Friday, September 28, 2012

Review: A Sunless Sea by Anne Perry


Description (from cover):
"Anne Perry's spellbinding Victorian mysteries, especially those featuring William Monk, have enthralled readers for a generation. The Plain Dealer calls Monk 'a marvelously dark, brooding creation'--and, true to form, this new Perry masterpiece is as deceptively deep and twisty as the Thames.
As commander of the River Police, Monk is accustomed to violent death, but the mutilated female body found on Limehouse Pier one chilly December morning moves him with horror and pity. The victim's name is Zenia Gadney. Her waterfront neighbors can tell him little--only that the same unknown gentleman had visited her once a month for many years. She must be a prostitute, but--described as quiet and kempt--she doesn't appear to be a fallen woman.
What sinister secrets could have made poor Zenia worth killing? And why does the government keep interfering in Monk's investigation?
While the public cries out for blood, Monk, his spirited wife, Hester, and their brilliant barrister friend, Oliver Rathbone, search for answers. From dank waterfront alleys to London's fabulously wealthy West End, the three trail an ice-blooded murderer toward the unbelievable, possibly unprovable truth--and ultimately engage their adversaries in an electric courtroom duel. But unless they can work a miracle, a monumental evil will go unpunished and an innocent person will hang.
 Anne Perry has never worn her literary colors with greater distinction than in A Sunless Sea, a heart-pounding novel of intrigue and suspense in which Monk is driven to make the hardest decision of his life."
My Thoughts:

          Anne Perry has done it again. This book was a fabulous addition to an already wonderful series. I have to say that out of all her series (which include the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series as well as the Inspector Monk series and others) the Inspector Monk series is quickly becoming my favorite. I have been a huge fan of Perry's Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series but the last book in the series that was released earlier this year (Dorchester Terrace) just didn't live up to the series and Anne Perry's standards. Anne Perry is the queen of Victorian-era historical mystery. I cannot think of another author who describes the era and the way life was in that time period better than her. She sets the setting in such a believable tone and you can't help but to rave about her writing skills and continue to wait for the next book to be released.

        I was prepared to not like this latest addition to the Inspector Monk series as Dorchester Terrace left me with the sinking feeling of a great series going to seed. However, the Inspector Monk series lives on with its fabulous new edition in A Sunless Sea. Set in Victorian London with a murder so gruesome it rivals the Ripper murders (even though this is set before those murders took place). A woman has been left brutally murdered on one of the Limehouse docks. She has been sliced and her entrails have been taken out of her body. Monk is set on the murder and tries to figure out who this unknown woman was and why someone wanted her dead in such a cruel and vicious way. Monk sets out to solve this murder but is barred by the government when his questions get to close to something that they want to keep hidden. Monk is persistent as he always is and continues with the case in his own spare time to see that justice is served. With his wife Hester and their friend Oliver Rathbone searching for answers that lead them into the world of opium and addiction. Personally, I found that learning about opium and the way that it was dispensed to the public in the Victorian era, very interesting. Opium was found in just about any home remedies that could be sold at any store without dosage regulations and led to many accidental deaths due to overdoses which sadly involved many children. Thinking about how close medicines are regulated now and how opium is now known to be so addictive it was interesting to see how an addiction could be fed with the relative ease that it was in that time period. I loved the fact that Perry took the case from its beginning to its end with the investigation all the way through the trial and eventually to the end. I loved this latest addition and cannot wait until the next is released. Highly recommend this for people who love this series as well as people who are looking for a great historical mystery. I do recommend that you read the series in order as some of the back story is needed to understand where the characters currently are in their development.

Overall Rating: 5/5

Title: A Sunless Sea
Author: Anne Perry
Series: William Monk Mystery #18
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: August 28, 2012
Pages: 384
Genre: Historical Mystery

 Disclaimer: This book was selected from the library by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind.  All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

 

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