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Publisher's Summary

A string of gruesome, ritualistic murders of Hungarian immigrants has the Thames River police commander stuck on solving the pattern in the latest installment of the New York Times best-selling William Monk series.

When a Hungarian immigrant is dismembered near London's River Thames, Commander Monk is called to the eerie scene, where 16 candles surround the corpse. As identical murders pop up around the city, Monk confronts the unsettling options: could it be the work of a secret society? A serial madman? Or is a xenophobic Brit targeting foreigners?

A local doctor who speaks Hungarian from his days on the battlefield may be able to help, but his own struggles with post-traumatic stress have left his memory in shambles: could he have committed the crimes without remembering?

Fighting both local prejudice and the weight of the past, Monk and his wife Hester - herself a battlefield nurse familiar with horror - are in a race to find the killer and stop the echo of these repeated murders for good.

©2017 Anne Perry (P)2017 Recorded Books

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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 09-28-17

Absorbing

Anne Perry is the queen of the 19th century historical crime novel. Anne Perry is the pseudonym under which Juliet Marion Hulme writes. This is book twenty-three of the William Monk series.

Monk is the Commander of the Thames River Police. His wife, Hester, is a nurse. She served with Florence Nightingale in the Crimean War. She now runs a free health clinic for the poor. Hester is my favorite character in the series. Scuff the homeless boy, now called Will, that they adopted is now studying medicine and helping Hester in the clinic.

This story takes place in 1870. Monk is racing against the tide of malice and ethnic bigotry as London’s growing Hungarian community is hit by a series of ritualistic murders. Monk is called to a warehouse where he finds a violent murder. With the help of a Hungarian pharmacist, Antal Dobokai, who helps translate for Monk, they hunt for the murderer. A friend of Hester’s, Fitz, a physician she served with in the Crimea, lives in the Hungarian community. He is accused of the killings and Hester sets out to prove him innocent.

The book is well written and meticulously researched. Perry provides a wealth of historical detail in her story. The topic of ethnic prejudice is a timely one for today’s world.

The book is twelve hours long. David Colacci does an excellent job narrating the book. Colacci is an actor and an award-winning audiobook narrator. Colacci has the ability to interpret, represent and bring to life each character in the story. He was trained in the classics and language and that comes through in his narration.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Judy Robinson
  • 99 North Post Oak Lane, apt 5105, Houston, Tx, 77024
  • 09-28-17

Anne Perry at her best

This was a beautifully written book. The details, as always, were stunning. Her knowledge of history, beautiful prose, and ability to form a solid mystery keeps me looking forward to her next book! I thought I had figured out the mystery early on, but was, as always, surprised. The narration was perfection. Treat yourself!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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I would not recommend this book

I am an Anne Perry fan, I have read or listened to all of her William Monk and Thomas Pitt books and generally enjoy them. However, this last book was a major disappointment and while I never take the time to to write reviews I had to say something about this latest book. It was as if she really did not put the effort into this story. The plot was just so poorly crafted that it was almost silly. She did not take the time to lay the foundation for her conclusion and the resolution to the mystery was so unsupported by any of the events in the book that it seemed unbelievable and silly. I will not be anxious to read her next book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Extremely disappointing and not worth a credit.

I had to force myself to finish it – it was so drawn out with multiple repeating of Hester’s experience of the Crimean War, much repeated verbatim from earlier books. I have enjoyed the Monk series both in written form and audible. This book was very poorly written and not proof read. Monk calls Scuff “Will” before Scuff has even told him about his wish to be called “Will”. This is only one example of poor writing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great series

Other than wishing Davina Porter would have continued reading this series, nothing could be improved upon from my point of view. Just wish Anne could write faster!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Sharon
  • Seattle, WA USA
  • 10-27-17

Don't stop listening to Anne Perry

This book was not AP at her best, for sure. The plot was so thin and the characters not terribly interesting. The book went on and on and, by the end, I couldn't care less as to who did the crime. David Colacci sounded monotonous and pompous. Can't imagine what his friends and family would think if he spoke like this to them.

All said: Anne Perry is marvelous and Colacci has been better. Let's just be patient and wait for the next one. It's bound to be better, too!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • mompam
  • Richardson, Texas
  • 09-20-17

Perhaps the best in the William Monk Series

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. The Monk series has introduced and followed the lives of its characters through many crises and triumphs. This entry brings together Hester's family, a character from her Crimean War experience as one of Florence Nightingale's nurses, and Monk's job as Commander of the Thames River Police. The character of Scuff, a former homeless mudlark, is shown in his maturity as a medical student. The courtroom climax is riveting.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

The lack of police progress in solving the grisly murders leads to the seemingly hopeless job Sir Oliver faces in defending the doctor suffering from being left for dead on the battlefield during the Crimean War 10 years earlier. He becomes the easy victim of fear by the very people he has helped.

Have you listened to any of David Colacci’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

His performances have always been excellent.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

In the courtroom when Hester's brother, from whom she had been estranged, offers to care for the defendant after all charges are dropped. Hester's participation in the war kept her from being able to care for her family at home when her father was ruined financially and committed suicide.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Compelling Story

It was very entertaining. It kept my interest from beginning to the end .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Linda
  • Bellevue, WA, United States
  • 12-22-17

An American voice actor for a book set in London

the book was okay and the narrator would have been fine if he hadn't been sort of trying
to approximate British accents and not really succeeding.

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I actually hated this book

It started off as a interesting period mystery. I found the characters interesting and the murders were detailed and fascinating. I was looking forward to the unwind. As the book proceeded, it became clear that the detective couldn't figure much of anything out, and ignored what seemed to be obvious lines of inquiry. Then the book got so preoccupied with the intricacies of the character's back stories, often pulling new details out of thin air, that the author forgot to come up with a solution to the murders that made any sense at all. The last two chapters were infuriating, and the final solution was totally ridiculous. Spoiler alert: the murder victims were killed because they were all sexually abused by a character that never appears in the book. See and that guy gave them high scores on a math test in exchange for the sex. The murderer was also abused, and killed them all because he didn't want anyone to know he didn't deserve his score on the test. This was all decades ago. Oh, and the reason he used a violent and ritualistic way to kill them was because he was just copying someone else. He just remembered details because conveniently he has a photographic memory and remembered the crime scene. The original crime scene was violent because the first murderer really hated the guy his wife slept with, and all the interesting clues and details we have been talking about for the whole book were just random. And we have no actual evidence for any of this, it's just a theory we pulled out of nowhere, but when we confront the murderer with our random theory, he suddenly and dramatically hangs himself because he is ashamed. THE END. I have never been so mad at the end of a book.