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On the bustling docks along the River Thames, Great Britain’s merchant ships unload the treasures of the world. And here, in dank and sinister alleys, sex merchants ply their lucrative trade. The dreaded kingpin of this dark realm is Jericho Phillips, who seems far beyond the reach of the law. But when thirteen-year-old Fig is found with his throat cut, Commander William Monk of the River Police swears that Phillips will hang for this abomination. Monk’s wife, Hester, draws a highly unusual guerrilla force to her husband’s cause—a canny ratcatcher, a retired brothel keeper, a fearless street urchin, and a rebellious society lady. To one as criminally minded as Phillips, these folks are mere mosquitoes, to be sure. But as he will soon discover, some mosquitoes can have a deadly sting.
Monk discovers a shocking truth while investigating the murder of a high-end prostitute with ties to an opium-dispensing doctor's widow.
Reluctantly accepting an assignment to investigate an Ivory cargo theft along the Thames, Victorian sleuth William Monk wonders why his client elected not to report the crime to police.
On a patrol boat near Waterloo Bridge, police superintendent William Monk notices a young couple engaged in an intense discussion. Seconds later, the two plunge to their deaths in the icy waters of the Thames. Was it an accident, a suicide, or a murder? Ever the investigator, Monk learns that the woman, Mary Havilland, had planned to marry the fair-haired man who shared her fate. He also discovers that Mary’s father had recently died in a supposed suicide. But Mary’s friends share their own darks suspicions with Monk, who now faces the mysteries surrounding three deaths. Aided by his intrepid wife, Hester, Monk searches for answers. From luxurious drawing rooms where powerful men hatch their unscrupulous plots, to the sewers beneath the city where poor folk fight crippling poverty, Monk must connect the clues before death strikes again.
Anne Perry’s seventeenth William Monk novel, now in paperback, is a mesmerizing masterpiece of innocence and evil on London’s docks, a welcome addition to this successful and beloved series. NATIONAL BESTSELLER On a London riverbank, when the body of small-time crook Mickey Parfitt washes up with the tide, no one grieves. But William Monk, commander of the River Police, is puzzled by the murder weapon: an elegant scarf whose original owner was obviously a man of substance. Dockside informers lead Monk to a floating palace of corruption on the Thames managed by Parfitt, where a band of half-starved boys is held captive for men willing to pay a high price for midnight pleasures. Though Monk and his fearless wife, Hester, would gladly reward Parfitt’s killer, duty leads them in another direction—to an unresolved crime, to a deadly confrontation with some of the empire’s most respected men, and ultimately to a courtroom showdown with Monk’s old friend, Oliver Rathbone, in a trial of nearly unbearable tension and suspense. BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Anne Perry's A Sunless Sea. “Masterful storytelling . . . [the] best in the series to date.”—The Star-Ledger
BONUS: This edition contains excerpts from Anne Perry's Treason at Lisson Grove and Execution Dock. A young bridegroom enlists private investigator William Monk to track down his fiancée, Miriam Gardiner, who disappeared suddenly from a party at a luxurious Bayswater mansion. Monk soon finds the coach in which Miriam fled and, nearby, the murdered body of the coachman, but there is no trace of the young passenger. What strange compulsion could have driven the beautiful widow to abandon the prospect of a loving marriage and financial abundance? Monk and clever nurse Hester Latterly, themselves now newlyweds, desperately pursue the elusive truth—and an unknown killer whose malign brilliance they have scarcely begun to fathom.
When his friend, judge Oliver Rathbone, rashly crosses a line and inadvertently causes the death of a charismatic minister, police superintendent William Monk and his wife, Hester, navigate the perilous case to expose the truth and clear Rathbone's name.

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