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Revenge in a Cold River: A William Monk Novel


Revenge in a Cold River: A William Monk Novel

The best thing about REVENGE IN A COLD RIVER, the 22nd installment in Anne Perry’s William Monk series, is that everything the reader needs to know can be found on the first page.

We learn that Commander William Monk of the Thames River Police suffered near-complete memory loss 13 years prior to the action in this book. The coach accident that occurred in 1856 has caused more than a few issues for Monk, and he often tries to overcompensate or merely ignore them when they arise.

Many of Perry's novels involve serious moral and social issues. REVENGE IN A COLD RIVER takes a different approach. This is a novel about memory, retribution and the nature of guilt. What would happen if a past you don't realize you had comes back to harm you? This is what Monk must face here, and the proponent of the past is in the human form of his primary adversary, customs officer McNab.

"Anne Perry has delivered another electric and stunning read in this outstanding series."

Things begin with a dead body on the Thames, and Monk and his colleague Hooper are called into action. The victim was named Blount, and his skill was committing forgery. As this opens the door to a potentially large heist that they may have thwarted, a new threat is revealed. It seems that Monk is considered responsible for the drowning death of a man named Pettifer, who was employed by McNab.

Monk presses his memory for recollection but has none. At least he now has some inkling as to why McNab did not like him. The problem is that Monk is unable to recall the complete incident and now must face the fact that he is a stranger to himself. He also is forced to recognize that there is a possibility he was not always the good, honorable man he is now.

Things take a sudden turn when Monk is apprehended for the murder of Pettifer. His wife reaches out to his old friend and disgraced former attorney, Oliver Rathbone, who agrees to defend him and put on the robe once again for the upcoming case at the Old Bailey. If Monk is found guilty, he could hang. The trouble is that Monk cannot testify because he does not know or recall what happened. This is the perfect setup for McNab or anyone else who wants revenge on Monk --- and there may be no way to defend against these charges.

REVENGE IN A COLD RIVER presents quite a conundrum for the reader as well as it does for Monk in that you are unsure whether or not to root for him. The court case takes over the last act of the novel, and it's a good one. Enemies and friends are revealed, truth and lies are spread out before the court, and it will take a miracle to get Monk off from these charges. Anne Perry has delivered another electric and stunning read in this outstanding series.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on September 30, 2016

Revenge in a Cold River: A William Monk Novel
by Anne Perry