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Publisher's Summary

As Anne Perry's New York Times best-selling novels always remind us, she is a matchless guide to both the splendor and the shame of the British Empire at the height of its influence. In her 20th William Monk mystery, she brings us to London's grand Mayfair mansions, where the arrogant masters of the Western world hold sway - and to the teeming Thames waterfront, where one summer afternoon, Monk witnesses the horrifying explosion of the pleasure boat Princess Mary, which takes nearly 200 of the merrymakers on board to their deaths.

The tragedy is no accident. As commander of the River Police, Monk should handle the case, but the investigation is turned over to the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. An Egyptian man is swiftly caught, tried, and sentenced to die. But almost as quickly, Monk presents evidence that Habib Beshara, though a nasty piece of work, was elsewhere at the time of the blast. The investigation, now in complete disarray, is hastily turned over to Monk. Is the crime connected with the soon-to-be-opened Suez Canal, which will enormously benefit wealthy British shipping companies? Or did all of those innocent people drown to ensure the murder of only one of them? How did the bomber board the ship, and how did he manage to escape? Is he an anarchist or a madman?

Backed up by his astute wife, Hester, and his old reliable friend Oliver Rathbone, Monk vows to find answers - but instead finds himself treading the dangerous waters of international intrigue, his questions politely turned aside by a formidable array of the powerful and privileged. Events twist and turn like the Thames itself, leading to the shattering moment when Monk realizes, perhaps too late, that he is the next target.

©2014 Anne Perry (P)2014 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"Anne Perry's Victorian mysteries are marvels."—The New York Times Book Review; "The mysterious and dangerous waterfront world of London's 'longest street,' the Thames, comes to life." (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Too much backstory and sentiment

What could Anne Perry have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Less backstory and sentiment. Saying the same thing over and over and over. Not much new plot for dwelling so much on telling the reader the past over and over. Characters were a shadow of their former selves they were so drenched in sentimentality.

How could the performance have been better?

Less sentimentality expressed in those parts that were drenched.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Relief when it was over.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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No traction, much to my dismay

Being a self confessed Anne Perry addict, there are few of her books that I haven't loved. This one is the exception. The story seemed tedious, at best, and boring at worst. Monk and Hester are present but missing that special quality that makes them so wonderful. I got tired of the street urchins as sleuths bit pretty fast. Struck me that Ms. Perry didn't have her heart and soul in this novel.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 11-20-14

Captivating

This is number twenty in the Monk series. Monk, commander of London’s River Police, is on patrol with his deputy Orem, when suddenly a large explosion rips open the bow of “The Princess Mary” a large party boat. They set about assisting in the rescue of people but over 179 people die. The next day Monk dives in a hard hat diving suit to see if he can find the site of the explosion. Monk is taken off the case and it is turned over to the head of the Metropolitan police. The police quickly arrest an Egyptian man who is quickly tried and convicted. Monk, Hester and Scuff set out to find the real killer.

The book is mainly a morality tale but scuff and his new friend Worm add a bit of lively detail to the story. Perry’s strength lies in her extensive knowledge of the Victorian era which enlivens and adds authentic color to the well-plotted narrative. Every detail of custom and dress, manners is carefully aligned with the 1860’s England, with teeming streets, polluted waterways and deeply rooted class structure and social mannerism. The author’s depiction of life along the waterfront is authentic and most interesting historically. Perry manages to integrate the construction of the Suez Canal into the 1860 story
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The story moves on at a very fast pace until the surprising conclusion is reached almost on the last page. I have enjoyed this series and find that it is Hester that I have grown most interested in and enjoy. David Colacci narrated the story and has narrated the majority of books in this series. Colacci does an excellent job with the narration. If you enjoy historical novels set in Victorian England you will enjoy this book.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Would have been a decent Novella

What would have made Blood on the Water better?

I have enjoyed the Monk series, but now, at the 20th book, Anne Perry has pretty much run out of things to say. There is so much unnecessary padding in the exposition of the book to bring the word count up to novel length that it became, for me at least, unbearably boring and I had to quit halfway through, something I rarely do. The book might have been a decent novella, but it just didn't cut it for me.

What does David Colacci bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I think he's one of the best readers at Audible along with Humphrey Bower. Bronson Pinchot, on the other hand has been a HUGE disappointment.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

None that were readily apparent.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Robin
  • Locust Valley, NY, United States
  • 03-07-15

Wonderful series

This is a wonderful series and you should begin at the first book. It's sometimes deals with terrible and painful crimes but it is always exciting. The characters are well drawn and fascinating.The first few books and the way they begin with a man with amnesia is truly creative. If you like historical mysteries you will love these.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Good Read

Excellent! Typical Anne Perry. Narrator was good also. Once started, had to listen to the end

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great story, wrong narrator

Usual grand story by Anne Perry, full of twists and an amazing study of human failings. Unfortunately, the choice of narrator makes it a tough listen. He could not capture the British nuance and accents needed to bring the performance to life.

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Anne does it again!! Can't wait for more!!!

Just excellent !! Gripping story? Riveting plot twists. Looking forward to Sir Oliver and Beyats York storyline!! Six stars all around.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Blood On the Water-one of the better Anne Perry's.

Would you listen to Blood on the Water again? Why?

I will listen to this one again. Great story, wonderful performance and easy to listen to.<br/>

What did you like best about this story?

The story line and descriptions of the characters.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful