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The Twisted Root (William Monk Novels) Audio, Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook

4.3 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews
Book 10 of 21 in the William Monk Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

William Monk, the unquestionably handsome, somewhat vain, but genuinely tenderhearted "agent of enquiry" is back on the streets of Victorian London, investigating his 10th case, a missing woman. Miriam Gardiner was due to be betrothed to a much younger man, a well-to-do gentleman named Lucius Stourbridge. But during a family croquet party, the bride-to-be vanished, apparently fleeing in a coach driven by a family servant named Treadwell. Monk would normally be reluctant to get involved in a simple case of pre-wedding jitters, but his own recent marriage to the headstrong nurse Hester Latterly gives him a newfound empathy for the heartbroken Lucius. Of course, as always in Perry's historical mysteries, all is not quite as it seems. Treadwell is found murdered, and the missing Miriam becomes the number-one suspect. Monk is convinced that she "could and would do no intentional evil," even as Hester connects her to another illicit crime. Eventually unearthed by London's finest, Miriam is arrested and charged with murder, and it's up to barrister Oliver Rathbone to absolve her in court (with a little help from his good friends William and Hester Monk).

With a plot twist around every corner, Anne Perry knows just how to keep us in suspense, right up to the exceedingly dramatic finale. The Twisted Root is a luminous whodunit from the queen of Victorian mystery. --Naomi Gesinger --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In this 10th entry in the popular series featuring prickly English investigator William Monk and his equally prickly bride, nurse Hester Latterly (A Breach of Promise, etc.), Perry mulls over the moral justification of criminal acts. Just back from his honeymoon in the summer of 1860, Monk tries to locate Mrs. Miriam Gardiner, a comely widow who inexplicably fled in a coach from her wealthy young fianc?'s home. Monk's search takes him to Hampstead Heath, where the coachman's body is foundAmurdered, he deduces, by a single blow to the head. Could Miriam have struck that deadly blow as she fled, and if so, why? Cornered at last, Miriam refuses to explain her behavior or implicate the coachman's murderer, even though Monk suspects she's the victim of some atrocity. Meanwhile, Hester gears up to defend Cleo Anderson, a saintly nurse who admits to filching hospital supplies to treat impoverished war veterans. Plot mechanics grind away as Perry strains to connect the two crimes, resolving matters with an ending that reads like Henry Fielding without the laughs. Fans of earlier Monk and Latterly mysteries may enjoy Perry's sometimes overwrought depiction of the two-career couple negotiating who cooks supper, but the many other anachronisms just don't wash (says Hester's colleague: "you want to have nurses visit the poor in their homes? You are fifty years before your time"). Despite the characters' tendency to sermonize self-righteously, Perry's theme is the hazy nature of guiltAa topic sure to intrigue those who've followed her career. For thrills, however, readers should turn to other books in the series. Mystery Guild selection; Random House audio. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: William Monk Novels
  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Random House Audio (October 5, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037540810X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375408106
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 4.5 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,103,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
After the surpising twist to the end of A Breach of Promise, I thought Anne Perry had used up all her shock value. I was very mistaken! Bravo Ms. Perry you are an excellent writer and never cease to amaze me with your plots! I can't wait to be surprised by Half Moon Street! Excellent!
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Format: Hardcover
I have read every book that Anne Perry has written and I enjoy every one, but I particularly like The William Monk series. I find this series is darker than the Pitt ones and every book has fine examples of Victorian British courtroom drama. I marvel at the way that Ms. Perry can portray the Victorian mindset - the prejudices and the close-mindedness. Improbable as it seems to us in our modern day world, being quick to censure and to judge others against some impossible ideal was very prevalent in late 1800 England. There are a lot of plot twists and turns in this book, and it has its usual surprise ending. In some ways the ending seems less probable than other books in the series, but it doesn't impair the fun of the read.
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By A Customer on November 8, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book was gripping until the end - though without the usual tension between Hester and Monk to add that extra bite we've been used to in this series of books.
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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you love a good mystery - if you love Victorian England - if you love a unique love story - then buy this book (and all her William Monk serie) for this book (and the series) contain all three (and more). Her writing is superb - evocative of another time and place - never sentimental yet certain scenes bring tears to your eyes - never flowery or gushy, but filled with detail. William Monk, the chief character in this series is not the most likable of men but under Perry's flawless writing he comes to be a man you respect and cheer on. He has a history which comes to light slowly and it is one I do not believe I've ever seen before in a lead character. I will not divulge what it is so as not to spoil the read. Hester, the lead female in Perry's Monk Series is unlike any character I've ever read about before - at least in Victorian times. She is strong and outspoken and having been a nurse in the Crimean is a force to be reckoned with. And Rathbone, a lawyer friend to both of them, set the tone for the era but as the books slide by, becomes less conservative and more loving in his ways. As a trio they are hard to beat. Much has been said about Perry's own personal history which I will not divulge here for it's of no concern to me, but I do feel that it is that very history which has made her not only able to see both sides of a crime - but it's also given her the ability to show compassion, ferocity, and the effects of crime on both the criminal and the victim. Top notch writing coupled with interesting unusual characters makes this book (and the series) a first-rate read! BUY THEM!
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