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Cain His Brother [Hardcover]

Anne Perry
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 14 1995
William Monk is enlisted to help in the search for Genevieve Stonefield's husband Angus, missing presumed murdered. A historical crime novel from the author of SINS OF THE WOLF and THE TWISTED ROOT.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Continuation of the Henry Monk series set in Victorian London, in which the detective is hired by a woman who thinks her missing husband may have been murdered by his brother.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

From Booklist

Perry's lingering fame from the murder she committed as an adolescent won't hurt her latest book's popularity, but there's no doubt that her historical mysteries would be critical and popular successes no matter what her background. Victorian detective William Monk returns, this time in one of the most challenging cases he's ever faced. Genevieve Stonefield begs Monk to find her missing husband, Angus, whom she fears has been killed by his twin brother, Caleb. Angus, a respected businessman, loyal husband and father, and pillar of the community, has disappeared after a visit to Caleb, who's as different from Angus as it's possible to be; he's a violent thief, ruffian, and blackguard who lives in one of London's most dangerous slums. Genevieve's fears that Angus is dead at Caleb's hand seem well founded; all Monk has to do is find the means, the motive, the opportunity--and the body. But the more he investigates, the more bizarre twists and frustrating dead ends he encounters, until his persistence finally breaks the case wide open in a stunning climax that surprises even the unflappable Monk. This one deserves high marks for superb plotting, fine writing, intriguing characters, and outstanding historical detail. Buy multiple copies. Emily Melton --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enthralling read with a disappointing ending April 27 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I love Anne Perry's ability to twist and wind through a story and keep you hanging until the last pages. I also love her well researched novels that offer such exsquisite detail about Victorian London, especially the class differences (particularly in this book). Unfortunately I found the conclusion of this novel truly unoriginal and disappointing. The result it ended with was a thought that had ocurred to me earlier in the novel, but I doubted it just because of the lack of inspiration it required. I am more fond of the Monk/Latterly series than the Pitts series, and "Cain..." is one of the better stories among the Perry novels, but I would definitely read it knowing in advance that the ending doesn't compare with the rest of the story. If you want a truly excellent Anne Perry book, read "The Face of a Stranger" (the first Monk/Latterly novel). A great read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of Perry's best novels Jan. 18 2004
By Eva25at
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A lady instructs ex-inspector Monk to find evidence of her husband's death. She is convinced that Angus, a devoted husband and father has been murdered by his twin-brother Caleb, a true monster by all accounts. Her means of susbsistence are threatened because she and her five children cannot inherit Angus' fortune unless she is able to produce a body. Monk understands her existential dread. Of course, there is always the possibility that Angus went deliberately underground or that his wife had a hand in it. He is helped by nurse Hester Latterly, who is very busy with typhoid patients, rich and poor, and by star-attorney Oliver Rathbone who pleads Mrs. Angus' cause before court. Monk goes also through a private nightmare: he falls in love with a charming lady who encourages his advances. Suddenly she tears her clothes up in full view of many high-born eyewitnesses and runs away screaming...But before she is able to round off her scheme and ruin Monk's career, Hester resorts to a very artful ruse...
One of Perry's best. Gripping, psychologically revealing, and sociocritical. Perry is as good as Dickens when she exposes grievances. In one scene she reveals that the lower classes of the time owned just one pot: for cooking, doing the laundry, washing the baby and as nightpot...Hester's counteroffensive against the libellous lady will make you shake with laughter - and wince...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Cain His Brother March 7 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the best book by this author that I have read so far.
Perry's writing style is unobtrusive, somewhat given to unclear pronouns, but generally solid.
I found it interesting that nothing seemed to differ between this setting, in 1859, and the setting of the author's Pitt novels, in the late 19th century, except that the Pitts have telephones. I wonder how authentic that is. I found no obvious errors, except that, in keeping with the rest of Perry's books, the women seem very independent for the period.
