Release Date: 01/09/11
The seventeenth novel in Anne Perry's acclaimed William Monk series
1864 - Monk and his wife Hester are doing their best to care for Scuff - a homeless boy slowly recovering from a terrifying ordeal at the hands of Jericho Phillips, the runner of a child prostitution ring. Although Scuff's evil abductor is dead, there is no suggestion that the ring has been broken and Scuff is certain that more children are suffering an even worse fate.
Monk is determined to find the remaining children and uncover, once and for all, the men funding the operation. And when the body of small-time crook Mickey Parfitt washes up on Mortlake's shore, it fortuitously points him in the right direction. But as Monk's investigation continues, the reputations of respected gentlemen, including Arthur Ballinger, father-in-law of Monk's friend Oliver Rathbone, start being called into question and his task becomes fraught with unforeseen dangers.
In an illicit world of blackmail, vice and corruption, Monk must follow the trail - and his conscience - wherever it leads, no matter how disturbing the truth may be.
To be honest I’ve not read Anne Perry prior to this so I feel that with so many other titles out there previously I did wonder if I’d be left out to dry with very little clue as to who is who and what the hell is happening. What I actually received from this title was a story that felt like a continuation, the subject matter was uncomfortable and to be honest it felt that the plot was a little stretched with what it achieved to create a full length story of what would have worked better as a novella.
That said however I did like the characters, they had a real feeling of depth and with the authors writing style it felt that it brought the time period to life which for me is the key aspect to any title. I will more than likely read other titles by Anne although I think I’ll have to start at the beginning to get the full impact.