Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I've been wanting to read one of Anne Perry's books for a long time. I'm so glad I finally did. There's nothing like discovering an author that you truly enjoy. I cannot wait to get the next book in the William Monk series. (g)

Brief Summary: William Monk awakes in a hospital one day, remembering nothing of his former life -- not his name, what he looks like, his occupation. Nothing. He soon learns that he is an investigator for the police and is charged with finding the murderer of one Major Joscelyn Grey. Unable to recall anything from this ongoing investigation, he must slowly piece together clues--to the murder, as well as his own history. This series is set in London during the mid 1800's.

I loved this book. Perry is truly gifted at bringing 19th century London to life--from the clothing and the food, to the various accents. Not to mention the societal behaviors and expectations, etc. Great detail, here.

The book clipped along at a great pace, but by the last hundred pages, I was whipping through it so fast to see what happened next. And the great thing is that the ending really tied the book together well. I can't say I saw everything coming, but I can say that it all sounded plausible and made perfect sense to me. No curve balls at the end that I couldn't have seen coming...no surprise suspects whipped out of thin air to take the fall. It was so well-balanced.

I also loved the way Monk truly couldn't remember anything -- and the way Perry weaved in the bits of memory that suddenly came upon him. Sometimes he didn't even realize it until later. It made it all seem very real and organic. His "self-discovery" and constant second guessing as to what character traits were TRULY his was such an interesting process to watch. Overall, I thought he was a very interesting character that I can't wait to see more of.

I did have a bit of a hard time understanding some of the dialects in this book. She has a real knack for 'em and I almost felt like I was right there, unable to understand the person standing in front of me. (g) It made it difficult to get through some passages, but didn't really detract from the overall story. I blame myself here. (g)

Anyway, I have that happy book glow. :)

Buy or Rent? Buy.


Anonymous said...

Hello, I have been a fan of all the Anne Perry series & have begun re-reading the Monk series this summer. Unfortunately have a hard time remembering what I read so have started a notebook to lay down the title, publication year, main characters, victim, accused, etc., along with other info pertinent to the plot, such as the year in which the story took place, the social ill addressed, and so on. This way I can also keep track of which books I have in my collection & can often upgrade from the paperback to the hardbound edition at a yard sale or bookstore. I came across your blog in my search. Anne Perry is one of my favorite authors & her research is spot on. She does not shy away from controversial topics in any of her series, using her novels to demonstrate many issues of the day, including child labor, women's rights and social/class status. I find myself doing additional reading on subjects in her books such as the Crimean War and World War I. Also, being a seamstress I am fascinated by her description of the clothing her characters wear & can picture them in my mind's eye. These details enrich my reading experience. I'm happy to have found your blog & will return to it often. Thanks for sharing some of your thoughts...Kathy in Maryland

Jennifer Hendren said...

Hi Kathy!

I'm so glad you enjoy my blog. :) I just discovered Anne Perry and have added her to my "must have" list. I'm reading the third right now...DEFEND AND BETRAY, and it's living up to the others so far. Always exciting to find a new author -- and that they have MANY books in his/her series. (g)

Funny, because I was trying to find contemporary mysteries at the time, and ended up falling in love with two different historical series -- Perry's and Laurie R. King's. LOL. Anyway, I'm sure I'll be posting more reviews -- sounds like you'll be the go-to person with any questions. (g)