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Dark Assassin (William Monk Novels)by Anne Perry
Synopses & Reviews
For countless readers, one of lifes great pleasures is the mesmerizing magic of a Victorian mystery by New York Times bestselling author Anne Perry. Her dramas of good and evil unfolding inside Londons lavish mansions and teeming slums hold us spellbound. Now, in Dark Assassin, she sweeps us into a darkly compelling world that we never dreamed existed.
A Thames River Police superintendent struggling to win the respect of his men, William Monk is on a patrol boat near Waterloo Bridge when he notices a young couple standing at the bridge railing, apparently engaged in an intense discussion. The woman waves her arms and places her hands on the mans shoulders. A caress or a push? The man grasps hold of her. To save her or to kill her? Seconds later, the pair plunge to their death in the icy waters. Monk cant help but wonder, was it an accident, a suicide, or a murder? It seems impossible to determine the truth, but haunted by the womans somber beauty, he is impelled to try.
Mary Havilland was her name, and she had planned to marry Toby Argyll, the fair-haired man who shared her fate. Marys father, an engineer employed by the Argyll Company, had recently died–a suicide, according to the police and Marys sister. But Marys friends tell Monk that she suspected her father had been murdered because of his stubborn insistence that the Argyll Companys current project–the construction of a splendid new sewer system for the metropolis–was so badly flawed that it put the entire city in peril from flood and fire.
Monk is now faced with the mysteries of the three deaths. Aided by his intrepid wife Hester, he starts looking for answers and is soon treading a slippery path that takes him from the luxurious drawing rooms where powerful men hatch their unscrupulous plots to a world beneath the city where poor folk fight starvation. In nightmarish tunnels, Monk and Hester find true friends, among them Scuff, a young mudlark; Sutton the ratcatcher; and Snoot, Suttons clever terrier. For once, even Monks old enemy, Superintendent Runcorn, is on his side. As rainfall strains the fragile manmade underground, Monk must connect the clues before death strikes again.
With characters as vivid as Dickenss, gripping courtroom scenes, breathless horrors beneath the earth, and a plot that twists and turns toward a stunning denouement, Dark Assassin is absolutely one of Anne Perrys best.
"William Monk faces special challenges in bestseller Perry's absorbing 15th novel to feature the Victorian policeman (after 2005's The Shifting Tide), as he must convince skeptical fellow officers of his competence to lead the corruption-ridden Thames River Police during a rampant crime wave. In a fogbound setting evocative of Conan Doyle, newly appointed Superintendent Monk and his river patrol watch helplessly as two young lovers plunge to their deaths from a bridge. Monk's exhaustive investigation, aided by his activist wife, Hester, soon reveals a deadly conflict between the two lovers' families over the hasty construction of a vast sewer complex built to prevent a recurrence of the 'Great Stink' and typhoid epidemic of 1863. A riveting pursuit of an unknown assassin brings Monk in contact with the city's most destitute, one of several incidents highlighting the growing conflict between the abject poor and those whose houses have such luxuries as sewers and gas pipes. Some readers may have trouble with the cockney dialogue, but all will relish the last-minute twists that lead to a compelling resolution." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Thames River Police Superintendent William Monk witnesses a young couple's plunge into the icy waters. Is it an accident, a suicide, or a murder? The ensuing investigation leads him toward a conspiracy that reverberates into the highest levels of Her Majesty's government.
About the Author
Anne Perry is the bestselling author of the World War I novels No Graves As Yet, Shoulder the Sky, and Angels in the Gloom, as well as the holiday novels A Christmas Journey, A Christmas Visitor, and A Christmas Guest. She is also the creator of two acclaimed series set in Victorian England. Her William Monk novels include The Shifting Tide, Death of a Stranger, and Funeral in Blue. Anne Perry lives in Scotland.
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