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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
As the bestselling author of two Victorian-era mystery series, Anne Perry knows the mannerisms and fine historical details of gaslight England. In her 12th novel featuring investigator William Monk, she continues to entertain with a story that finally reveals her protagonist's amnesia-shrouded past.
Monk is hired by Katrina Harcus to investigate her fiancé, Michael Dolgarno, who is possibly involved with railroad fraud. As soon as he begins his inquiries, Monk is assailed by bits of memory that lead him to believe he, too, may have been a criminal of some sort. Although his marriage to Hester is a stabilizing force in his life, he fears the potential results of his investigation and tries to keep his wife at arm's length. But when a railroad mogul is murdered in a London brothel and three battered ladies of the evening seek help at the clinic operated by Hester, Monk is drawn into yet another puzzle that may have something to do with his former life.
Unlike Perry's other Victorian sleuth, the sociable Thomas Pitt, Monk has always been a tormented individual ultimately alone in the world. Perry should be credited for her slow yet memorable planting of clues across all the previous Monk novels, subtly forming the framework for his past. She adroitly and convincingly manipulates several plot threads to give the reader a startling and remarkable disclosure in this fascinating, powerful entry in the Monk series. Tom Piccirilli