cover image An Echo of Murder: A William Monk Novel

An Echo of Murder: A William Monk Novel

Anne Perry. Ballantine, $28 (304p) ISBN 978-0-425-28501-5

Set in the summer of 1870, bestseller Perry’s skillful 23rd William Monk novel (after 2016’s Revenge in a Cold River) opens with the Thames River Police commander’s arrival at a riverfront warehouse, where Hungarian businessman Imrus Fodor lies dead, impaled by a bayonet. Fodor’s fingers are broken, and 17 candles are arrayed nearby, all bloody and two of an unusual blue. The victim’s enigmatic countryman, Antal Dobokai, who discovered the body, serves as translator as Monk investigates London’s close-knit Hungarian community. Leads are few, until identical murders occur. Londoners panic, ethnic tensions flare, and Monk’s wife, Hester, becomes involved when a friend is suspected. Though the book’s final quarter feels rushed, Perry smoothly intertwines themes—war’s lingering cost, tensions around immigration and otherness—that challenge in both her period and our own. Her gritty depictions of Victorian medicine at home and on the battlefield ground the story in wrenching realism. Agent: Donald Maass, Donald Maass Literary. (Sept.)