Anne Perry brings us a tragic, but thought provoking novel, in this, her twenty-first William Monk novel.
Hester Monk is filling in for a friend at the London Royal Naval hospital when a child comes to her begging for help for her brother who is on the brink of death. It soon becomes clear that these children are having their blood drawn for transfusion purposes, by a pair of doctors, hoping to make a medical discovery that would save lives in the future. Once Hester announces she is aware of what is taking place with those children, she puts her life on the line, and Monk will have to step in to save her.
I have been reading Anne Perry novels for many years, but I will confess I tend to seek out the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt stories more than the William Monk stories, but they are both stellar mysteries. However, when I noticed this book up for review, I was suddenly hit with the urge to dive into a William Monk book, realizing it has been a good long while since I have done so.
This story is a little outside the usual procedural type story we have come to expect with this series. While Monk has always been a very complex, dark, and interesting character to say the very least, this story seems to belong to Hester almost exclusively. The moral dilemma presented here is one that will sicken you, but of course we know these things actually took place throughout history. The doctors involved are like mad scientist, honestly believing the means justified the end. But, of course, there are all kinds of blurred lines and the resulting trial brought out some issues that will make it impossible to ignore some of those gray areas. Even Hester admitted she came to understand some of the reasons behind the obsession these doctors had, while still finding their methods abhorrent.
However, it was very, very deep into the story before a murder occurred, but when it did, I was so surprised by it, I audibly gasp. The story from that point on, took on a new dimension and the ending solidified my belief in karma.
Although the story does make the reader think, will evoke emotions of anger and sadness, if you are looking for a good murder mystery, this one falls a little short of the mark, and the plot is very slow moving. While I enjoyed the book for the most part, I wouldn’t say this is one of Perry’s better novels, and not what I have come to expect from the William Monk series.
Recommended for the long term Anne Perry of William Monk fan.
Anne Perry, that incomparable novelist of life in Victorian England, has once again surpassed herself, with this twenty-first installment of her New York Times bestselling William Monk series. In Corridors of the Night, nurse Hester Monk and her husband, William, commander of the Thames River Police, do desperate battle with two obsessed scientists who in the name of healing have turned to homicide.
The monomaniacal Rand brothers—Magnus, a cunning doctor, and Hamilton, a genius chemist—are ruthless in their pursuit of a cure for what was then known as the fatal “white-blood disease.” In London’s Royal Naval Hospital annex, Hester is tending one of the brothers’ dying patients—wealthy Bryson Radnor—when she stumbles upon three weak, terrified young children, and learns to her horror that they’ve been secretly purchased and imprisoned by the Rands for experimental purposes.
But the Rand brothers are too close to a miracle cure to allow their experiments to be exposed. Before Hester can reveal the truth, she too becomes a prisoner. As Monk and his faithful friends—distinguished lawyer Oliver Rathbone and reformed brothel keeper Squeaky Robinson among them—scour London’s grimy streets and the beautiful English countryside searching for her, Hester’s time, as well as the children’s, is quickly draining away.
Taut with intrigue and laced with white-knuckled terror, Corridors of the Night is Anne Perry at her magnificent, unforgettable best.