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.