A Sudden, Fearful Death (William Monk Series #4)

A Sudden, Fearful Death (William Monk Series #4)

3.8 17
by Anne Perry
     
 

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In a London hospital, Prudence Barrymore, a talented nurse who had once been one of Florence Nightingale’s angels of mercy in the Crimean War, meets sudden death by strangulation. Private inquiry agent William Monk is engaged to investigate this horrific crime–which intuition tells him was no random stroke of violence by a madman.

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Overview

In a London hospital, Prudence Barrymore, a talented nurse who had once been one of Florence Nightingale’s angels of mercy in the Crimean War, meets sudden death by strangulation. Private inquiry agent William Monk is engaged to investigate this horrific crime–which intuition tells him was no random stroke of violence by a madman.

Greatly helped by his unconventional friend Hester Latterly, another of Miss Nightingale’s nurses, and barrister Oliver Rathbone, Monk assembles a portrait of the remarkable woman. Yet he also discerns the shadow of a tragic evil that darkens every level of society, and a frightening glimmer of his own eclipsed past.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this excellent historical mystery, Victorian detective William Monk investigates the suspicious death of a young English nurse. (Oct.)
Library Journal
William Monk ( Defend and Betray ) investigates the terrible rape of a woman in a garden and the strangulation of another in a London hospital. Wonderful Victorian backdrops, memorable characters, and vivid courtroom drama from a master craftswoman. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/93.
School Library Journal
YA-Another Perry mystery that highlights the frustrating status of women in Victorian England. The story hinges on society's low opinion of nurses and of both single and married women who seek abortions. A talented nurse is found strangled, and Inspector Monk and his friends, a nurse and a lawyer, follow the clues to see that the murderer will hang. It is difficult to decide which element is the author's true forte-the details of everyday life or the suspenseful courtroom dialogues. The plot has many twists and turns. Readers may suspect some of the answers, but surprises continue right until the last page. The opening chapters place readers in a subplot that provides background on different characters. The shift in the action is slightly confusing as these people are rarely mentioned again. However, Perry fans will not be disappointed, and newcomers will be entertained by a good mystery as they enter the world of Victorian high society.-Claudia Moore, W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
Brad Hooper
The pace is initially leisurely as Perry not only builds up the facts in the case but also paints a detailed and authentic picture of Victorian England. The novel features a "private inquiring agent" named William Monk, who has "starred" in previous books and now is called on by a proper London lady to discuss the attack upon her sister in their backyard summerhouse. As Monk brings that situation to its conclusion, he gets involved in another, the murder of a nurse at a local hospital. What the two crimes have to do with each other represents a thick series of threads that Perry takes her time to weave together, but when the action moves into Old Bailey for a trial, the reader (the kind who may like Robert B. Parker but not "only" Robert B. Parker) finds his or her interest tightly woven into the plot. Sure to be in demand, sure to please.
From the Publisher
“Riveting . . . [a] surpassingly excellent historical and psychologically intricate mystery.”—Publishers Weekly

“Absorbing . . . Perry continues her excellent renderings of Victorian manners and mayhem.”—Chicago Sun-Times

“[Anne Perry] is adept at showing the reader two sides of Victorian London–the dark side where people are barely surviving and glittering society where people sometimes kill to hide terrible secrets.”—Knoxville News-Sentinel

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307767783
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/22/2010
Series:
William Monk Series , #4
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
464
Sales rank:
42,441
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Anne Perry is the bestselling author of two acclaimed series set in Victorian England: the William Monk novels, including Blind Justice and A Sunless Sea, the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels, including Death on Blackheath and Midnight at Marble Arch. She is also the author of a series of five World War I novels, as well as eleven holiday novels, most recently A New York Christmas, and a historical novel, The Sheen on the Silk, set in the Ottoman Empire. Anne Perry lives in Scotland and Los Angeles.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Portmahomack, Ross-shire, U.K
Date of Birth:
October 28, 1938
Place of Birth:
Blackheath, London England
Website:
http://www.anneperry.net

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Sudden, Fearful Death (William Monk Series #4) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
WheelchairLady More than 1 year ago
Another wonderful book.  The drama and mystery grows with every page, until I find myself unable to put the book down.
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Dieverdog More than 1 year ago
So far I've really liked all of Anne Perry's book (well the Victorian ones, anyway). They really give good insight into what it was like to live in Victorian London. This one was very good - several suspects, a good mystery, a twist at the end and a good trial with plenty of drama. We get more insight into the character of Callandra as well as Hester and Monk. This one delves into the workings of a Victorian hospital and what little options women of the time have when it comes to reproduction. I wouldn't say this was my favorite in the series so far, but very enjoyable nonetheless.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed reading the Wm. Monk detective series.I found this one especially interesting. A secluded island, a murder,everyone could be the murderer,quite suspenseful. Couldn,t figure out who done it and why.The ending was quite a surprise.I liked this book very much.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Folks always compare Monk to the Pitt's storys. Taking place years earlier, Perry has to realize the limits of criminology available. Also, Monk and Hester aren't 'oh so beautiful' as the Pitts...just plain folk...hmmm. I personally love Hester and her feminism and fiestness and Monks 'recollections' that always somehow help him to resolve the mystery. Yes, the Pitts are an excellent read, but hey, after reading all of them, realize Monk and Hester have their own enchantment.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hmm...,this book started out really well and I was engrossed. However, it became long and drawn out. I believe the story had so much potential had it been saved by Perry's too lengthy and unnecessary descriptions. I found it a bit hard to get through and at times boring, although I did finish it. I found the ending to be so-so. On a better note, I am big on characterization and found Monk and Hester to be thoroughly enjoyable characters. I am going to try a Thomas and Charlotte Pitt story next.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the 4th in the author's series featuring the amnesiac ex-police detective William Monk. This series has never equaled her other series, featuring Thomas Pitt (and his wife). This book seems little more than a vehicle for expressing outrage at the situation of women in mid-Victorian society, in this case concentrating on reproductive rights. The decision by the characters to obstinately refuse to consider alternative explanations to the 'evidence' is very frustrating, and it's a relief to finally get to the end of the prolonged courtroom 'action'. Generally a fairly unsatisfying book because of it's very heavy-handed discussion of issues at the expense of the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting for historic mystery buffs