A Sunless Sea
A William Monk Novel
Anne Perry’s spellbinding Victorian mysteries, especially those featuring William Monk, have enthralled readers for a generation. The Plain Dealer calls Monk “a marvelously dark, brooding creation”—and, true to form, this masterpiece is as deceptively deep and twisty as the Thames.
As commander of the River Police, Monk is accustomed to violent death, but the mutilated female body found on Limehouse Pier one chilly December morning moves him with horror and pity. The victim’s name is Zenia Gadney. Her waterfront neighbors can tell him little—only that the same unknown gentleman had visited her once a month for many years. She must be a prostitute, but—described as quiet and kempt—she doesn’t appear to be a fallen woman.
What sinister secrets could have made poor Zenia worth killing? And why does the government keep interfering in Monk’s investigation?
While the public cries out for blood, Monk, his spirited wife, Hester, and their brilliant barrister friend, Oliver Rathbone, search for answers. From dank waterfront alleys to London’s fabulously wealthy West End, the three trail an ice-blooded murderer toward the unbelievable, possibly unprovable truth—and ultimately engage their adversaries in an electric courtroom duel. But unless they can work a miracle, a monumental evil will go unpunished and an innocent person will hang.
Anne Perry has never worn her literary colors with greater distinction than in A Sunless Sea, a heart-pounding novel of intrigue and suspense in which Monk is driven to make the hardest decision of his life.
Includes an excerpt from Anne Perry’s next William Monk novel, Blind Justice
Praise for A Sunless Sea
“Anne Perry’s Victorian mysteries are marvels.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Unexpected twists and revelations keep the plot humming with typical Anne Perry deception and wit.”—Bookreporter
“Much more than a whodunit, this book [is] possibly the author’s best yet.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
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.
Loved this title; got me hooked on A. Perry!
Every chance I get, I search out Anne Perry novels, all because I felt so bereft when ‘The Sunless Sea’ was over! New favorite author! Reread twice already!
If you've read PD James, Conan Doyle or Dorothy Sayers, you will not be impressed with the gigantic plot holes and improbable investigations. For goodness sake, no attorney should have an iota of trouble defending a client that can't be placed at the scene or tied to the crime with a murder weapon (or some physical evidence), but that's the whole premise of the novel. Based on the number of books she's written, you can tell Perry knocks them out without much thought. I certainly won't be wasting any more time on her product.