My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: William Monk #24
Publication Date: 9/18/18
3.5 stars rounded up to 4
This mystery was filled with twists, turns, betrayals, and gruesome murders. The writing is excellent, as always, but the story seemed to drag a bit at times with repetitions of various aspects of the story. I enjoyed the story, but I missed the old Monk, this one seemed a bit old, tired and melancholy and not nearly as sharp as he used to be. I really love the stories when Hester and Scuff help Monk, but this time Scuff didn’t get more than an honorable mention and Hester’s input was to be home cooking dinner when Monk finally arrived home. From Monk’s demeanor throughout the entire book, it would not have surprised me to read Monk’s announcement that he was retiring and moving to the Cotswolds at the end of the book.
Sir Oliver Rathbone is an attorney and a good friend to William Monk – probably his best friend. When Rathbone arrives at Monk’s house one evening and tells him the story of Harry Exeter and his missing wife, Kate, Monk immediately agrees to help. Kate has been kidnapped and the kidnappers have demanded a huge ransom to be delivered to a very dangerous place – Jacob’s Island. Jacob’s Island is not really an island, but a place that the river is reclaiming – it is filled with buildings that are being sucked down into the mud and muck of the river and pathways are constantly changing as walls collapse, etc. Exeter asks Monk and the River Police to help him drop the ransom because he has no idea how to get through the island to the drop point. Monk immediately identifies with Exeter’s terror for his wife because Monk’s wife Hester was once kidnapped.
Kate Exeter was out for a walk with her cousin, Celia Darwin, who is also her best friend. They are having a lovely walk along the shore of the river when Kate is approached by a gentleman Celia doesn’t know. Celia doesn’t want to seem to be eavesdropping on the conversation, so she moves away slightly – then a group of people walks between them – and then – Kate is gone.
Monk, Exeter and five of Monk’s best River Policemen plan to deliver the ransom – exactly according to the instructions. Exeter is adamant – he doesn’t care about the money, he wants his wife back. Then, everything goes horribly, horribly wrong. The team is attacked and Kate is viciously murdered. What happened? They were doing exactly as asked – why murder Kate? Is there a traitor among the team who provided details of their movements to the kidnappers? Monk absolutely can’t believe that – but it must be true – how else would the kidnappers have known where each one of the team was stationed? Add two more murders into the mix and you have a really dastardly villain.
I was sure about who the villain was early on, but I also knew the author would throw some kinks into the story to make me doubt myself. There were a number of leads to follow and a few red herrings along the way. I loved that Runcorn took on a part of the investigation, but hated that he was more astute and less wrung out than Monk was.
The end seemed a little contrived and a bit abrupt, but finally, justice was served.
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“I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”