Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Revenge in a Cold River by Anne Perry

An Echo of Murder: A William Monk Novel by Anne Perry --- 286 pages

In this 23rd novel in Perry's Victorian murder mystery series featuring Commander William Monk of the Thames River Police and his wife Hester, Monk must solve a series of brutal, ritualistic murders targeting Hungarian immigrants in London.

A respectable middle-aged Hungarian immigrant is found murdered in his office in a warehouse on the Thames River in the Shadwell area of London.
When Monk is summoned to investigate, he finds a gruesome, blood-spattered scene: seventeen candles dipped in the blood of the victim, and horrific wounds but no sign that the victim put up any resistance to his attacker. Monk wonders: did some deed committed in the past finally catch up with him; or could this be the work of an unbalanced mind? Or the result of local resentment and prejudice against foreigners?

An immigrant who is well known in the tight-knit Hungarian community offers to assist Monk and his men by translating for them as they interview those less fluent in English. Monk accepts the help grudgingly, as he suspects the translator hopes to further his own agenda by helping the police with their inquiries.

Suspicion falls on another recent arrival in the community: a doctor fallen upon hard times, who is known to Monk's wife as a colleague tending the wounded and dying during the Crimean War. Himself desperately wounded and left for dead on the battlefield, Fitz has only recently found his way home to England. He speaks fluent Hungarian from the years he spent there after the war. But his own wounds of body and mind have left him struggling with nightmares and blackouts, his nerves in shambles.

Three additional deaths, all identical with the first, has the community on the point of panic. When Fitz is found covered in blood, wandering dazed in the streets, Monk is forced to arrest him to prevent a mob from hanging him on the spot. And Monk cannot be sure Fitz did not commit the murders unless he can prove that someone else did.

Click HERE to read the review from Publisher's Weekly.

Click HERE to read the review from Kirkus.

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