Anne Perry's 13th addition to the Monk series is fast paced, exciting and as dark as you'd expect. It is also probably the best entry in the series since Whited Sepulchres (A Breach of Promise for Americans). As is the norm for this series, the main protagonist, amnesiac mid-Victorian 'Private Agent of Inquiry', William Monk is hired to investigate a case which ultimately re-awakens part of his shattered memory. In this most recent novel, the main investigation dovetails entirely with the darker elements of Monk's past life, and shakes his confidence in his own morality. In the meantime, his wife, Hester, disturbed by events in the Coldbath Square area of London in which she is trying to nurse, begins to suffer increasing isolation, due to her inability to fathom her husband's dark mood, and the recognition that her other admirer, Sir Oliver Rathbone, has begun to look for greener romantic pastures. The pace and action-lead style is similar to that of her most recent Pitt books, most notably, Southampton Row, and it is a welcome injection of life into an utterly absorbing group of characters. Perry has captured well the growing anxiety and panic in Monk, as he races to keep events under his control. Further the removal of Sir Oliver Rathbone from much of the second person narrative has made the court room scenes far more suspenseful than they have tended to be in the past. Finally, by maintaining a degree of friction in the Monks' marriage, it reminds us that relationships, even romantic fictional ones, can be difficult to cultivate.