On a patrol boat near Waterloo Bridge, police superintendent William Monk notices a young couple engaged in an intense discussion. Seconds later, the two plunge to their deaths in the icy waters of the Thames. Was it an accident, a suicide, or a murder? Ever the investigator, Monk learns that the woman, Mary Havilland, had planned to marry the fair-haired man who shared her fate. He also discovers that Mary''s father had recently died in a supposed suicide. But Mary''s friends share their own darks suspicions with Monk, who now faces the mysteries surrounding "three" deaths. Aided by his intrepid wife, Hester, Monk searches for answers. From luxurious drawing rooms where powerful men hatch their unscrupulous plots, to the sewers beneath the city where poor folk fight crippling poverty, Monk must connect the clues before death strikes again.
In the 15th William Monk mystery, the amnesic Victorian police detective takes on new responsibility as Superintendent of the Thames River Police. Monk witnesses a couple plummet from a bridge into the river; his attempt to determine whether the deaths were accident, suicide, or murder uncovers a link to the project extending London's sewer system.
Anne Perry, the mystery writer, was born Juliet Marion Hulme in Greenwich, England. Her childhood was a somewhat troubled one. She was often seriously ill, and her family also moved a great deal. It was when she was living in New Zealand that Hulme became notorious. She developed a close friendship with a fellow high school student, Pauline Parker, and in 1954, helped kill the girl's mother, Honora Parker. The case caused a great deal of public outrage. Hulme spent some years in prison, and was released in 1959, upon which she moved to England. At that time, she took the last name of her stepfather, and changed her name to Anne Perry. Perry's criminal past remained hidden for many years. After the 1994 movie dramatization of the murder, HEAVENLY CREATURES, a journalist finally put the pieces together, and Perry publicly admitted that she had once been Hulme. After leaving prison, she took on various jobs, including department store buyer and airline stewardess. Perry moved to Los Angeles for some years, working as an insurance writer and a limousine dispatcher, before she went back to the UK in the mid-70s. She published her first novel, THE CATER STREET HANGMAN, in 1979. Anne Perry is primarily a writer of historical mysteries. She is best known for two series that take place in Victorian England, one concerning Inspector Pitt, set in the 1880s; and the other about the amnesiac Inspector Monk, set in the 1850s. She has also branched out into the fantasy genre with her novels TATHEA and COME ARMAGEDDON.
"[A]bsorbing....[A]ll will relish the last-minute twists that lead to a compelling resolution."