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Blood on the Water: A William Monk Novel by…
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Blood on the Water: A William Monk Novel

by Anne Perry

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: William Monk novels (20)

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English (24)  Piratical (1)  All (25)
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
Isn't Anne Perry amazing?! She is one of the few authors with numerous titles to her credit that continually crank out a satisfying story. Bravo! ( )
  Iambookish | Dec 14, 2016 |
Not the best Anne Perry book I've read. I found myself skimming many parts, such as the court room scenes. I give it three stars for the description of London's waterfront and the life there. ( )
  lewilliams | Jul 3, 2016 |
This book begins with a bang, or rather, an explosion which sinks a pleasure boat on the Thames and kills nearly 200 hundred people. Monk happens to witness the sinking, but he is soon relieved of the case and it turned over on to the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. Not as well versed in the river goings-on or the people who navigate it, mistakes are made. Eventually, Monk again becomes involved with the case. Because this is part of a series, many of the characters are continuing ones, and the author assumes the reader knows their back-story. If you don’t, some of the intrigue of the story may fall flat for you. Much of the story also takes place in the court room, and is not as interesting as Monk’s detective work. Still, it is a good story, just not one of Perry’s best. ( )
  Maydacat | May 25, 2016 |
I know Anne Perry has lots of fans. Normally I would be among them since I really like historical fiction and especially historical fiction mysteries. Anne Perry writes two series set in Victorian London so that should be right up my alley. I have read books from both series and the series this book is from, the William Monk series, are my preference. However, I gave up reading any of them some time ago. My husband gave me this book and, of course, I had to give it a try. I can report that I have at last pinpointed my problem with the books. I’ll talk about that later after I have given a synopsis.
William Monk is a policeman who is in charge of the Thames River Police, a special force which deals with any crimes committed on or near the river. He and his second-in-charge, Orme, were rowing across the river just at sunset in early summer when a pleasure boat on the river exploded in the bow and quickly capsized. Just before the explosion Monk saw a man jump overboard from the pleasure boat. As one of the boats closest to the wreck Monk and Orme picked up survivors as quickly as they could. However, many lives were lost that night. People on the lower deck had no chance to escape and even those on upper decks had a fight to escape the boat and survive in the water until they could be rescued. Women especially were drowned due to their heavy skirts which absorbed water and dragged them down. Monk and Orme worked almost all night. The next morning Monk donned a diving suit and went down to examine the wreck. After all that he and the river police were removed from the investigation and the regular Metropolitan Police took over. The public was incensed that almost 200 lives were lost and there was a lot of pressure to quickly find the person or persons responsible. When an Egyptian was charged, based on exclusively eye-witness testimony, it was thought that the act was in reprisal for the Suez Canal being built across Egyptian territory. To no-one’s surprise the man was found guilty and sentenced to hang. In the course of another investigation Monk discovers that at least one of the eye-witnesses was wrong and he takes this information to the officer in charge of the investigation. Soon Monk and his policemen, with the help of his wife, Hester, and their adopted son, Scuff, are re-opening the case. This time they find physical evidence that leads them to another Egyptian. The new case goes to trial but the investigators, while sure they have the correct man, still have no idea of his motive. At almost the end of the trial Hester finds a new witness who sheds light on that. Can anyone say Perry Mason?
And that is part of my problem with this book. Court cases don’t go ahead without major parts, like motive, being established. I’m sure it makes a better story to have a non-professional pull a rabbit out of the hat in the midst of a trial but it just isn’t how criminal justice trials really work. My other problem with the book is sloppy editing. I lost track of the spelling errors but there were two syntax flaws that still grate. There is this sentence on page 99:
It [new evidence] would not be morally unacceptable to ignore it, even if we could.
Two negatives in this sentence mean it would be morally acceptable to ignore the new evidence and I’m pretty sure that is not what is meant. Then on page 206 a lawyer friend of the Monks (Rathbone) offers his advice to the barrister prosecuting the case (Brancaster)
If Brancaster wished, he was welcome to come to Rathbone’s apartment for dinner, and speak at leisure, neither unobserved nor commented on by others.
I am pretty sure that what Perry meant was that Brancaster would not be seen or discussed by others if he came to Rathbone’s apartment which means the correct usage would be “neither observed nor commented on by others”. To me these kinds of errors show inattention and haste on the part of the author. You would never find mistakes like this in Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache books or Ian Rankin’s Rebus series. ( )
  gypsysmom | Mar 26, 2016 |
Inspector William Monk, head of the Thames River police witnesses an explosion which sinks the Princess Mary and try as they can nearly 200 passengers and crew drown. The investigation into the explosion, strangely, is taken away from the River Police. The Metropolitan Police quickly arrest and convict an Egyptian but further undercover work by Monk detects that the conviction may be an error.

The characters are old friends by now and yet they still hold a few surprises for this reader. ( )
  cyderry | Mar 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
This is one of Ms. Perry’s most engrossing books, and it emphasizes that investigators must rely on those whose work provides them with knowledge and evidence likely to be ignored by a bureaucratic inquiry.

 

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anne Perryprimary authorall editionscalculated
Colacci, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
de Lacy, Charles JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
DiGrado, KathleenCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Victoria Zackheim, for her unfailing friendship.
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Monk leaned forward, resting on his oar for a moment as he stared across the water at the Pool of London.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345548434, Hardcover)

As her New York Times bestselling novels always remind us, Anne Perry is a matchless guide to both the splendor and the shame of the British Empire at the height of its influence. In her twentieth William Monk mystery, she brings us to London’s grand Mayfair mansions, where the arrogant masters of the Western world hold sway—and to the teeming Thames waterfront, where one summer afternoon, Monk witnesses the horrifying explosion of the pleasure boat Princess Mary, which sends to their deaths nearly two hundred merrymakers.
 
The tragedy is no accident. As commander of the River Police, Monk should handle the case, but the investigation is turned over to the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. An Egyptian man is swiftly caught, tried, and sentenced to die. But almost as quickly, Monk presents evidence that Habib Beshara, though a nasty piece of work, was elsewhere at the time of the blast. The investigation, now in complete disarray, is hastily turned over to Monk.
 
Is the crime connected with the soon-to-be-opened Suez Canal, which will enormously benefit wealthy British shipping companies? Or did all of those innocent people drown to ensure the death of just one? How did the bomber board the ship, and how did he manage to escape? Is he an anarchist or a madman?
 
Backed up by his astute wife, Hester, and his old reliable friend Oliver Rathbone, Monk vows to find answers—but instead finds himself treading the dangerous waters of international intrigue, his questions politely turned aside by a formidable array of the powerful and privileged. Events twist and turn like the Thames itself, leading to the shattering moment when Monk realizes, perhaps too late, that he is the next target.
 
Praise for Anne Perry and her William Monk novels
 
Blind Justice
 
“Ranks among the best . . . Perry has written. Her courtroom scenes have the realism of Scott Turow.”—Huntington News
 
A Sunless Sea
 
“Anne Perry’s Victorian mysteries are marvels.”The New York Times Book Review
 
Acceptable Loss
 
“Masterful storytelling and moving dialogue.”The Star-Ledger
 
Execution Dock
 
“[An] engrossing page-turner . . . There’s no one better at using words to paint a scene and then fill it with sounds and smells than Anne Perry.”The Boston Globe
 
Dark Assassin
 
“Brilliant . . . a page-turning thriller . . . blending compelling plotting with superbly realized human emotion and exquisite period detail.”—Jeffery Deaver, author of Edge
 
The Shifting Tide
 
“The mysterious and dangerous waterfront world of London’s ‘longest street,’ the Thames, comes to life.”—South Florida Sun-Sentinel

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:58 -0400)

"Though Monk is witness to the terrible bombing of an afternoon pleasure boat on the river that leaves 200 people dead, much to his dismay the case is taken from his hands and given over to the commissioner of police. An Egyptian man is quickly caught, tried, and sentenced to death--and then just as swiftly murdered in prison. When evidence surfaces that proves the dead man innocent, the case is handed back to Monk, who must now rely on his own memory of the event to help piece together what really happened. His investigation leads him down a dangerous road, one in which wealthy and powerful men gamble for control of the Suez Canal, so crucial to the Empire's future. With his wife Hester and friend Oliver Rathbone, Monk soon reveals that the attack is not quite what it seems--but as he begins to unravel the motives behind it, he finds himself treading the dangerous waters of international political intrigue, where justice always comes with a price...and inadvertently makes himself the next target"--… (more)

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