The Silent Cry, by Anne Perry

>> Wednesday, August 29, 2007

TITLE: The Silent Cry
AUTHOR: Anne Perry

PAGES: 356

SETTING: 1860 London
TYPE: Mystery
SERIES: 8th in the William Monk series

REASON FOR READING: Still rereading my way through the entire series, and rapidly approaching the end of what I already had. Fortunately, it looks like many of the later books are available in ebook format.

Deep in London's dangerous slums, Victorians transacted their most secret and shameful business. For a price, a man could procure whatever he wanted, but it happened now and then that the price he paid was his life.

Now, in sunless Water Lane, respected solicitor Leighton Duff lies dead, kicked and beaten to death. Beside him lies the barely living body of his son, Rhys. The police cannot fathom these brutal assaults until shrewd investigator William Monk uncovers a connection between them and a series of rapes and beatings of local prostitutes. Then, shockingly, it begins to appear that young Rhys may have killed his own father...
THE PLOT: In TSC, Hester is hired to care for a young man, Rhys Duff, who was found near death on the street of a slum, next to his father's dead body. Both of them had been brutally beaten up, and the police have no idea of what might have happened to them.

At the same time, Monk has been hired by the wife of a sweatshop owner to investigate who has been beating up and raping some of her employees, women who occasionally do some streetwalking to make ends meet. After a while, it becomes clear that there might be a link between the two cases. But what exactly happened?

MY THOUGHTS: As always with Perry, we get a mystery that is rich in atmosphere and historical context, with a nice, complex plot and continuing development in the histories of our detective and his friends.

As a mystery, this was a particularly interesting one, and the investigation was fascinating. It's clear to the reader, long before Monk starts suspecting, that there is a link between the two cases, but what exactly is that link? That kept me guessing until the very end, and Perry succeeded in tying all the different threads: the murder case, the rapes and Monk's lost memories, seamlessly.

The solution wasn't completely satisfying, though. I had identified the culprits quite easily, but as I said, never suspected the exact details. The thing is, could I have? Given the victims we were shown? I don't think so, and that made me feel a bit cheated. Plus, it all felt a bit abrupt, with a lack of development of the culprits' motivation. I think I would have liked to see more of them when the truth was revealed. I wanted to gloat, because they really were vile people.

And when I finished, I went back and thought a bit and there were certain details that didn't completely convince me. All right, so Rhys couldn't speak, but why didn't Hester use a kind of Ouija board method, at least when it was clear he was really, really wanting to communicate but couldn't? And how come the first doctor, the one on the hospital they were first taken to, didn't catch what ended up giving Hester the clue as to what had happened?

So, a book I enjoyed immensely as I was reading it, but with an ending that made me question some of my enjoyment.



Post a Comment

Blog template by

Back to TOP