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Although I have an interest in the characters in this book, I simply can't stand this series anymore. The author has an obvious interest in 'exposing' the oppression suffered by women and the lower classes in Victorian England. However, instead of using her skill to show this through plot-line and character actions, the listener must suffer through Hester's repetitious and strident commentary. Repetition abounds, from her polemics to character's ruminations and turns of phrase that are the same in substance *and in words* from chapter to chapter! Different characters even use the exact same phrases to describe the odd behavior of the children in the book.
Hester's beliefs are quite modernistic and are revealed as such increasingly throughout the books. In addition, I had a hard time accepting the courtroom scenes as being plausible for the Victorian era. I wonder strongly if the 'issue' revealed (I don't want to give anything away, although you will probably guess it nearly immediately as I did) would be handled in such an open and sensitive way.
I would happily have missed most of the scenes in the house of the murder victim, particularly the excruciatingly long dining room scenes, which barely forwarded the plot. How long can one listen to Felicia basically say the same things over and over?
I was also struck by the fact that, although on his past cases, Monk was supposedly 'tireless' and 'brilliant', that in the first three books of the series he is confused, dense, and easily frustrated. The fact that he never interviews the boot boy is very odd, and I think is just a setup so that Valentine (unbelievably) will tell his story in the courtroom.
What a great story this could have been?! So many indications of brilliant writing! If only she had a good editor and someone to tell her to get off the soapbox, I would love this series.
The narrator was absolutely excellent. Top notch.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Once again, Ms. Perry tackles modern societal issues in a Victorian setting. She vividly illustrates some of the deleterious effects inflicted on the victims. The first half of the book, I did suspect what was going on, but not the murderer.. by the middle, I’d figured it out.. but wanted to continue .. if nothing else than to see how Ms. Perry handled the issues.
There is a great triangle brewing between Monk, Hester and Oliver. I keep vacillating over which man I want to get the girl!
Ms. Porter again, is wonderful!
This book is not for those with blissfully innocent sensitivities.. but, is an excellent expose of some of societies most degrading practices.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful