Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Blood On The Water

by Anne Perry
September 24, 2014

The fall Monk mystery!  I enjoyed reading this, as I do all of Anne Perry's books.  But, it was not one of her best.  The plot was good, but I've got some quibbles with how it ended.

Monk and Orme are rowing down the Thames when suddenly a pleasure boat explodes. Nearly 200 people from the boat and surrounding boats are killed.  Of course, the River Police begin to investigate but  then the case is taken from them and given to the regular police.  No one can understand why.

A suspect is arrested - an Egyptian named Habib Beshara. He is quickly tried and convicted for an act of terrorism that is seen as retaliation for England's involvement in the building of the Suez Canal.

In Perry's Law and Order style, the latter half of the book involves the trial of Beshara.  Despite having almost no real evidence proving Beshara's guilt he is convicted and sentenced to death.  

As Monk, who is skeptical of the verdict, makes further inquiries he is almost killed by a boat ramming into the ferry he is riding.  This event leads to more pieces of the puzzle falling into place.

Rathbone returns in the latter half of the book. Although he cannot practice law he gets involved in investigating  the case and advising the prosecutor of a new suspect.

My quibble with the book is the way Perry wraps things up in the last couple of chapters. This is common for her, as it is with other mystery writers. The solution is saved for the end.  But in this particular book it seems to be wrapped up too quickly.  It feels like the whole mystery & trial was just a way to get Rathbone back into the story.

And Rathbone was irritating to me in this book.  I was already tired of his lovesick angst.  His chapters seem to involve mostly Rathbone pondering and wondering and not doing very much else.

Finally, the unasked question regarding the man that was paid to blow up the pleasure boat was unbelievable.  It's unbelievable that no one asked how this man accepted the job from a man who wronged him in such a terrible way.  Really?  The question was unasked and unanswered.

Still, I enjoyed reading it in spite of it's big flaws.

By the way - I listened to this.  The narrator was ok. Nothing special.  I didn't really care for the way he did the voices of the various characters.

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