A stolen loot and a dying woman... what is the secret that binds the two?
William and Hester Monk face intrigue and mystery in the docks of Victorian London's East End in Anne Perry's gripping novel The Shifting Tide. Perfect for fans of C. J. Sansom and Ann Granger.
'With her visionary sensibility, Anne Perry is the master of the "you are there" school of hist-myst storytelling... [Here are] scenes that could have come out of Dickens' Our Mutual Friend' - New York Times Book Review
When the Maude Idris docks at the Pool of London, laden with ebony, spices and first-grade tusks of ivory collected from her voyage to Zanzibar, Clement Louvain leaves four armed seamen on board to guard the precious cargo. But as soon as the relief for the night watch arrives ready for duty in the morning, he finds the ivory gone and one of the seamen dead. Hindered by his ignorance of the river and its customs, and ashamed of the fact that he so badly requires the huge fees that Louvain is prepared to pay, William Monk nevertheless begins his investigation into the theft and murder.
Meanwhile Hester's work at the refuge at Portpool Lane is encountering acute financial difficulties. Sick prostitutes are arriving daily and the medicines needed to help them are running out. When a man arrives promising to pay a huge amount of money for the care of one particular woman, Hester is astonished to meet him. He is none other than Clement Louvain. So who is the woman he is so generously helping? And why is he offering such a substantial sum? Will Monk discover what Louvain is hiding before it is too late?
What readers are saying about The Shifting Tide:
'The best Monk mystery yet'
'She has sculpted the characters beautifully'
'This novel is a real page-turner; a "curl up, not-put-the-book-down-till-the-last-page" weekend!'
The strain of publishing two major novels a year continues to show in bestseller Perry's 14th historical to feature private inquiry agent William Monk and his wife, Hester, despite the fresh start for Monk, who has recovered from the amnesia that afflicted him in Death of a Stranger (2002). In the autumn of 1873, because he needs the money, Monk agrees to recover valuable cargo stolen from a ship waiting to be unloaded at an East End London dock for the ship's owner, Clement Louvain, with the proviso that Louvain will also prosecute the thieves for murdering the ship's watchman. Monk enlists the aid of a young Cockney orphan, Scuff, who doubts Monk's ability to investigate a Docklands crime: "Yer in't got the wits fer it, nor the stomach neither. Yer stick to wot yer can do wotever that is." Meanwhile, Hester, who receives no pay for the clinic she runs for streetwalkers, must deal with an unexpected death that she suspects may be murder. Unfortunately, the author too often tells rather than shows. The reader waits impatiently for the "ruthless" Monk to say or do something that suggests that quality. Still, with its focus on the lower classes and the Thames, the plot will resonate with fans of Dickens's riparian novel, Our Mutual Friend. And, as always, Perry uses her characters and story to comment on ethical issues that remain as relevant today as they were in Victorian times. Expect another bestseller. .