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Sunless Sea Hardcover

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Headline
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755386191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755386192
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 24 x 3.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 581 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,231,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: MP3 CD
"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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anne Perry: A Sunless Sea.
The authoress has written almost 60 books, so it is amazing that she pays so much attention to language and the consistency of the book.
Otherwise, it is much revealing about the practice of law in the Victorian age. Was it really so easy to arrest someone? The book is much too long, but it demostrates that for revenge and justice, killing the target is not necessary, and, like during the Jack the Ripper affair, many crimes are concerned just with removing the witnesses.
There are interesting characters in the book, and in spite of the inicial killing the book is somewhat strangely, and in a pleasant old-fashioned way, calming. I certainly liked reading it.
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Format: Paperback
Except that the killer becomes a little obvious a little too soon. But it couldn't be him/her/it. could it? Yes, it could. There are two good storylines combined well here so that neither Monk nor Hester, nor Rathbone, who takes over as the main character throughout much of the book, can be sure which case is truly being tried, murder or treason. There is more skullduggery than usual, but it all fits together very nicely.
Hopefully the coming Monk novel will go back to Monk and Hester as the central figures. It makes sense that they are often sidelined here, but they are interesting people that one longs to watch continue developing.
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