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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Has Merit
The previous "expert" reviewer, who prides herself on knowing what a good review is all about, is quite entitled to her opinion. However, my opinion about this book definitely does not agree with hers. I have read all of Anne Perry's books since they first were published. I like some better than others but feel that all of them have some merit. Her characterizations...
Published 24 months ago by Aussie Booklover

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11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kind of a mess
There are probably close to a hundred sentences in this novel that state that opium is dangerous and addictive. We get it--Okay? That aside-- the story is kind of a mess. While Hester is more evident than in some recent volumes, she has been turned into little more than a helpful housewife-- and she was such a good character.
The chronology in A Sunless Sea is a...
Published on 2 May 2012 by SherriLee


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Has Merit, 23 July 2012
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The previous "expert" reviewer, who prides herself on knowing what a good review is all about, is quite entitled to her opinion. However, my opinion about this book definitely does not agree with hers. I have read all of Anne Perry's books since they first were published. I like some better than others but feel that all of them have some merit. Her characterizations and historical authenticity are excellent. From a closer reading, this reviewer may come to realize that Perry has given us once again some clever red herrings that may at first seem to be contradictions. I believe that A Sunless Sea also has the same merit as all Perry's other books have had. We are no longer shocked by drug abuse as the drug culture is certainly alive and well in the 21st century. But since we are not living in the mid-1800s in which this story was set, we may not fully appreciate that drug abuse to the magnitude described was extremely shocking to most at that time. For this reason, the seemingly repetitious reference to opium abuse in this book seems quite appropriate for the period described. Therefore, please dear readers, give this excellent book a chance and do not be unduly influenced away from reading it by this previous rather jaundiced review.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER TERRIFIC WILLIAM MONK TALE, 23 Sep 2012
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Gail Cooke (TX, USA) - See all my reviews
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May as well admit my bias in the first sentence - I'm a huge fan of Anne Perry's William Monk series. Perry is an agile word painter - so perfectly describing the sights and sounds of Victorian London from the dark Limehouse area to the posh West End that one feels transported to a different time and place.
As for her characters, they're impeccably drawn from the brooding elegantly tailored William Monk who speaks precisely and stands "with both grace and confidence" to the residents of the waterfront with their work weary faces and humble clothing.

The give and take between Monk and his feisty, loving wife reveals so much about their endearing and enduring relationship. Perry includes the characters' thoughts as they face each situation, which tells us a great deal and renders them fully fleshed human beings. With the 18th Monk tale we grow even fonder of all.

A Sunless Sea gives us an intimation of what is to come with the first page. Monk and his partner, Orme, are out on the river just as the sun is rising when "The peace of his satisfaction was shattered by a scream, which was piercing even above the creak of the oarlocks and the sound of the wash from a passing string of barges breaking on the shore." They reach Limehouse Pier to find a hysterical woman standing by what appears to be a pile of rags but in reality is a dead woman gruesomely dismembered.

It takes some time but they identify her as Zenia Gadney who was evidently supported by a gentleman who recently stopped coming to see her. The man in question was found to be Dr. Joel Lambourn, a respected physician and researcher who had taken his own life by ingesting a large quantity of opium and slitting his wrists. There was no investigation into his death, which was immediately declared a suicide by government officials. This was the same government that had recently dismissed his report which advocated the accurate labeling of opium products.

What possible connection could there be between these two deaths? It soon becomes obvious to Monk that a key to answering that question may be found in the doctor's report, but how to see it? As he eventually joins forces with his barrister friend Oliver Rathbone to solve this mystery readers are treated to a fascinating account of what at that time was a vital issue as well as a refresher course on the effects of the Opium War.

For this reader A Sunless Sea is Perry's best to date, and that's saying quite a bit!

- Gail Cooke
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perry never fails, 1 Dec 2013
By 
Jane Baker "jan-bookcase" (Somerset) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Sunless Sea (William Monk 18) (Paperback)
A big fan of Perry's William Monk series I read this after a break of some years but it was easy to pick up the history and relive the previous novel around the Ballinger story. Perry's plots stay with the reader long after the book is finished. As always her plot is taut, her crafting of it skilful, the characters full-bodied. The reader becomes immersed in the tension and gripped by the execution of the development. The whole is based on Britain's part in the Opium Wars and Perry's research is thorough with enough background to acquaint the reader without giving so much detail that the part it plays remains dominant. There is a diversity of characters from the mysterious Zena Gadney, the unpalatable Barclays, Hester Monk as anarchic as ever, so much a woman born too soon, Monk himself drives doggedly on, and Rathbone driven too, with his failed marriage tearing him apart in an emotional wasteland that we've not seen in him previously. An eclectic mix which cannot fail to compel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sunless Sea, 28 May 2013
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I have now read the complete set of William Monk books and have enjoyed every one of them. I would recommend reading them in order if you want to understand the relationship between the main characters but can be read as a single entity
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5.0 out of 5 stars interesting subject matter, 1 May 2014
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This is another well written book by this author. The characters are believable and the storyline ingenious and kept the reader guessing right to the end. Love that facts and fiction blend so well. Look forward to reading the next book. Would recommend this book to anyone who is familiar with Monk, Hester and Rathbone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars william monk, 21 April 2014
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denise (United kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Sunless Sea (William Monk 18) (Paperback)
anne perry writes brilliant murder mysteries set in the 19th centuary giving lots of historic facts a very good read collect them all
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4.0 out of 5 stars The formula works again!, 12 Mar 2014
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Another absorbing story of Victorian England with sufficient twists to hold the interest even though the "just in time" ending is predictable given previous volumes. Nevertheless, an excellent read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars my kind of book, 20 May 2013
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I find all the William Monk series fascinating. The historical facts and stories based in this period are believable and exciting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Anne Perry at her best, 10 Mar 2013
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This review is from: A Sunless Sea (William Monk 18) (Paperback)
Having read all of Anne Perry's I thought this was her at her best. The story was intense and moved along at a really good rate.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Sometimes Tedious Investigation of a Suicide and Murder, 10 Mar 2013
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Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
"Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death." -- Mark 13:12 (NKJV)

Let me be clear that I am reviewing the audio recording read by Ralph Lister.

The story begins with two deaths, one ghastly and one that's hard to swallow for those who detect carefully. While many people are quick to decide that one is a murder of a prostitute and the other a suicide, William Monk isn't so sure. Teaming with his wife, Hester, and Oliver Rathbone, the investigation goes into some pretty chilling territory.

If you haven't read Execution Dock, I strongly urge you to do so before reading A Sunless Sea. Otherwise, you'll probably like this book about one star less than by reading the two in tandem. Several of the most deft plot developments in A Sunless Sea tie back to that earlier story.

I thought the novel put us back into the Victorian perspective quite effectively, allowing us to see with horror some things that we are hardened to today. There are also some nice moral dilemmas that will interest anyone who enjoys such challenges.

Ultimately, I found the book a little tedious in the way that the final investigation unfolded during Oliver Rathbone's defense efforts during a criminal trial. Anne Perry could have sped matters up quite a bit and readers might have enjoyed the story more. See what you think.
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A Sunless Sea (William Monk 18)
A Sunless Sea (William Monk 18) by Anne Perry (Paperback - 30 Aug 2012)
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