An Echo of Murder Book Review

An Echo of Murder Book Review

Title: An Echo of Murder
Author: Anne Perry
Published: September 19, 2017, Ballantine Books
No. of Pages: 304
Cover Price: $28.00 Hardcover $14.99 Kindle

Anne Perry’s William Monk series is popular for those who like historical novels, especially those where the history has been researched, and fictional characters are woven into real historical events. An Echo of Murder is the 23rd installment in the series, and like the previous novels, rings true historically. Police Commander Monk is called to the scene of a grisly murder in London’s Hungarian community. His investigation is thwarted because of a language barrier, as well as prejudice, and the mistrust of police. Unfortunately, the investigation is slow – there were no modern sleuthing and technological techniques in Victorian England– and more bodies begin to pile up.

Perry is a master of setting the scene so that readers feel they are actually experiencing Victorian England; medical breakthroughs haven’t occurred yet, and the pace is much slower. The novels also progress at a slower pace, which makes them seem even more real. Monk, with a bit of help from his wife Hester, a nurse who served in the war with Florence Nightingale, works hard to overcome the prejudice of the Hungarians, and gets help from others in the community who speak the language and are familiar with the Hungarian mores.

While Perry’s excellent writing and storytelling abilities, as well as her well-researched historical scenarios, are evident in this novel, it is a bit slow moving, and hard to get into. The suspense doesn’t start to build until at least halfway through, and, compared to some of the others in the series, seems a bit boring. Of course, fans of this series will want to snatch this book up as soon as possible since the characters have developed over the 22 other books leading up to this one and they will want to know how their characters have progressed. For others, it is recommended that the books be read in order to experience the history of the main characters (i.e., Monk lost his memory for a time, and hasn’t fully recovered; Monk and Hester’s marriage, etc.).

An Echo of Murder isn’t one of Perry’s best, but is a passable addition to her popular series.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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