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Execution Dock
The William Monk Series - Book XVI

by Anne Perry


Newly appointed as commander of the Thames River Police, Monk is determined to succeed where his predecessor Durban failed, and catch Jericho Phillips.  Monk knows that Phillips is an evil man who runs a child prostitution ring and is guilty of the death of a young boy.  Meanwhile, Oliver Rathbone has been approached by his father-in-law to defend Phillips on behalf of an unknown third party.  Rathbone’s dazzling performance in court means that Phillips gets off, while Monk and Hester are made to look incompetent and emotional.  Rathbone has not reckoned with his erstwhile friend and his friend's allies, for Monk is determined to get his man.

This is a book that hits the ground running and doesn’t stop until the final page.  It even starts with a chase scene, something most authors are content to leave until the end.  Perhaps to its detriment, it also uses one of the stock plots just about every long-running police series uses at some point, the one where the protagonist discovers that his beloved mentor is not exactly the saint he thought he was.  Fortunately, there is a lot more in here than that, and even this cliché is given a fiery new life that most writers could not hope to achieve.  This is a very intense tale, stretching the talents of all the characters to their limits and then some, while it deals with an unpalatable subject in a way that gives it all the horror it deserves. Although parts of this book could stand a little editing, I can highly recommend it as the sort of story Perry is justifiably famous for, and which leaves standing most other writers attempting similar things.

The Book

April 2009
075532062X / 9780755320622
Historical Crime / 1864 London, England
More at US || UK
NOTE: Deals with child pornography

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2009
© 2009