Death of a Stranger
Seven years earlier, in The Face of a Stranger, William Monk had been in a carriage accident that caused him to lose all his memory of who he was before. Since that time bits and pieces of that forgotten life has returned. One of his stronger memories was of Arrol Dundas, his mentor when he was in finance. Dundas had been unjustly accused and convicted of fraud. Monk had been unable to clear Dundas, and after Dundas died, Monk changed his career and became a policeman.
Now Monk is approached by a young woman who wants to discover if her fiance is involved in a similar fraud from the one that convicted Dundas sixteen years before. Monk investigates the railroad company as it has now become. Nolan Baltimore, the owner of the rail company, had just been found murdered in the "sleazy" section of London. He was found at the bottom of a flight of stairs in a brothel. Monk cannot find any evidence of fraud. If Baltimore was murdered, it was not because of illegal doings of the railroad. Monk keeps the woman posted of his activities so she is aware he isn't discovering anything to make her worry. Her fiance is not cheating for the company.
Hester Monk, meanwhile, is involved in manning a medical clinic in that same "sleazy" section of town. She and her colleagues give medical treatment to any woman who needs it. The clinic doesn't charge for services. They don't ask how the women may have been injured or any other personal questions. Instead they treat the women humanely and let them go on their way. Business for the brothels is very bad right now because of Baltimore's murder. The police have to be extra vigilant even though they know they will not discover who killed Baltimore. Because of the extra police presence, business is almost non-existant. Now the clinic is treating women who are getting beat up for not bringing in enough money. While Mrs. Monk doesn't approve of the brothels, she approves even less of the violence that is now occurring. She and another woman volunteer decide to solve the murder, or at least the problem of too many police, themselves.
Perry is back in form with this Monk novel. She makes the 1860's London feel alive and real. Within a couple chapters I once again captured the feeling of her characters and surroundings. I finished this book in one day (despite a full work day as well) because I took every chance I could to pick it up and keep going. It grabs the reader and keeps the reader involved. It stands on its own without the earlier books in the series. But the earlier books help set up the relationships that are also integral to the story. Either way, you won't regret reading this one.
| The Series:
The Face of a Stranger
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At Some Disputed Barricade by Anne Perry
These reviews are personal opinions only and in no way reflect other readers' opinions of the books discussed.
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