In Perry’s latest novel set in Victorian England, William Monk, commander of the Thames River Police, is investigating the murder of a smalltime crook. But his inquiries soon uncover widespread corruption, child prostitution, and eventually more murder. A versatile, nimble narrator is required for this audio version of a story moving through several strata of Victorian society and filled with dramatic sequences and emotional confrontations . And Ralph Lister fits the bill admirably. He provides a range of distinctive accents—from common to posh—and creates apt voices for Perry’s carefully crafted characters. His Monk is tough, determined, and wary; his rendition of Monk’s wife, Hester, is spirited and down-to-earth; and his Sir Oliver Rathbone is as noble as he is aristocratic. Lister is just as careful with the supporting players, perfectly capturing a host of characters including Rathbone’s intolerant, sharp-tongued wife and Monk’s young ward, whose high-pitched Cockney chirp combines fear, gratitude, and hope. A Ballantine hardcover. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/2011 Release date: 08/01/2011 Genre: Audio
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