Free ePUB The Face of a StrangerAuthor Anne Perry –

One of the best books I ve read in the last 12 months Characters were complex, flawed, and authentic Dialogue rang true The mystery was good and not capable of being figured out with any certainty until close to the end In candor, I ve avoided reading any Anne Perry books until now because of my discomfort with the author s ability to get away with murder with a slap on the wrist several decades ago It s been my loss. I felt like clapping as I set down this book after finishing it I thought it was so fun to read I actually reached out and patted the book with glee a few times and chuckled to myself once setting it down I can t say many books have entertained me in such a way I think the complexity of the storyline really had me going I m afraid I m hooked I m so glad Perry was accurate in her account of the slums and the conditions of Victorian times I appreciated her strictness in presenting social norms and customs as they were, rather than bending the rules a bit.The characters were so real and fun I think my favorite was Lady Callandra I d love to have her as a friend and advisor I like that I wasn t told the complete history of each character They are deep and real, just as a real person doesn t give you their whole history in the first few meetings I look forward to reading the other William Monk books as my fun books I m glad to have another type of fun book to interspace myserious reads I m a fan of mystery if it is a mystery as complete and entertaining as the Monk series promises to be ps I really like it when some of the main characters have faults that make themreal and endearing I can relate so muchto a character who is a littleon the normal side vs Disney Princess Prince. His Name, They Tell Him, Is William Monk, And He Is A London Police Detective But The Accident That Felled Him Has Left Him With Only Half A Life His Memory And His Entire Past Have Vanished As He Tries To Hide The Truth, Monk Returns To Work And Is Assigned To Investigate The Brutal Murder Of A Crimean War Hero And Man About Town Which Makes Monk S Efforts Doubly Difficult, Since He S Forgotten His Professional Skills Along With Everything Else I should ve read this long ago I have always been a fan of Anne Perry s Thomas and Charlotte Pitt novels, but for some reason I hadn t read her William Monk series yet I am so glad I did Monk is a muddle of a man So many contradicting emotions Hester is a wonderful character Anne Perry puts such strong women in her books set in anti woman Victorian England You d think a country ruled by a woman would beprogressive And Evans is a delight Can t wait to seeof this. As an historical fiction fan, I am embarrassed that it has taken me so long to discover Anne Perry This first in the William Monk series was superb There is a tension to this story as we work alongside Monk to discover who he himself is He is suffering from total memory loss after an accident He realises he is actually not a nice person and also that his job hangs precariously by a thread as his boss sets him up for a fall He must solve a murder that has everyone baffled and time is of the essence.The mystery surrounding this murder has the aftermath of the Crimean War as its context It was fascinating to read about the politics of the time how for example British jingoistic fervour, remnants from Waterloo, led the British into a war with an attitude of pride and confidence leading to a complete massacre the truly awful conditions and spread of disease in Scutari, countered by Florence Nightingale in contrast to the misinformation and lies found in reporting of the war back home in Britain.Very well done, Ms Perry 20 years late to the party Themes identity, crime, war, family, secrets, memory, classSetting Victorian EnglandNow I remember why I don t read Anne Perry any I don t really like her writing This book sounded like a change from her Thomas Charlotte Pitt series, which I did enjoy at one time I just got a little tired of reading about the seamy side of Victorian life, and she explored deviance in all its forms, the worst crimes she could imagine, and on and on and on There wasn t much to smile about in her books, ever But this is about a different character, so it was possible that it would be enjoyable.Nope.This is a classic example of how NOT to write a mystery, IMO It starts with Detective William Monk awaking in a hospital to find that he is very weak, injured, and that he doesn t remember anything at all, even his name or how he got there He returns home and searches for clues all over his flat to find anything that will help trigger a memory When nothing helps, he goes to visit his sister On his return to London, he gets sent to investigate a crime that occurred the same night he had his accident, the murder of a popular gentleman with a titled family Someone beat Joscelin Gray to death.So far, it could have been a good book We ve got both the mystery of Monk s past and the mystery of murder But the writing was so darn bad that I really couldn t finish the book I was listening to it, which means that it took stinking forever to finish, so I finally gave up and got a paper copy at the library so I could skim through to the end.The main thing that turned me off was the way the writer stuck interior monologue in the middle of PRACTICALLY EVERY CONVERSATION So Monk is questioning someone, and then randomly thinks, I wonder what kind of man I was before my accident I wonder if I liked music Did I have a girlfriend Did I like pie Why can t I remember and on, and on, and on, while the actual conversation just sort of hangs there until Monk comes to his senses and starts paying attention again.And the other main character, Hester Latterly, does the same thing She ll be listening to some discussion of the Crimean war and have a flashback to her service there as a nurse and we ll get a page of her reminiscences I know we all do that from time to time, let our minds wander now and then, but it s really super boring to listen to Even reading it was bad enough, but at least then I could skip ahead a couple of paragraphs.I know that this series, and her other one, have some fans, but I am not reading any by this author One series is too dark, and this one is too dumb The writing itself is not very good and the style is extremely irritating 1 star. Amazing This was the first Anne Perry book I ve read and I was totally engrossed in not just the suspenseful murder mystery but the unraveling of Mr Monk himself, who suffers memory loss after a head injury in a hansom cab crash The way Monk and his assistant Evan piece the story together bit by bit with very little to go on was remarkable I hope the other books in the Monk series will be just as good, as well as the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series that I ve never read A recommended read Review written April 4, 20184 Strong Stars Great serial openerBook 1 in a new for me historical mystery serial Set in London 1856 with the main character the police detective William Monk The Face of a Strangeris the serial opener from 1990 and the firts of 24 book parts so far still a new one next to every year as it looks A very HAPPY EASTER read Got hooked from start