More thriller than mystery, Perry’s melodramatic 21st William Monk Victorian historical (after 2014’s Blood on the Water) focuses on the Thames River policeman’s wife, Hester, a skilled nurse tested in battle during the Crimean War. While filling in for a friend on the night shift at an annex to Greenwich Hospital, Hester encounters a terrified six-year-old girl, Maggie, who pleads with Hester to help her gravely ill seven-year-old brother, Charlie. When Hester sees the slight lad, she’s shocked by his condition and pessimistic about his chances of survival. Her efforts to rehydrate Charlie buy him some time, but her knowledge that a doctor has been routinely drawing blood from him, Maggie, and their four-year-old brother, Mike, places her liberty and her life in jeopardy. The identity of the person behind the blood-letting is no secret, and a logic flaw undermines the serious moral debate that’s at the heart of this lesser effort. Agent: Donald Maass, Donald Maass Literary Agency. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/03/2015 Release date: 09/15/2015 Genre: Fiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.