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Execution Dock: A Novel (William Monk Novels) Hardcover – March 24, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 108 customer reviews
Book 16 of 21 in the William Monk Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Set in 1864, bestseller Perry's outstanding 16th novel to feature William Monk (after Dark Assassin) finds Monk suffering from a series of hard knocks, including memory loss. Now superintendent of the Thames River Police Force, Monk is on the verge of closing the books on Jericho Phillips, a particularly nasty villain who specializes in child pornography. Monk and his team catch Phillips, but what appears to be an airtight murder case springs leaks and ends with the accused's acquittal. Many in authority view the judgment as a rebuke to the river police, whose existence as a separate force is threatened. Convinced that he got the right man, despite the jury's verdict, Monk devotes himself to setting the record straight. Monk's wife, Hester, who works with London's downtrodden, provides support. Rich in plot development, believable characters and period detail, this entry will only add to the already sizable ranks of Perry's admirers. (Mar.)
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Review

"Set in 1864, bestseller Perry's outstanding 16th novel to feature William Monk (after Dark Assassin) finds Monk suffering from a series of hard knocks, including memory loss. Now superintendent of the Thames River Police Force, Monk is on the verge of closing the books on Jericho Phillips, a particularly nasty villain who specializes in child pornography. Monk and his team catch Phillips, but what appears to be an airtight murder case springs leaks and ends with the accused's acquittal. Many in authority view the judgment as a rebuke to the river police, whose existence as a separate force is threatened. Convinced that he got the right man, despite the jury's verdict, Monk devotes himself to setting the record straight. Monk's wife, Hester, who works with London's downtrodden, provides support. Rich in plot development, believable characters and period detail, this entry will only add to the already sizable ranks of Perry's admirers."—Publishers Weekly


Praise for Anne Perry and her William Monk novels


Dark Assassin

“Brilliant . . . a page-turning thriller . . . blending compelling plotting with superbly realized human emotion and exquisite period detail.” —Jeffery Deaver, author of The Broken Window

The Shifting Tide
“An engrossing story that leaves the reader waiting for Monk’s next adventure . . . The mysterious and dangerous waterfront world of London’s ‘longest street,’ the Thames, comes to life.”—South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Death of a Stranger
“[A] tantalizing puzzle . . . At last, in Death of a Stranger, the secrets of Monk’s past are dramatically revealed.”—New York Times Book Review


Funeral in Blue

“No one writes more elegantly than Perry, nor better conjures up the rich and colorful tapestry of London in the Victorian era. But for all its arcane setting and stylistic eloquence, Funeral in Blue is an old-style private eye novel—and an extremely good one.”—Cleveland Plain Dealer

Slaves of Obsession

“Luxuriant . . . It’s E. M. Forster spliced with Thomas Harris. . . . Perry is a master.”—Baltimore Sun
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Product Details

  • Series: William Monk Novels
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (March 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034546933X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345469335
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,006,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
It is 1864 in Anne Perry's "Execution Dock," and William Monk is the head of the Thames River Police. His wife, Hester, is a trained nurse who runs a clinic at Portpool Lane, where she and her staff give free medical care to destitute people who are sick or injured. As the story opens, Monk is on the brink of capturing the ruthless Jericho Phillips, a sadist who runs a "floating brothel" on which he uses and abuses young boys and sells their services to gentlemen of means. The police suspect that Phillips tortured and murdered at least one child named Walter Figgis who rebelled against him. Monk is anxious to arrest Phillips and see him tried and hanged. However, even if Monk were to take this fiend into custody, would he somehow find a way to escape punishment? Sir Oliver Rathbone, "arguably the best attorney in London" and a friend of Hester and Monk, also becomes embroiled in the Phillips case with unexpected consequences.

Monk and Hester are anxious to learn the truth behind Phillips' uncanny success at keeping himself out of prison. Who is protecting him and why? In addition, they are determined to clear the name of Monk's late mentor, Commander Durban, whose integrity has been called into question. Durban hated Phillips but was never able to prove the charges against him. Monk and Hester risk their lives to bring Phillips to justice, not only for Durban's sake, but also for the vulnerable boys at risk while this monster is at liberty to ply his loathsome trade. Hester and her associates question anyone who may have relevant information, while Monk studies Durban's notes and tirelessly follows up every lead.

Readers who have cared about Hester, Monk, and Rathbone over the years will notice that Monk has matured.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
One of her best books of the Monk series since "Sins of the Wolf". It's well crafted and well written. I'm not sure how it would rate for readers new to the series as its richest aspect is the exploration into the lives and relationships of the main characters. Anne Perry did not disapoint in this regard as she managed to avoid simplyfying and gloryfying them, in essence turning them into black and white caricatures of the complicated characters they once were. She remained true to the characters testing their many strengths and displaying their flaws.

As is usual with the Monk series, there are dark and uncomfortable undertones and gripping courtroom drama, although again what is at stake for the reader is not so much the outcome of the trial but the relationships of the participants.

An excellent job by Ms Perry with quite a few loose ends to tie up. Here's hoping it doesn't take 3 years for the next part of the story to be told.
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Format: Hardcover
I have been a long time reader of Ms. Perry's novels, and she is in fact my favourite author. Of all her series, my favourite is the William Monk series, and this book, without exaggeration, is the best of the lot! It has been three long years since we've had a William Monk novel, and this book left me breathless right until the end. Monk, Hester, and the Barrister Oliver Rathbone are on a mission to save the reputation of a great man, and to save the River Police where Monk is Commander. They are pitted against a truly evil man who exploits young boys in the worst ways possible. They have a lot of trouble proving it, and even more trouble getting someone to stand up against this evil man, but they persevere. We are exposed to blackmail, sexual exploitation, murder and all number of horrible things as Monk and Hester try to get the evidence they need to convict this monster. No one can make a reader actually live in the moment of the time of their story like Anne Perry. Mid-nineteenth century London is teeming with life in this book. Please don't make us wait another three years for a William Monk book Ms. Perry.
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Anne Perry is an elegant writer - even when she is exposing (pardon the expression) the prevalent pornography exploitation in Victorian England.
This book takes place just after Prince Albert's death, and Queen Victoria has started her mourning - which will last decades -
Monk and his river police try to put away Phillips, a man who owns a river boat where patrons can come and use children for their sexual needs, or buy pornagraphic photographs, or watch the action as it happens. It is a disgusting thing that truly was the 'rage' in this era, and unfortunately pornography has no era constraint.
Phillips is tried (his counsel is the Monk's longtime friend Sir Oliver Rathbone) and found not-guilty for the murder of a boy who had started puberty and no longer useful to his porno industry.
Monk, and his wife Hester start an investigation to catch Phillips in something that will bring him to justice.
Including the characters that have endeared themselves to us in this series, Sullivan, the rat catcher, and his wonderful dog, Scuff, the homeless boy that Hester and Monk have semi-taken in, and a cast of others. They persue Phillips, and face dangers.
This book delves into the relationships of the Monks and the Rathbones and the dynamic changes. It is excellently written and is Anne Perry at her best.
Mrs. Perry is now writing one book a year and is alternating between the Monk series and the Pitt series (Victorian England at its latter stages), as well as the Christmas books she writes about a character from her series and their experiences around Christmas. She is a lovely lady - I emailed her and to my surprise received a lovely handwritten card from her and I have kept it in the 1st Christmas book.
Execution Dock is vintage Perry - you will not be disappointed - great read.
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