Posts Tagged ‘William Monk’

I love to read but I am more drawn towards mystery novels than anything else. While perusing through old paperbacks in Trinoma, I chanced upon these novels by Anne Perry. I bought two books, The Twisted Root and Funeral in Blue. The main protagonist was this supposedly brilliant private investigator named William Monk. He lived in London during the Victorian era and has a wife named Hester. If the long and winding history of his life would be believed, Monk was a strict police investigator feared by junior policemen. He had no patience for idiocy, emotions and incompetence. That bit intrigued me.

anne perry


Unfortunately, Anne Perry’s writing was not a page turner and William Monk’s supposed brilliance may just be his own imagination. In these books I bought there was no instance wherein he solved a mystery. The murders solved by themselves, rather they unraveled at the end of the novels that I felt Anne was compelled to just end the stories.

In The Twisted Root, it was Oliver Rathbone and his wife Hester who got through the bottom of why the widow Mrs. Gardiner preferred to hang than talk. In Funeral in Blue, it was Hester again who asked around where her sister-in-law was. Truth be told, Monk should have been the nurse and Hester the investigator. Monk did little deducing and investigating. He was not brilliant at all. In fact he was far from being intelligent, he does show however a short fuse and love for fashion. Those came across in both books very clearly.

Anne had a tendency of going over and over the history of her protagonists. Hester of her Crimea experience and Monk of his past experiences as an ill-mannered officer of the law. The author also  failed to make her protagonists engaging even when the Monks talk about their feelings for each other. There was some kind of in your face “we are in love and cannot live without each other” thing going but I do not see why these two are madly in love with each other. The same goes for Callandra and Dr. Beck. There seems to be a private joke between the writer and her characters that leave the reader, or maybe just me, out of the loop.

As a reader I wished I can empathize with the characters. I want to be angry, be confused, frustrated, be loved and scorned with them but I wasn’t. I flipped the pages as the characters begin their labyrinthine, tiresome recount of their past lives because it was too repetitive. It makes you say “Okay I get it, she was in the Crimea. He was that good way back when. Geez enough already!” complete with the rolling of the eyes and arms up in surrender.

Well it was not as painful to read as Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight (I did not even finish that book), but I wont buy another Anne Perry William Monk anymore.