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3.9 out of 5 stars23
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on January 20, 2001
I'm a long-time fan of Anne Perry and I especially like the Monk series, but I think it's time Ms. Perry puts away her computer and takes a bit of a vacation. Her writing has become tedious and formulaic. I knew who did it halfway through the book and the ending was predictable, mainly because any regular reader has seen it all before. She was once an excellent writer but I kept feeling that she's become lazy and doesn't care much about her art. The same adjectives appear on just about every page - She uses the words "tragedy," "courage," and "intelligence," so often they lose all meaning. Every heroine "fights against injustice" or some other over-used description. Every character is described in the same repetitive manner and the vocabulary not only doesn't vary among her novels, it doesn't vary among her characters. I barely recognized this version of Oliver Rathbone. The Rathbone of previous works would never give up on a client, must less resign himself to their guilt. The evidence that Robb used to make an arrest was laughable at best. And Perry's repeated descriptions of a chronically foot-sore Monk were annoying. I've always loved Anne Perry's work. I just wonder where one of my favorite authors has gone.
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on January 3, 2001
I have been reading Anne Perry's books since college. I especially like her series with William Monk, Hester Latterly and Oliver Rathbone. I must say, however, that The Twisted Root needed to be more tightly edited. The ending of the book seemed very loosely pulled together; it probably needed at least two to three more pages of explication to round out the last of the twists and turns presented at the very end of the book. Ms. Perry developed characters who seemed strangely isolated from the context of their work or lives. More questions than answers were raised for me. Didn't Sgt. Robb have any superiors to answer to on his first murder case, which just happened to involve a wealthy family? Why didn't we see Dr. Beck again after his assistance to Hester? Weren't any of the other nurses at the hospital worthy of Hester's attentions? I also thought some of her descriptions were redundant - of John Robb, Hester's concerns about old, abandonned soldiers. Strangely, even for a Victorian couple, the warmth between the now-married-to-each-other Monk and Hester seemed more that of good friends than a couple in love. I do look forward to the next Monk/Latterly story, but with caution.
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on October 14, 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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on November 12, 2001
This is my first and as far as I can tell only experience with this author. She seems to have come up with a facinating plot and then proceeds to mess it up almost beyond belief.
Her main character never seems to dominate the novel. She constantly tells us how smart and formidable her heros are and then they prove her wrong by not being able to find or figure out anything. She has no sense of drama or suspense. She constantly changes the people driving the book, we go from Monk, to his wife, to Rathbone and if it doesn't fall in their lap they would never get there. One thought illustrates this point to a tee, she tells us Rathbone is the greatest barrister in the relm, then at the start of the trial she tells us Tobias defeats him as often as not, from the way it goes from there that is an understatement. Sometimes I give things a second chance but not this time thanks.
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on March 10, 2000
I have been a fan of Anne Perry's detectives [and formerly one wife -- now two wives] for many years. The plot of this novel is intriguing and complex as is customary in Perry's works, and, in addition, we get to see the jockeying for position in their newly-combined home between the amnesiac investigator William Monk and the opinionated nurse Hester Latterly Monk. These scenes are fascinating and show that Perry not only knows her Victorians but is also knowledgeable about the human heart, regardless of time. All in all, this was an excellent read. From the moment a young woman mysteriously disappears from a croquet game at one of Britian's grand country estates in the company of one of the family's male servants, there is seldom a dull moment.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. May the author provide us with many more.
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on February 23, 2000
I suppose it's difficult for an author to know how much background to reiterate when some readers may be first-timers while others have absorbed all the earlier books in the series. Still, I wish Perry would realize that it's also difficult for loyal fans to plow through yet another rehashing of nurses' plight in the Crimea and 19th-century England. I find myself skimming an author whose every word I used to savor. Also detracting from this book was the way characters - even whole courtrooms - kept jumping to ridiculous conclusions with scant provocation. Despite these complaints, I still enjoy the characters and the world that Perry has so carefully created. She's a skilled enough writer that it's fun watching how she gets from A to Z even when it's pretty obvious what Z's going to be.
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on September 26, 2000
The Twisted Root Anne Perry's first William Monk book after his marriage to Hester Latterly the nurse who worked in the battlefields of Crimea, explores new tensions between the leading characters. While there are not the battles between them that there were in previous novels, there still is plenty of tension. somehow they are both more vulnerable and softer now that they are a matched set.
Book is loaded with the intersting characters as in previous novels. Some you hope to see again as Cleo, and the police sergeant Robb.
Perry's mystery is not as engaging as her characters and her settings. Hospital scenes are fabulous, as are the courtroom scenes. While her mystery may be easy to solve, I would read her Monk books for the character and historical insight she provides.
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on March 14, 2001
I would like very much to know how to let Anne Perry know how much her books have meant to me through the years! I have read them all, and while I prefer the William Monk series, I must say that her Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series are in the same category of excellence! She makes England's Victorian era absolutely "come alive" with her knowledge of the history, culture and diverse ethnic groups of the century. There are not too many books that I cannot "put aside" for at least short periods of time...but Twisted Root was not one of them....I resented ANYTHING OR ANYONE interfering with my finishing this excellent, mesmerizing book!
Miss Perry.....please write on and on and on....cannot wait for your next one!
Devotedly! Jeanne Diffee
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on October 31, 1999
Having read many of Anne Perry's books, especially in the Monk series, I am used to her morbid outlook on life. However, her obsession with extremely dark and perverted people is getting to be a little much. To Perry's credit, she handles William's and Hester's relationship very nicely in "The Twisted Root". She also effectively describes Rathbone's discomfiture at having let Hester "slip through his fingers". However, the mystery itself is ridiculous. It is filled with absurd coincidences and a truly sick and cynical take on human nature. Perry should try to write some mysteries that are a little less sensational. If she feels that it necessary to be outrageous to sell books, then she has a very low view of the public, indeed.
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on October 8, 1999
Anne Perry's newest book, The Twisted Root, is a worthy successor to her previous Monk & Hester books. Settled into domestic bliss, Monk is a private investigator and Hester a hospital volunteer. Together with Oliver Rathbone, who still loves Hester, they discover who murdered a coachman. Lady Callandra Daviot returns as does Rathbone's father, two wonderful characters. A new young policeman is introduced, and I hope to find him in future books. My only small concern is Miriam Gardiner, charged with murder, does not appear as much in the book as I would have liked. Should any of these books ever be made into movies, I would cast Alan Rickman as Monk, Emma Thompson as Hester, & Jeremy Northam as Rathbone. Any comments?
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