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Corridors of the Night: A William Monk Novel


Corridors of the Night: A William Monk Novel

During the course of her two recurring series set in the Victorian Age --- one starring Charlotte and Thomas Pitt and the other William Monk --- Anne Perry’s protagonists have dealt with some horrific and challenging circumstances. In fact, you can say that her lead characters have acted as moral compasses during a dark and dangerous time.

In her latest William Monk mystery, CORRIDORS OF THE NIGHT, Perry dwells in some of the darkest subject matters yet --- child abuse, kidnapping and murder. Monk is a commander of the Thames River Police and has seen some pretty bad things during his time on the job.  His wife, Hester, has similarly faced her own horrors as a former wartime nurse now working at London's Royal Naval Hospital.

"CORRIDORS OF THE NIGHT pulls no punches and depicts Victorian London in all its corrupt glory.... perhaps the darkest entry in the series to date."

This novel belongs to Hester. She has no idea that the two monomaniacal brothers she works with, Magnus and Hamilton Rand, could potentially be homicidal maniacs. Magnus is a well-respected physician, and Hamilton is a genius chemist. It is no coincidence that they have targeted the Royal Naval Hospital, knowing that their secret agenda could be realized under the lax security there.

Hester finds herself nursing a patient of Dr. Magnus by the name of Bryson Radnor, who is suffering from what was known at the time as the fatal white blood disease. Although extremely wealthy, Radnor's money cannot save his life in the face of this powerful plague. It is while she is tending to him that she comes across a small handful of sick children. As she attempts to learn their identities, she finds that they are actually the “property” of the Rand brothers for the sole purpose of experimentation.

Once the brothers discover that Hester is on to them, she finds herself kidnapped and imprisoned, along with the sick children, at their countryside manor. While there, she is expected to continue treating Radnor while the children act as guinea pigs in Hamilton's experiments to find a cure for white blood disease.

Meanwhile, Monk learns of his wife's disappearance and must make time to get to the bottom of it. He is also faced with some dangerous doings along the Thames River that saw one of his mentors killed by someone he had previously imprisoned. The issue is that Monk went through a brutal accident that saw him barely escape with his life. This same accident took much of his memory, and now he must deal with the fact that many bad people he brought down in the past are out to get him --- and he cannot remember or recognize them. Dealing with these cognitive issues makes mystery-solving a challenge, and it will take all of Monk's energies to find Hester before she is victimized by the Rand brothers.

CORRIDORS OF THE NIGHT pulls no punches and depicts Victorian London in all its corrupt glory. Moving from the Thames River to the Royal Naval Hospital, and climaxing with some tense courtroom scenes, this is perhaps the darkest entry in the series to date.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on October 2, 2015

Corridors of the Night: A William Monk Novel
by Anne Perry