Dark assassin : a novel

by Anne Perry

Hardcover, 2006




New York : Ballantine Books, c2006.


Two figures had been on the bridge. He had grasped hold of her. To save her, or to push her? Murder, suicide or accident? Inspector William Monk of the Thames Valley Police watches helplessly as the man and woman fall to their deaths.

User reviews

LibraryThing member reannon
Good series, and good entry in the series.
LibraryThing member robertsljr
First Sentence: Waterloo Bridge loomed in the distance as William Monk settles himself more comfortably in the bow of the police boat.

William Monk is now an Inspector with the Thames River police. London is building a new sewer system after The Great Stink of 1858. While on boat patrol, Monk and his men see a couple arguing and both go into the polluted Thames which kills them. But what did they see? Was it an accident that became a fatal accident? A murder and the killer dies with the victim? A suicide and the man dies trying to save the woman? The woman’s death is proclaimed a suicide. Monk doesn’t believe anyone who was working so hard to clear her father’s reputation, after he also died of a supposed suicide, and provide he was right in believing the way in which the sewers were being built was dangerous would take their own life. Monk even joins forces with his old nemeses, Superintendent Runcorn.

Ms. Perry continues to impress me with her writing. Her ability to take an historic event and build an interesting, suspenseful story around it is unsurpassed. She creates fascinating characters and makes them real; not only Monk and Hester, is wife, but Scuff, the street urchin who feels responsible for Monk, and Sutton the ratcatcher and his dog, Snoot. Each of the characters is brought to live and image under Ms. Perry’s writing. I am always delighted to find the newest book by Ms. Perry.
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LibraryThing member Kathy89
Reader made the audiobook very interesting. River police see a man and woman go over the bridge into the Thames and if it's murder or suicide. The investigation uncovers shoddy work in building of the new tunnels under London.
LibraryThing member ffortsa
A sometimes aggravatingly overwritten police procedural set in London during the massive construction of the London sewer system. The characters are moderately interesting, and there are nice plot twists. I may look at some of the earlier books in the series.
LibraryThing member N.W.Moors
Monk is now working for the River Police. He sees a couple arguing on a bridge over the Thames when they both go over the edge into the river and are killed almost instantly. When Monk finds out the woman's father was also killed under suspicious circumstances, he decides to investigate further. They are connected to one of the companies currently building sewers under London which the dead father thought might cause cave-ins or fires.
There wasn't as much Hester in this book, but Scuff, Runcorn, Crow, Rathborn, and Sutton the ratcatcher all make appearances to help Monk find the true killer. It's another fabulous book in a great series.
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LibraryThing member JalenV
This entry in the William & Hester Monk series gives away something that happened in The Shifting Tide, so if you plan to read both books, better read the other one first.

Monk witnesses two deaths off the Waterloo Bridge, but were they suicide-murder, a victim taking her killer with her, an attempted murderer changing his mind too late? Monk can't tell and neither can the other witnesses. The answer matters because the young woman will be given a shameful burial in unhallowed ground if her death is ruled a suicide. That happened to her father. There's a surviving sister and her children who would have to live with the double disgrace.

It's early 1864 and the sewer system of London is being rebuilt after the Great Stink of 1858 and its resulting cholera epidemic. I remember how unpleasant it was to drive near the Potomac river in the summer in our family's unair-conditioned station wagon back in the 1960s. The online descriptions I've just read of the Great Stink are so much worse that I'm forcing myself not to gag.

Is this extremely important work being carried out safely or is one of the construction companies involved working too quickly with its improved steam engine? The man who lies in a suicide's grave certainly thought so and his daughter was tracing his actions. It's not just the lives of the workers at stake. There's a chance that the devastating Great Fire of London of 1666 could be repeated, thanks to methane gas and the gas lines for lighting the city. (If you're claustrophobic, you might want to skip the investigation/chase scenes in the sewer tunnels. They're quite nasty.)

I freely admit to not solving the case before Monk did. There are plotlines for characters started that I expect to see carried out in later entries and an old problem may be starting to be resolved. I like Scuff the street urchin. A ratcatcher's dog, Snoot, is also an engaging character.
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LibraryThing member cyderry
Monk has decided that the time has come of returning to the police force and has joined the River Police. While patrolling the river, Monk is witness to two young people falling off a bridge and their drownings being unable to reach them before their deaths.

Unsure whether it was a suicide, accident or murder/suicide, Monk investigates finding more dangers than anticipated because of the "apparent" suicide of the victim's father several months previous. Monk must address that death as well bringing him back into connection with Horace Runcorn, his previous superior on the police force.

The interaction between these two characters, the changes in their responses to each other, expanded these characters but other secondary characters (Monk's new subordinates)were left without being fully fleshed out.

Hopefully, the next installment will remedy what was lacking here.
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