Random House: 2012
This latest addition to the William Monk series is equal to any of Perry's other works. Those of you unfamiliar with Anne Perry's work, she sets most of her books in Victorian England. Thus, in addition to a gripping detective story, you also gain an appreciation of the Victorian era. The book continues the theme from Perry's most recent Monk novel, but she provides adequate details so that readers who have not completed, Acceptable Loss, will not find following the plot difficult.
This book explores the opium trade and the opium wars that marred this period of British history. Her portrayal but seems realistic that I have no expertise to be able to evaluate the accuracy of her research. I find it extremely believable and detailed enough that but I am willing to take it at face value.
Thea plot and characterizations are among Perry's best. I appreciate the way that she actually develops characters over the series and rejoice in William Monk's change of relationship with his former antagonist Runicorn.
I had the opportunity to travel to London this summer. Doing so has changed my reading experience. Although the docks are no longer the dangerous and dirty territory portrayed in this novel, having been there and on the Thames, I have a much greater sense of place. Envisioning Perry's books while I visited enrich my time in the city as well. I found myself wanting to purchase copies of them so I could work through the details. Unfortunately, I did not have enough time to really walk through either Anne Perry's books or Sherlock Holmes adventures. In my next trip, I will plan more time so that I can complete these literary explorations.