In this superbly accomplished new Charlotte and Thomas Pitt adventure, Anne Perry takes us beneath the glittering surface of wealthy Victorian society into a nightmare world of fear and intimidation, where women are too often blamed for the violent attacks against them, and powerful men take what they want, leaving others to pay the price.
The horrifying rape and apparent suicide of Catherine Quixwood, wife of a wealthy merchant banker, falls outside the new jurisdiction of Special Branch head Thomas Pitt, but so pervasively offensive are the rumors about the victim that Pitt quietly takes a hand in the investigation.
Yet even with the help of his ingenious wife, Charlotte, and his former superior, Victor Narraway, Pitt is stumped. Why did high-minded, cultured Catherine choose not to accompany her husband to a grand party on the night of her demise? Why did she dismiss all her servants for the evening and leave the front door unlocked? What had been her relationship with the young man seen frequently by her side at concerts and art exhibits? And what can be done to avenge another terrible crime: the assault on Angeles Castelbranco, beloved teenage daughter of the Portuguese ambassador?
©2013 Anne Perry (P)2013 Recorded Books
A single exposition on Victorian attitudes and practices regarding rape would have been sufficient. But it seemed that every character had to have a long explanation of how rape is handled, who it affects, the consequences, etc. And virtually no detecting
No, but I will be careful with this author if there are other social issues mentioned as being part of the plot. Perhaps violence towards women is a particular hot button issue for her.
She has a lovely way of capturing the social graces with her phrasing and tone of voice.
Annoyance. Really. I started with the expected anger at the treatment of women but the repetitive drumming on this theme just distracted from any plot advancement. The whole mystery solving part of the book happened almost as an afterthought in the last couple chapters.
Both the print and audio edition of Midnight at Marble Arch were excellent. The only difference was in hearing the book read gave a better idea of the character's emotions.
There really isn't another book that I could or would compare it to. The characters and the plot are completely original.
The description of the main characters tailing the suspect.
When two of the main characters were discussing the situation at the heart of the story.
Sure I like Anne Perry's books.
Would love to see Anne Perry's books made into TV series.
I find the first victim, the Portuguese diplomat's daughter, an unlikely one. There were 2-3 instances of this victim showing up at society parties where she runs into her tormentor and flips out. Considering people from this social strata attend the same parties, if the victim was raped and traumatized, is it reasonable for her to socialize at all afterwards? Not justifying the crime, but rather how likely is it that a traumatized victim would show up at a party after being attacked. At the least a concerned mother would have sent her back to Portugal or some place to protect her. The context of the first victim seems unreal and detracts from the story,
I almost always enjoy Anne Perry's writing. I must say that Davina Porter's narration detracted for me from the story largely because I could rarely tell who was speaking. I have listened to a number of books narrated by Davina Porter and do not ever recall having this problem.
I found that I was constantly having to rewind a minute or two and listen again so that I could establish who was speaking. With Michael Page's narration, you always knew Victor Narraway's voice from Pitt's, and Aunt Vespasia's from Charlotte's. Since all four of these people figure prominently in this book, it was imperative to establish different character voices, and I don't think Porter succeeded.
From the way that the storyline proceeded, I understand that the sort of "cariacature" voice that Page established for Aunt Vespasia would not work when she became a major character (and a romantic interest!), but SOME major differentiation needed to be made.
This might be a book that you want to read in print.
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