Review

Dark Assassin

by Anne Perry



As the icy waters of the Thames claimed the lives of two Londoners,
Inspector William Monk could not be sure, as it played out before
his horrified eyes, what he really saw. He watched helplessly from
his River Police vessel as the bodies of a young man and woman
tumbled from the bridge. No one knows better the unreliability of
eyewitness accounts than a policeman. Now, Monk is confronting his
own uncertainty. Could the couple have been arguing and lost their
balance? Was the man trying to toss her over, or did he try to save
her and she pulled him over with her? Even Monk's subordinates who
watched along with him do not agree on the details.


The police do know, however, that whatever happened, the new sewer
construction seems to be at the center of it. The young woman's
father worked deep in the tunnels for a company owned by her
fiance's family. The word on the street is that the tunnels got to
him, he couldn't take it any longer and he shot himself. But at the
time of his demise, he was looking into the safety of the
construction. A fortune stood to be made from the huge project, so
if someone was making ripples, unscrupulous big business interests
wouldn't hesitate to eliminate the "problem." And the daughter took
up the cause where her father left off. Did she find out something
that her betrothed was attempting to hide? Maybe the same thing her
father had found out?


As the truth slowly comes to light through a great number of
interviews --- both Monk's and Hester's, with a little help from
their friends --- all three deaths start to smell fishy. And as for
the sewers, well, the whitewashed reports of no serious injuries
need to be reexamined, or the term "serious injuries" must be
redefined. Tunnel work has never been rated among the safest
occupations, so the optimistic lack of casualties smacks of a
disturbing cover-up. Delving into the underground unearths a
fiendish killer, and the deadly chase begins. If Monk doesn't watch
every step, he may fall prey to the killer or, possibly worse, the
tunnels themselves.


Anne Perry has created an extraordinary pair of sleuths: Hester,
Monk's headstrong wife, a nurse who can boast of having worked with
Florence Nightingale, and Monk himself, a superb investigator and a
man of quiet strength, surprised by his passion for a woman of such
fierce opinions. Their interactions with the Victorian world of
1860s London show the extent of society's evolution over the past
150 years.


Written convincingly in period prose and dialect, DARK ASSASSIN is
a lively tale filled with action, compassion and, of course,
mystery.


   










Reviewed by Kate Ayers on December 29, 2010

Dark Assassin
by Anne Perry

  • Publication Date: March 28, 2006
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • ISBN-10: 0345469291
  • ISBN-13: 9780345469298