard and follow him.
Only a few people know that Insp. William Monk lost his memory in an accident years ago.  One who apparently knows seems determined to use Monk’s past against him. When a man dies while Monk was trying to save him from drowning, can a jury be convinced it was actually murder?  It’s going to take his colleagues, friends and family to save Monk from being hanged.
Even before finishing the first section, the tension is palpable. Perry’s plots and characters draw you in so completely.  Her writing keeps you reading until the wee small hours, unable to book down.  Her observations are so astute –“Monk…never wanted power other than that which gave him safety for work and let him owe no one. …Great wealth tied you to its service, whether it was land, trade, or gold.”
Perry makes painfully clear how powerless women could be, especially those married to powerful men.  Her depiction of this time is exacting, down to the customs, food, and dress—“She dressed in black, of course… She wore the traditional jet jewelry.”  Her descriptions of California during the Gold Rush days are an excellent contrast from the London setting.
What a wonderful cast of characters.  From Monk and Hester, to Scruff, a street orphan who adopted the Monks; from the lawyer Rathbone to the widow Beata York, we find ourselves invested in their lives and feeling as though we know them, or would like to.
One thing that has been a mystery through all the previous books is finally being revealed.  Both the method of revelation, and the result are fascinating.  The trial, and the process due to the period, is engrossing; Grisham couldn’t do better.

"Revenge in a Cold River" is yet another masterful book by Anne Perry, filled with excitement, suspense, twists, and an exciting ending.

REVENGE IN A COLD RIVER (Hist Mys/Pol Proc-William/Hester Monk-London-1800s) - Ex
      Perry, Anne – 22nd in Monk series
      Ballantine Books – July 2016

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