Title: The Face of a Stranger
Author: Anne Perry
Series: William Monk Novels, #1
Genre: Historical Fiction; Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Fawcett Crest
ISBN: 0804108587 (978-0804108584)
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
List Price: $7.99
Reviewed: February 15, 2009
Rating: 4 stars (4.3)
Warnings: Mild violence
Synopsis: This is the first in Anne Perry's "William Monk" mysteries. William Monk, detective, lost his memory in a carriage accident. He tries to recover bits and pieces of his life while trying to solve the murder of Jocelin Grey, a member of the nobility. To help him in this is his partner, Evan, and Hester Latterly, formerly one of Florence Nightingale's nurses.
My opinion: I like the characters in this, but I prefer Perry's other Victorian series, featuring Charlotte & Thomas Pitt. That aside, I thought the characters were rather well developed but this story focused primarily on Monk, due to his loss of memory. That was ok with me since I didn't really care all that much for Hester anyway. She was a little too harsh for me to like her, but I thought she was well-written.
Meanwhile, I ruined this book for myself by inadvertently reading the second book first. Hence, I already knew who the killer was since he stands trial in the second book, A Dangerous Mourning. I do believe, if I hadn't already known, I would have been very surprised by the outcome, something to be desired in a mystery novel. On a historical note: I am not an "expert" on Victorian England, since I tend to focus a little more on the Regency, but what I read seemed quite accurate.
I apologize if my thoughts here seem a little haphazard. Truthfully, I started this book over a year ago and had trouble getting into it. I completely blame my mistake for this (see above), not the author.