and just wish to start the second book His name, they tell him, is William Monk, and he is a London police detecive But the accident that felled him has left him with only half a life his memory and his entire past have vanished As he tries to hide the truth, Monk returns to work and is assigned to investigate the brutal murder I listened to the 13 19 hours audiobook from start very well and pleasant narrated by Davina Porter.I LIKE Detective Monk and his maybe to be lady sweetheart A man wakes up in a hospital after a carriage accident in 1856 with no idea of who he his or what his life has been like He doesn t remember his name or his profession.He is told that he is William Monk, police detective And he is immediately assigned to a very difficult murder case A member of the aristocracy, Joscelin Grey, was beaten to death in his own home Can Monk, a man who doesn t even recognize his own face, solve this baffling mystery and keep his job This book was amazing.THE SETTINGLondon 1856 is brought to vivid life by Perry You can taste the vegetable stew and smell the rank odors of extreme poverty as Monk makes his way through Victorian London I don t generally read historical fiction, and I was very impressed.THE CHARACTERSPerry really takes the time to develop her characters We get in the head of not only Monk, but the independent spinster spitfire Hester Latterly The sparks that fly not necessarily romantically between these two leads are epic There s also a lot of tension between Monk and his smug, belligerent boss Runcorn These scenes Monk vs Latterly and Monk vs Runcorn were crackling off the page.UNREALISTICI do feel like this book was unrealistic in feminist women While I like and appreciate that there are so many independent and free spirited females in this novel, it s certainly not very believable considering the time period I also found it very unrealistic that Monk, Latterly, Evan, and others were so concerned with class differences and the deaths and suffering of the poor Again, possible technically I guess, but not very believable.I m mentioning this, but you can see I gave this five stars It s not a criticism I love feminist characters and also hero characters who fight against discrimination and for better lives for the poor but merely an observation that it is not very believable.THE WRITINGPerry definitely has a unique style of writing, and one which I really enjoyed He remembered the horror he had felt when actually standing in the room Did walls retain memory Could violence or hatred remain in the air after a deed was finished, and touch the sensitive, the imaginative with a shadow of the horror I saw The Grudge I know it can happen LOL Some might find Perry s writing a bit slow, or even pedantic but I liked it a lot Especially considering the time period this novel takes place in it was very appropriate The book is in no way boring or dull.THE AMNESIA Monk s amnesia is an obvious plot device to help ease the reader into this world As Monk discovers things about himself and the world he lives in, so does the reader I didn t mind this Even though it sounds clunky and obvious, Perry actually does a great job with it It was scary for both Monk and the reader never knowing who to trust, or who you hated or even loved in the past Life is such a minefield for Monk as he tries to figure out who his friends and enemies are, and it keeps the reader in a state of nervous excitement.CHANGING CHARACTERIt is especially interesting that when Monk takes a close look at his previous life, he comes to the conclusion that he might have been not the best person Now, with the amnesia giving him a fresh start, a fresh chance at life he makes the slow, conscious decision to be a better person than he was I liked seeing this and it was interesting to see characters who were once afraid of Monk s past self, slowly starting to trust and like him Very interesting and well done.THE MYSTERY The mystery was well crafted I did not figure out who did it before the author chose to reveal it to me and Perry presented me with some great twists and turns Both the general plot and the mystery plot of this book are engaging and exciting.THE DIALOGUEI feel I must warn you about the dialogueAh, there you ave me, sir I don t think as I would Yer see, I didn t see im close, like, when e was down ere An on the stairs I only looked where I was goin , it bein dark E ad one o them eavy coats on, as it was a rotten night an rainin somethin wicked A natural night for anyone to ave is coat turned up an is at drawn down I recken e were dark, that s about I could say fer sure, an if e ad a beard, it weren t much of a one Now, I m not saying Perry is unskilled at capturing a certain class of British accent As you can see, she is very skilled However, at times I found these paragraphs of dialogue very difficult to read and understand Deaf death orspital Hospital Etc etc etc If you hate this kind of writing an accent phonetically, you are going to have problems with this book This kind of language is not constant it only crops up when Monk talks to street urchins, prostitutes, skeevers, porters, and other lower class people But it does happen frequently enough that I feel it bears mentioning Read at your own risk.In short, an excellent books in all respects and a series that I will definitely continue This is my first Anne Perry book although so many of my friends in real life rave about her and I was pleased to discover that she lived up to the hype I went into this book not expecting much, and ended up loving it The best kind of book, in my opinion. 4.25 Definitely not often a crime novel is written by an author who committed a brutal premeditated murder at the age of fifteen Her former name was Juliet Marion Hulme and the disturbing movie Heavenly Creatures with Kate Winslet was based on her story, though with no input from her There are two books about her on Goodreads I discovered this information just before I started reading this, her first of over forty novels I admit to being overly intrigued after reading in a Guardian interview Perry s books grapple with questions of sin and repentance, the price of redemption and forgiveness It is vital for me to go on exploring moral matters, she says This was quite excellent As it opens Detective Monk has suffered a concussion and can recall nothing of his life After recovering physically he goes back to work and is assigned a rotten murder case but tells no one of his amnesia Coincidentally his accident and the murder occurred on the same night Very interesting He has no idea who his friends or enemies are though it is obvious that he was not well liked His personal issues add multiple levels of mystery It is a British historical piece as well, bring ing to life the idiosyncrasies and mannerisms of Victorian high society the servants, the below stairs gossip, the peculiar customs The author has done her research to realistically portray the life and times According to a QA with her at the end of my book which I quoted from above , she was crowned the queen of British historical mystery by the Chicago Tribune If you re a fan of the genre I highly recommend this Fascinating characters, great story and pacing I m thinking I will be back for .