1864 and, once again, Inspector William Monk, now of the Thames River Police, must face a dangerous foe. After a game of cat and mouse, Monk has finally captured Jericho Philipps, main suspect in the brutal slaying of mudlark Water ‘Fig’ Figgis. In doing so he believes that he has taken the first step in bringing to justice the man responsible for running an evil child prostitution ring and avenged the memory of Durban, his old commander, who was convinced of Philipps’ guilt.
When Philipps comes to trial however all does not run smoothly. Oliver Rathbone, Monk’s friend, is hired anonymously to represent Philipps and he immediately casts doubts over the police case. The result is that Philipps is swiftly freed. Monk, determined to prove Philipps’ guilt, begins the investigation again. But as he ventures deeper into London’s murky underworld, he realises that Durban may have had another reason for pursuing Philipps and, even more worryingly, that Philipps’ depraved tastes reach further into civilised society than anyone could have ever imagined…
- "Set in 1864, bestseller Perry's outstanding 16th novel to feature William Monk (after Dark Assassin) finds Monk suffering from a series of hard knocks, including memory loss. Now superintendent of the Thames River Police Force, Monk is on the verge of closing the books on Jericho Phillips, a particularly nasty villain who specializes in child pornography. Monk and his team catch Phillips, but what appears to be an airtight murder case springs leaks and ends with the accused's acquittal. Many in authority view the judgment as a rebuke to the river police, whose existence as a separate force is threatened. Convinced that he got the right man, despite the jury's verdict, Monk devotes himself to setting the record straight. Monk's wife, Hester, who works with London's downtrodden, provides support. Rich in plot development, believable characters and period detail, this entry will only add to the already sizable ranks of Perry's admirers." Publisher's Weekly,
- "With wonderful, believable characters and details that make you a part of the London dockside, Perry has written another fine book." John Harrington, The Oklahoman, May 2009
- "Anne Perry is an author who specializes in writing about the tribulations of detectives who are obliged to investigate the dark doings that lie beyond the lavish and elaborate social lives of London's Victorian aristocracy and she does a well researched job of it. Execution Dock (Ballantine, $26, 320 pages) is an especially gruesome investigation of sadism, pornography and pedophilia led by superintendent William Monk of the Thames River police that leads him into the highest levels of the English judiciary. Ms. Perry has a knack for character and her Scuff, a tough little bandit of a river orphan, almost runs off with the book. Monk and his wife, Hester, as always, are morally impeccable and high-minded almost to the point of exasperation, and it is usually a relief to find in Ms. Perry's cast of characters someone who doesn't live up to his or her shining reputation. She has unquestionably mastered her territory and her topic and established herself as a chronicler of a social dark side made more horrifying by its hypocrisy." Muriel Dobbin, Washington Times (former White House and national political reporter for McClatchy newspapers and the Baltimore Sun),
- ". . . engrossing page-turner . . . There’s no one better at using words to paint a scene and then fill it with sounds and smells than Anne Perry." The Boston Globe,