Revenge in a Cold River by Anne Perry
Posted by Neen
I find that Anne Perry’s books are a bit like a box of good chocolates – you just can’t stop at one, which is why I had to read Revenge in a Cold River. It’s no. 22 in the William Monk series, and I’ve read all the others. Her meticulous research, complex plots, and the authentic sense of place that she creates all contribute to a deeply satisfying reader experience, which has kept me addicted since reading the first one, The Face of a Stranger.
William Monk is a man without a past, painfully rebuilding both his psyche and his life with the help of his beloved wife, Hester. In Revenge in a Cold River, Monk is now Commander of the Thames River Police in 1860’s London, but he has a secret more terrifying than the criminals he pursues – he can only remember the last 13 years of his life. Total amnesia has robbed him of his past, and as he attempts to reconstruct the life he has lost, he comes to realize that he must hide his condition from those who would not hesitate to use his weakness to destroy him. Monk walks a knife-edge as he investigates a complicated conspiracy against a wealthy American businessman, while desperately attempting to conceal the blankness in his mind from those around him. He also comes to realize that his own actions from that forgotten time have contributed to the hatred now directed at him by the colleagues who should be helping him. This case is strongly connected to Monk’s own unknown past, and unless he uncovers that connection, and the true identity of a powerful and vindictive enemy he cannot remember, his life and career will be ruined.
Revenge in a Cold River is a taut, beautifully written thriller, just like the others in the series, but this installment explores Monk’s vulnerabilities and emotional landscape, which enables the reader to relate to him as a more authentic and realistic character. It is always enjoyable to experience the trajectory of emotional growth in our favourite literary characters, and after 22 books, it’s definately time that William Monk developed some personal insight!