cover image Blind Justice: 
A William Monk Novel

Blind Justice: A William Monk Novel

Anne Perry. Ballantine, $26 (352p) ISBN 978-0-345-53670-9

Set in Victorian England, bestseller Perry’s entertaining, if flawed, 19th William Monk novel (after 2012’s A Sunless Sea) poses a complicated moral question. The Thames River policeman’s wife, Hester, can’t help wanting to assist Josephine Raleigh, a nurse who works with her at a clinic for prostitutes and is in despair over her father’s debt, since Hester’s own father killed himself when he was unable to meet his financial obligations. Hester is disturbed to learn that the senior Raleigh’s woes stem from being coerced into making donations he couldn’t afford to a suburban London church, whose leader, Abel Taft, is charged with fraud. A new judge, Sir Oliver Rathbone, a friend of the Monk’s, presides over the trial. The interesting ethical bind Rathbone finds himself facing could have been more sharply framed, and the resolution’s tidiness will be a minus for some. Agent: Donald Maass, Donald Maas Literary Agency. (Aug. 27)