I used to read all the Anne Perry series, both Pitt and Hester. But the books all began to be the same, the twisted sexual life of Victorians overlaid by gentility. This one is almost the same but in the current post-Weinstein climate, I decided it would be interesting to see how Perry dealt with rape and the secrecy that accompanies it.
She makes some very good points about rape that are true in the modern context--blame the victim, the guilt that accompanies it, the difficulty in proving it. It seems to me though that Perry is writing in a modern voice more than a Victorian. And the mystery around the "main" rape is very convoluted. I kept reading and reading to try to figure it out. Which would be the author's aim but it was still frustrating. Rather than being exciting it became tedious. And the "secondary" rapes were treated so lightly. A murder that should have been examined closely--and would certainly have resulted in catching the murderer earlier had the police surgeon been consulted--is barely mentioned.
Perry loves courtroom scenes and this book is no different. A trial, the verdict which solves nothing, desperate scrambling by Pitt and his allies.
And then the story ends. Boom. A final confrontation and--that's it. No denouement, no wrap up. Almost as if she exhausted herself and could write no more. Not very satisfying. Reminiscent of the beginning writer who thinks that an ending consists merely of the death of the murderer. Personally, I like something more and after being so frustrated by the plot, I would have liked a meatier ending.