Monk and Orme are on regular patrol for the River Police when they hear someone screaming. Following the cries they find a young woman standing near what appears to be a bundle of rags. The bundle turns out to to be the horribly mutilated corpse of a local woman. So begins the newest William Monk novel by Anne Perry.
Anne Perry's Monk novels have a central theme to each one. The theme here is the fallout from the opium wars on the general population of Great Britain. The storyline moves, twisting between two seemingly unconnected murders. It takes the skill of Monk, Hester and Sir Oliver Rathbone to show the connection between the murders and the Opium wars. Rathbone is particularly feeling the pressure, as he represents the suspected murderer and is still dealing with the backlash from his previous case involving abused children.
While this moral overtone can sometimes distract from the story line, the Monk novels are among my favorite reads. Chock full of historical detail and full of interesting characters, Perry's Monk, along with his wife Hester, try to keep London free from harm. They also provide a quite enjoyable read.
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