A SUDDEN, FEARFUL DEATH by Anne Perry

A SUDDEN, FEARFUL DEATH

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 William Monk, tough, unhappy ex-policeman hero of several of the author's Victorian-era novels (The Face of a Stranger, etc.), is almost peripheral in this one. It concerns the murder of strong- willed Prudence Barrymore, a gifted nurse of good family, with heroic service in the Crimean War behind her. Working now in London's Royal Free Hospital, mostly with prominent surgeon Sir Herbert Stanhope, she is found, strangled, in a hospital laundry chute. Monk is hired by Lady Callandra Daviot, on the hospital's board of governors, to try to find the killer. He enlists the help of old friend Hester Latterly, another dedicated nurse, who takes a job in the hospital, hoping to ferret out useful information. Her efforts are largely unproductive, and matters seem hopeless until evidence comes to light that puts Sir Herbert on trial for the murder. A series of courtroom scenes full of unexpected zigs and zags help redeem the many, many ponderous chapters that have gone before--weighed down with Monk's inner reveries, mini lectures on downtrodden Victorian woman, and lots of stately chitchat. Ambitious but overblown. (First printing of 50,000)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-449-90637-X
Page count: 381pp
Publisher: Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1993




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