Can Monk uncover the truth behind a deadly opium conspiracy?
Propelled into the darkest corners of the opium trade, New York Times bestselling author Anne Perry sends Inspector Monk on a thrilling adventure in A Sunless Sea, the eighteenth novel featuring the charismatic detective. Perfect for fans of C. J. Sansom and Sarah Perry.
'Anne Perry's Victorian mysteries are marvels' - New York Times Book Review
1864 and on the bank of the Thames, Monk is appalled at the shocking mutilation visited upon the body of a woman found on Limehouse Pier. But when enquiries into the brutal killing unearth a connection between the victim and Dr Lambourn, a brilliant, recently deceased scientist and staunch supporter for a new pharmaceutical bill aimed to regulate the sale of opium, it becomes clear that not all is as it seems. Lambourn's widow refuses to believe the official verdict that her husband's death was suicide; she is convinced that he was murdered after the research he was conducting was discredited by government officials intent on keeping the lucrative trade of opium flowing.
With pressure mounting for the river police to find the Limehouse killer, Monk is propelled headlong into an investigation that will delve into the darkest depths of the opium trade and threaten to expose corruption in the very highest echelons of society...
What readers are saying about A Sunless Sea:
'Perry is an agile word painter - so perfectly describing the sights and sounds of Victorian London from the dark Limehouse area to the posh West End that one feels transported to a different time and place'
'The reader becomes immersed in the tension'
'The characters are believable, the storyline ingenious and the reader [is kept] guessing right to the end'
At the start of Perry's searing 18th William Monk Victorian historical (after 2011's Acceptable Loss), repeated screams prompt Monk, commander of the Thames River Police, to start rowing for shore. He disembarks at Limehouse Pier, where he encounters a hysterical woman pointing to an eviscerated female corpse. After identifying the victim as Zenia Gadney, the detective learns from Gadney's neighbors that she used to have a regular gentleman caller, who stopped visiting a few months earlier. Later identified as Dr. Joel Lambourn, the doctor took his own life soon after the government rejected a report he'd written advocating accurate labeling on opium products. Lambourn's researches prove to be of vital importance in cracking the murder case. After Monk begrudgingly arrests a suspect, his continued police work is supplemented by the courtroom efforts of Sir Oliver Rathbone, who has been retained for the defense. Much more than a whodunit, this book, possibly the author's best yet, is especially effective at providing a nuanced look at a vital controversy of the day.