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Deep in London’s dangerous slums, Victorians transact their most secret and shameful business. For a price, a man can procure whatever he wants. But for one such man, the price he pays is his life. In sunless Water Lane, respected solicitor Leighton Duff lies dead, kicked and beaten to death. Beside him is the barely living body of his son, Rhys. The police cannot fathom these brutal assaults until shrewd investigator William Monk, aided by nurse-turned-sleuth Hester Latterly, uncovers a connection between them and a series of rapes and beatings of local prostitutes. But then the case takes an even more shocking turn. From the Trade Paperback edition.
In the dead of night in a notorious area of Victorian London's East End known as St Giles a factory girl stumbles over the bloody bodies of two City gentlemen. When Detective John Evan finally arrives at the scene, he is confronted by a most difficult investigation. First he must identify the men. Then he must find out why men of means and social standing would go to such a sordid area. Most importantly, who are their assailants? And how could they escape unharmed and unnoticed? Mercifully the younger victim is not quite dead. Having sustained terrible internal injuries, he's later released home from hospital severely traumatised and unable to speak - to be told that the other victim, his father, is dead, and Hester Latterly has been employed to help nurse him back to full recovery. With too many obstacles impeding his progress, Evan finally enlists the aid of his old friend, William Monk, who, together with Hester's help, must unravel one of his most complex and shocking cases yet.
As barrister Oliver Rathbone prepares to defend his client, Countess Zorah Rostova, against a charge of slander, private detective William Monk and nurse Hester Latterly become caught up in a notorious case of royal scandal and murder in nineteenth-century London. Reprint.
Originally published in hardcover by Fawcett Columbine Books, 1998.
The year is 1861. The American Civil War has just begun, and London arms dealer Daniel Alberton is becoming a very wealthy man. His quiet dinner party seems remote indeed from the passions rending America. Yet investigator William Monk and his bride, Hester, sense growing tensions and barely concealed violence. For two of the guests are Americans, each vying to buy Alberton’s armaments. Soon Monk and Hester’s forebodings are fulfilled as one member of the party is brutally murdered and two others disappear– along with Alberton’s entire inventory of weapons. As Monk and Hester track the man they believe to be the murderer all the way to Washington, D.C., and the bloody battlefield at Manassas, Slaves of Obsession twists and turns like a powder-keg fuse and holds the reader breathless and spellbound. . . .
In a London hospital, Prudence Barrymore, a talented nurse who had once been one of Florence Nightingale’s angels of mercy in the Crimean War, meets sudden death by strangulation. Private inquiry agent William Monk is engaged to investigate this horrific crime–which intuition tells him was no random stroke of violence by a madman. Greatly helped by his unconventional friend Hester Latterly, another of Miss Nightingale’s nurses, and barrister Oliver Rathbone, Monk assembles a portrait of the remarkable woman. Yet he also discerns the shadow of a tragic evil that darkens every level of society, and a frightening glimmer of his own eclipsed past.
Includes an author interview and an excerpt from A sudden, fearful death.
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