When the body of a small-time crook named Mickey Parfitt washes up on the tide, no one grieves; far from it. But William Monk, commander of the River Police, is puzzled by the expensive silk cravat used to strangle Parfitt. How has this elegant scarf—whose original owner was obviously a man of substance—ended up imbedded in the neck of wharf rat who richly deserves his sordid end?
Dockside informers lead Monk to what may be a partial answer—a floating palace of corruption on the Thames managed by Parfitt, where a captive band of half-starved boys are forced to perform vile acts for men willing to pay a high price for their midnight pleasures. Although Monk and his fearless wife, Hester, would prefer to pin a medal on Parfitt’s killer, duty leads them in another direction—to an unresolved crime from the past, to blackmail and more murder, to deadly confrontation with some of the empire’s most respected men.
Acceptable Loss provides, to a superlative degree, colorful characters, a memorable portrait of waterfront life, and a story that achieves its most thrilling moments in a transfixed London courtroom, where Monk faces his old friend Oliver Rathbone in a trial of nearly unbearable tension—in sum, every delectable drop of the rich pleasure that readers expect from an Anne Perry novel.
Watch Anne Perry talk about the Monk Series