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Dark Assassin [Hardcover]

Anne Perry
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 Feb 2006

The two figures had been on the bridge. He had grasped hold of her. To save her, or to push her?

Murder, suicide or accident? Inspector William Monk of the Thames River Police watches helplessly as the man and woman fall to their deaths. Still feeling his way in a new post, Monk knows he must solve the mystery to gain the respect of his men. Soon both he and Hester find themselves powerfully involved in the story of the dead woman, Mary Havilland, and her quest to vindicate her father.

Two months previously, James Havilland had been found dead. An engineer working for the Argyll Construction Company, he was convinced that a major disaster was about to happen in the tunnels where London's desperately needed new sewer system was being built. Maddened by his obsession, he'd apparently shot himself. Mary had never accepted that. And now she was dead too. Was it chance or more sinister than that?



Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Headline (6 Feb 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755320581
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755320585
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.2 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,327,050 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

With twenty million books in print throughout the world, Anne Perry's bestselling novels are noted for their memorable characters, exploration of social issues and historical accuracy. Selected by The Times as one of the twentieth century's '100 Masters of Crime', Anne lives in Scotland.

Product Description

Review

'Brilliant . . . That rare blend of novel that's a page-turning thriller yet literary - and, best of all, one that gives us lucky readers the chance to enjoy another adventure by our favorite Victorian police superintendent William Monk. Dark Assassin continues author Perry's peerless tradition of blending compelling plotting with finely realized human emotion and superb period detail' (Jeffery Deaver)

'Brilliant . . . That rare blend of novel that's a page-turning thriller yet literary... Dark Assassin continues Author Perry's peerless tradition of blending compelling plotting with finely realized human emotion and superb period detail' (Jeffery Deaver)

'Anne Perry is a cross between Charles Dickens and Ian Rankin, writing beautifully crafted Victorian crime.' Henry Sutton, The Mirror (The Mirror)

Book Description

Redolent with the atmosphere of Victorian England that she creates so tellingly, Dark Assassin makes a superb addition to Anne Perry's William and Hester Monk series

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars William Monk Afloat 30 May 2006
By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
The death of Inspector Durban in The Shifting Tide leads William Monk to replace Durban with the Thames River Police as a debt of honor and to provide some much-needed income. As the book opens, Monk is shivering in the bow of a police boat during January as the boat slowly approaches Waterloo Bridge. Less than two hundred feet away, Monk spots a man and woman facing one another with passion . . . just before something terrible happens.

The unexpected event places Monk into an investigation that the Thames River Police would normally not pursue, much to the consternation of his new supervisor who is rightly concerned about a surge in river robberies. At the same time, Monk is having a hard time gaining control over his men and learning how to stop river crime.

As Monk pursues his investigation, he finds lots of loose ends that leave him dissatisfied. That, in turn, leads him to an uneasy alliance with his former friend and adversary, Superintendent Runcorn.

The loose ends all tie together into a trail that leads to the mad dash to create sewers to eliminate disease from London. Before the book ends, both Monk and Hester find themselves among the dank, dark underground rivers that criss-cross London. You'll find as entertaining a crew of expert underground helpers as Charles Dickens ever produced for these adventures.

I was tempted to grade this as a five-star book, but I couldn't quite bring myself to do that after remembering how slowly the book develops after the initial scene. Certainly, from about the half-way point to the end, this is a five-star effort full of interesting plots, subplots and villains that you'll long remember.

I don't recall a book in this series that I've enjoyed more than the second half of Dark Assassin.

The unique nature of river crime promises more exciting stories to come in this fine series.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark goings on in an even darker environment 3 Sep 2006
By Michael Watson TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
This is my first Anne Perry book and so, obviously, my first Inspector Monk mystery. It is easy to pick up where previous situations in earlier books must have taken place and I was happy to immerse myself in this very cold, dark and unremitting Victorian London. I felt as if I was mentally viewing this story actually in black and shades of grey, such is the way Anne Perry describes her London town.

