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A Breach of Promise: A William Monk Novel Paperback – October 4, 2011
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Monk's attentions are occupied elsewhere, too. Hester Latterly, the courageous nurse who worked with Florence Nightingale in the Crimean War, and whose favors Monk and Rathbone both desire, is looking after a British officer, Gabriel Sheldon, who was badly wounded and disfigured in India. Gabriel's wife, Perdita, is having trouble adjusting to her husband's broken body and spirit. "It was not Perdita's fault that she was confused and frightened," Monk muses. "She had been protected all her short life. She had not chosen to be, it was her assigned role." Monk has also promised a housemaid in the Sheldons' service that he will look for her two little nieces--deaf and deformed from birth--who were abandoned by their mother almost 20 years before. As the cases tangle and combine (perhaps a tad too coincidentally for some tastes, but, then again, real life is full of coincidences), Perry manages to show us the many ways in which women were made to pay for their place in a male-dominated society. She also delivers a touching and surprisingly suspenseful story. Other Monk books in paperback: The Silent Cry, Cain His Brother, Defend and Betray, Weighed in the Balance. --Dick Adler --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
This is a slightly unusual Inspector Monk book, in that there is no sexual perversion hidden as the motive for a murder. I shouldn't give away too much of the plot for those who have not read this book. The story is about the fragility of reputation, the impossibly limited choices available to young women in that society, and the ways in which friendships can be misconstrued.
One of the most effective scenes for me was where Sir Oliver Rathbone (the defense lawyer) is neatly boxed in by a match-making mother, and the way in which he understands and reads the minds of the women around him. This is one of the reasons I have kept this particular book, above all the others.
The story-line is at least initially not as dark as the typical Anne Perry (warning: her works are not for the squeamish), with the first half of the book being about a trial for breach of promise brought against one of the most brilliant young architects who refuses to marry a young woman. Why he refuses to marry her is not made clear until the middle of the story, and it certainly comes as a shock to all concerned. The second half of the book is much darker, in that the murder is driven by the personal greeds of one of the principal characters in the trial.Read more ›
The plot itself is well thought-out although the denouement fell curiously flat, almost as though Perry ran out of stamina. And the relationship between William Monk and Hester Latterly is growing by leaps and bounds - I look forward to see how Perry will develop this theme in her subsequent books. I feel that Monk and Latterly are a more hard-edged couple than Perry's other creation of Thomas and Charlotte Pitt - although both William Monk and Thomas Pitt are examples of people from outside the charmed social circles who carry considerable loads of cynicism and angst.
This one started out quite slowly and I certainly didn't expect it to rate 5 stars. The continual talk about architecture was a snooze fest, especially since Ms. Perry kept repeating the same two or three descriptive phrases over and over. And the idea she tosses out that just because someone is brilliant creatively then they can't be a bad person is ludicrous. Once the trial starts, however, and Monk gets involved, the pace of the story picks up. The shocking revelation during the trial was exactly that. Shocking. I certainly never suspected the truth about Melville's identity. Well done, Ms. Perry.
On the personal side, Monk's passionate defense of Hester to Perdita and his proclamation of his feelings brought tears to my eyes. Finally! Thank heavens, he didn't retract simply because of embarrassment as he was tempted.
About the case of Melville's poisoning. As soon as Monk talked to the courthouse guard, I knew how Keelin had been killed and by whom. Right away he should have thought to ask Hester how the poison might be administered without eating or drinking. She certainly has the proper knowledge. Later on, he is actually the one who figured it out.
Did not see the ending coming. I expected Monk to express his love for Hester, not to propose. YES! Of course, leave it to Monk to propose in a graveyard. I can't wait to read of the new depths to their relationship and their feelings for each other.
In my excitement over the engagement, I nearly forgot to add the list of interesting names and there were plenty in this book! Zillah. Perdita. Phemie. Athol (sounds like a gasoline). Wystan. Keelin (which is actually quite pretty, but I do like Irish names).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Clever but really these are all the same book. Reading #11 now because why not?Published 2 months ago by mary m burnside
I always enjoy any Anne Perry book. The history of the times comes through clearly. Her research seems so thorough.Published 2 months ago by Marilyn C Gatter
Nice pacing and some grand surprises. I was afraid the 'crime' would turn out to be boring, and there was a tiny drag in some parts but the best of the series so farPublished 2 months ago by Melissa Rosen
I like this series should read through in order if possible. Very descriptive of the times for which it is written. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Anne Perry has away of taking each of her stories in unexpected and interesting directions. She is the first author whose series I am reading in order. I'm very pleased so far!Published 3 months ago by Matthew S Luth
The story covers different people's narration. Alternating persons? It's a cliffhanger and there will be surprises so be ready!Published 4 months ago by Linda Lee Graimm