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4.4 out of 5 stars19
4.4 out of 5 stars
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 16 August 1999
After a delightful three-week honeymoon in the Scottish Highlands, William and Hester Monk return to London. Hester starts anew her battle to redesign the nursing profession along the lines of Florence Nightingale's work during the Crimea War. Being a Victorian gentleman, William, is determined that his business as an enquiry agent flourishes so he can support his spouse. Hester understands her beloved's goal as a sign of the times.
Lucius Sturbridge turns to William for help when his betrothed Miriam vanished without a trace from a garden party five days ago. No one has seen her since she disappeared. Recognizing that the distraught Lucius loves his intended as strongly as he loves his Hester, William reluctantly agrees to investigate. He finds the carriage that transported Miriam, but the driver is dead. The police first arrested Miriam, but freed her when they felt the suspect's foster mother had a stronger motive. When Lucius' mother is killed, the police arrest Miriam again. The prisoner knows more than she is saying, but is willing to take her information to the gallows. Hester begins her own inquiries in order to save Miriam's life.
Anne Perry always provides her fans with an interesting story with THE TWISTED ROOM being one of her best. The archaically formed nursing profession (circa 1860) is examined, leaving readers to shake their heads as the participants are considered on a par with charlatans. The who-done-it is entertaining because the audience knows that the prime suspect is hiding information that would prove her innocence. This moves the reader to wondering why Miriam would rather die than reveal the truth. Ms. Perry appears heading towards another award with this winning historical mystery.

Harriet Klausner
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 2000
Monk and Hester have finally taken the plunge and tied the knot - not a marriage made in heaven, so we might just be spared the protestations of undying love and general coziness that erodes some of the grittiness from Perry's Pitt series. This time they have a baffling case on their hands and I found this book a real page-turner. Lucius Stourbridge is holding a party to celebrate his engagement to attractive widow Miriam Gardiner when she vanishes with the coachman. Later he is found dead outside the home of a nurse and colleague of Hester's who looked after Miriam for years when she was found terrified and alone years before. What is her secret, and what was so terrible that she refuses totell anybody even when faced with the gallows?
There is much to admire in this tale and not least the teasing plot. Perry paints a grim and highly realistic picture of a hospital and the fate of those too poor to afford medicines and nursing that has all too much relevance today in the light of National Health Service problems. Who says an interest in history is just dwelling in the past? Perry's writing has a grip and immediacy that never fails to hold me, and this book is a particularly good example of this spell. She will have to be careful how she treats the marriage of her two sleuths, both far stronger and more realistic characters than Pitt and Charlotte. Don't let these gripping tales of the mean streets of mid Victorian London degenerate into coziness! Long may she harrow and reveal the seamy underbelly of high (and low) society.
Rachel A. Hyde for The Charlotte Austin Review
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 8 October 2000
Some crime novels can set up such an air of mystery and suspense that the ending, no matter how clever, is always going to be a let-down. But The Twisted Root actually lives up to its early promise, with an ending which is suitably horrific and dramatic. The characters of Monka nd hester are once again brilliantly shown, with their individual thoughts on their recent marriage showing that this it is not merely a 'happy ending' for them but an ongoing process of negotiation that you would expect from meeting them in previous books. All in all a fine book which will have you reading under the covers in bed when you should be fast asleep!
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Anne Perry can usually be relied on to write a rivetting mystery wrapped up in the dark and seamy side of Victorian London, and this is no different. However the recent marriage of Hester and Monk neutralises some of the tension that always ensues from their relationship and there is a slightly forced air to their marital squabbles as Monk tries to establish his masculine authority in their household.

The mystery itself is an interesting one with characters you can empathise with, however the pacing seems to go a bit awry: the beginning's strong, there's a long hiatus in the middle, and then everything gets wrapped up very quickly at the end in a slightly unsatisfying way. The level of coincidence is also unfeasibly high, and if you think too much the plot holes are actually quite gaping.

Personally I have to limit myself with Perry since there is an underlying 'sameness' to her books which, to be fair, is to do with genre rather than her writing. Also knowing that she likes to build her plot around sexual transgressions makes it relatively easy to guess the outcome since your expectations are set.

One small quibble was the overload of exclamation marks in the first two chapters! But that's a small thing and this is an entertaining book that's perfect to pass a commute/journey or just for a few hours of escapism.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 February 2002
An amazing book that begins with a love story we always hope to turn out well in spite of the odds. Unfortunately, greed is a powerful master and murder a nasty habit for some. Nothing prepares us for the final shock in which not only the guilty is caught but also the innocent. A terrible book that shows us that no one is really safe from harm.
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on 25 January 2015
I am a staunch supporter of Anne Perry's historical research, book structure and great characterisation. This book has all of this and takes once again into the lives of Monk and Hester, back in time to feel the cold wind across Hampstead Heath and to experience the frustration women suffered, in constantly not being listened to and treated as inferior beings. Again woven into the plot injustices taking place in political circles, the cover ups, deception and ignorance. Where those possessing wealth could demand respect even when it is not deserved or to use it to add even more misery to the poor of society. The constant twists will starts to grip you as the pace of the book quickens
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VINE VOICEon 24 July 2008
this review could probably apply to any of the Anne Perry Monk books as I have read most of them and am constantly amazed by her genuineness, if such a word exists. there are other novelists who have plundered the English Victorian period but none have succeeded in pulling it off the way that Anne Perry does. She never makes the mistake of letting her research show and yet the books are superbly researched as each one deals with an "issue" relevant to the times. I feel she must have hitched a ride in Dr Who's TARDIS and has trawled back the very Victorian sensibility with which she furnishes her books. amazing
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on 29 March 2015
It was ....ok. I possibly made a mistake by reading this book having not read the others in the series, but I found it very difficult to get into, I will usually easily read 50-60 pages of a book before going to sleep, but found this a bit like wading through treacle and I was only managing 10-20 pages. The author just seems to use 5 words where 1 would do and there was quite a bit of repetition, eg if a character was concerned about something this was pointed out to us repeatedly. I would have given it 2 stars but the ending picked up a lot and was very enjoyable (albeit slightly unbelievable).
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 28 March 2000
I found this book very readable and enjoyable, due more to the portrayal of the characters than the actual plot ( I found the ending a bit far-fetched and rushed). However, for pure entertainment value this is one of the best books I have read from Anne Perry and so much more gripping than the Charlotte and Pitt series (Hester and Monk actually have rows and argue...). I would definitely recommend it to crime and mystery readers.
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on 12 March 2014
the book arrived in the time stated by the sellar and the price was very good also I would recomend the ann perry seris who likes reading about victorian times
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