Monk is a very likeable character ably assisted by his wife, Hestor who could probably have a story of her own such is her commitment to help Monk discover the truth in a catalogue of half-clues and lies, all intended to keep a secret just that. The story has already been outlined elsewhere so the question is whether it stacks up as a good read. It's slow to start and, although it picks up pace, for me, there is rather too much description delving into the thoughts and misgivings of the characters so the pace remains at a slow amble most of the time. I don't have a problem with the old East-end language and diction. Whether other readers of English in other countries find it more troublesome will be a mute point. However, I do draw a line at the word 'gotten' which crept on to the page. Hardly a Victorian word, hardly an English word either! Nonetheless, I enjoyed the atmosphere created by the author. I could almost feel the winter's chill as Monk struggles around London pursuing clues not so conveniently left whilst at the same time, having a run-in with his superiors in the Police Force. It seems nothing changes. From Bow Street Runners to today's Special Ops, there's always some senior police officer with a desire to be more than a policeman.
Was this review helpful to you?
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars William Monk Afloat 30 May 2006
By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
The death of Inspector Durban in The Shifting Tide leads William Monk to replace Durban with the Thames River Police as a debt of honor and to provide some much-needed income. As the book opens, Monk is shivering in the bow of a police boat during January as the boat slowly approaches Waterloo Bridge. Less than two hundred feet away, Monk spots a man and woman facing one another with passion . . . just before something terrible happens.

The unexpected event places Monk into an investigation that the Thames River Police would normally not pursue, much to the consternation of his new supervisor who is rightly concerned about a surge in river robberies. At the same time, Monk is having a hard time gaining control over his men and learning how to stop river crime.

As Monk pursues his investigation, he finds lots of loose ends that leave him dissatisfied. That, in turn, leads him to an uneasy alliance with his former friend and adversary, Superintendent Runcorn.

The loose ends all tie together into a trail that leads to the mad dash to create sewers to eliminate disease from London. Before the book ends, both Monk and Hester find themselves among the dank, dark underground rivers that criss-cross London. You'll find as entertaining a crew of expert underground helpers as Charles Dickens ever produced for these adventures.

I was tempted to grade this as a five-star book, but I couldn't quite bring myself to do that after remembering how slowly the book develops after the initial scene. Certainly, from about the half-way point to the end, this is a five-star effort full of interesting plots, subplots and villains that you'll long remember.

I don't recall a book in this series that I've enjoyed more than the second half of Dark Assassin.

The unique nature of river crime promises more exciting stories to come in this fine series.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good read
Published 2 months ago by keith goodin
4.0 out of 5 stars Monk
Excellent background, interesting protagonists, fascinating insight into historical period. Interesting character development over the series.. Read more
Published 8 months ago by gillian webster
2.0 out of 5 stars Dark thoughts
There are interesting aspects to this book, notably the choice of subject and of characters who don't often appear in books about this period, such as Monk's wife as a former... Read more
Published on 8 Feb 2011 by Lee Coppack
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Assassin
A fantastic well researched story, I don't know how she does it, I have not read a bad book by Anne Perry yet- and of course the Quality and Service were Fantastic from Amazon
Published on 4 Jun 2009 by Mrs. H. O'hara
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Assassin
This book was my first introduction to William Monk, also my first to murder mysteries and it immediately had me hooked. Read more
Published on 11 July 2008 by Mrs. Julie I. Soper
5.0 out of 5 stars Hester's pain re-lived
I would simply like to give this 6!! Anne Perry surpasses each novel she writes with further brilliance. Read more
Published on 30 Jan 2008 by Jane Baker
5.0 out of 5 stars "gotten"
skirrow22 writes in his Sept 2006 review: ".. I do draw a line at the word 'gotten' which crept on to the page. Hardly a Victorian word, hardly an English word either! Read more
Published on 10 Jun 2007 by R. Olds-Bartlett
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark goings on in an even darker environment
This is my first Anne Perry book and so, obviously, my first Inspector Monk mystery. It is easy to pick up where previous situations in earlier books must have taken place and I... Read more
Published on 3 Sep 2006 by Michael Watson
4.0 out of 5 stars William Monk Afloat
The death of Inspector Durban in The Shifting Tide leads William Monk to replace Durban with the Thames River Police as a debt of honor and to provide some much-needed income. Read more
Published on 30 May 2006 by Donald Mitchell
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