An Echo of Murder (William Monk Mystery, Book 23): A thrilling journey into the dark streets of Victorian London
This latest installment in the William Monk series resounds with the great Victorian classics, Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dickens’ Edwin Drood, and Stoker’s Dracula. The Crimean War lies fourteen years in the past, but its living dead still walk the streets of London; among them is Herbert Fitzherbert, a brilliant army surgeon and erstwhile colleague of Monk’s wife, Hester, who served as a nurse in the conflict. Since she was forced to leave her friend behind on the battlefield, Hester has buried him in her imagination. However, when Commander Monk investigates a number of gruesome murders in London’s Hungarian community and looks for an interpreter, Fitz—who, it turns out, has spent the intervening years in Hungary—comes back into Hester’s life. He is still handsome, likeable, and an excellent doctor, but is he hiding a terrible secret?
As it happens, the first murder coincided with his arrival in England; thus, Hester and William must find out the truth before it is too late. In this attempt, they have the help of Hooper, William’s faithful second, as well as Crow and Scrub, interns at Hester’s benevolent hospital. And another person from Hester’s past resurfaces—her estranged brother Charles, with whom she is reunited upon Fitz’s advice. Charles has in the meantime acquired a stepdaughter, swelling the ranks of the Monks’ unconventional family, intent on shining a light into Victorian London, the scene of rampant racist, social, and misogynistic strife. Into this festering mess of prejudice and despair, the Monks and their circle—decent, well-meaning Victorians—struggle to introduce a sense of order, righting wrong with the aid of their keen minds and feeling hearts. An atmospheric whodunit, which awakens London to tumultuous, compelling life.