Perry has come up with what must be one of the best characterization hooks ever invented. William Monk suffers from amnesia. He has reason to think he was an unpleasant person, a person capable of wronging others, in the past. But... he can never know what, exactly, he did. I would have liked to see a few more original touches in his *current* character, but it's still a fascinating idea.
The plot of Cain his Brother is outstanding. A minor consistency error here and there does not detract from its drama. A man has murdered his twin brother -- or has he? I thought I had the secret figured out several times, but I was wrong. But when the answer was revealed, it made perfect sense. Perry sometimes has surprise twists out of nowhere at the end of her books, but this time she got it exactly right. I remained unclear on one thing --Ravenstone's motivation -- but that may be my oversight.
This is a very entertaining historical mystery which I strongly recommend.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thought I knew it all until the Twist... March 31 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Today I read a used first edition that I bought, so part of my review is my memory of the first time I read it. Unlike some other mysteries I'd reread lately, I had no difficulty remembering the main points -- they made too strong an impression.
I thought I knew what was going on by page five. I was correct in one supposition, but the truth was far stranger than I'd imagined.
For a time it may seem that the typhoid epidemic in evil twin Caleb's stomping grounds is irrelevant, although interesting in itself if you care about medical history. I liked learning about Hester's version of oral rehydration therapy and blanched when I read about burning tobacco leaves for fumigation. Do not allow yourself to become impatient. It's all relevant and that will be revealed in due time.
Is Angus' wife, Genevieve, a cold-hearted accessory to his murder? Did Caleb murder Angus? Is Angus still alive? Why did the author give him the same name as one of the Pitts' cats? (You may ask, but you won't get an answer.) Since we have another Angus, will an Archie show up?
What about Lord Ravensbrook, who was guardian to the Stonefield brothers? What's his role in this tragedy? Mr. Niven was unwittingly ruined by his friend, Angus. Does he really hold no grudge?
Who is the lovely Drusilla and why is she seeking out William Monk? She's a member of Society, as he isn't. Certainly her many charms give Monk the opportunity to unfavorably compare Hester to her in his mind. Will he live to regret this or does Hester have a rival? Does Hester even care?
If you're a fan of Oliver Rathbone, don't worry. He'll have plenty to do during the trial scene. Hester isn't neglected, either. I thoroughly enjoyed her solution to one person's nasty little trap for our hero.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Padded writing but gritty atmosphere
Perry's Victorian London mystery, featuring the amnesiac ex-Inspector William Monk and the Florence Nightingale-trained nurse Hester Latterly, revolves around the disappearance of... Read more
Published on Feb. 2 2004 by Lynn Harnett
1.0 out of 5 stars Starts good, ends bad.
This is the first Anne Perry book I have read. Therefore, you may take my review as a message to other first time Perry readers, not the fans. Read more
Published on Feb. 23 2001 by Mikhail Odotorvich
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best Monk--confusing rather than baffling
At the end of this book--which features one of my favorite literary characters, William Monk--I still didn't know "who dunnit," and I felt a real sense of relief that it... Read more
Published on July 30 2000 by drdebs
2.0 out of 5 stars Tediously repetitive
I liked Anne Perry at first but must say that the more I read of her, the more impatient I become with the tedious repetitiveness of her descriptive passages.
Published on Nov. 13 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars Another fine offering by Anne Perry
This was one of her better books in regards to the "Brothers Stone/Stonefield". I was left rather disappointed, however, by the completely unrelated subplot of Drusilla... Read more
Published on Aug. 26 1998
5.0 out of 5 stars A missing man, and a dangerous twin brother.
William Monk is hired by Genevieve Stonefield to find her missing husband, Angus. He was last seen visiting his twin brother Caleb, who lives in Limehouse; the destitute part of... Read more
Published on June 17 1998
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read of Victorian England
This book is the latest By Ane Perry in her classic Inspector Monk series. It involves a respected businessman who disappears while visiting his despicable low-life twin brother . Read more
Published on Feb. 15 1997
4.0 out of 5 stars Perry does it again!
Angus Stonefield's wife enlists William's help when her husband vanishes. His brother Caleb, who lives in the worst part of London, is believed to hold the key to his... Read more
Published on Feb. 10 1997
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is interesting from start to finish.
This book holds your attention from the very start. Victorian London is re-created in exquisite detail by Perry, and the
characters are described in such a way that you feel... Read more
Published on Jan. 10 1997
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