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A Sunless Sea (William Monk #18)

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,330 Ratings  ·  336 Reviews
As commander of the River Police, Monk is accustomed to violent death, but the entrails hanging from the mutilated female body found on Limehouse Pier one chilly December morning move him with horror and pity. The victim’s name is Zenia Gadney. Her waterfront neighbors can tell him little—only that the same unknown gentleman had visited her once a month for many years. She ...more
Hardcover, Ballantine , 373 pages
Published August 28th 2012 by Random House
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Victorian and Regency Mystery Novels
74th out of 189 books — 106 voters
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Best of Anne Perry
63rd out of 100 books — 7 voters


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Community Reviews

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Carol
Dec 08, 2012 Carol rated it liked it
I am a real Anne Perry fan. I've read everything she's written, and I mean every single book, so when my local library put "A Sunless Sea" out on the shelf I grabbed it up and dived right in. With my familiarity of Perry's writing style, I quickly noticed that she's fallen into a bad habit - one that began to show in the two books previous to this one (Acceptable Loss and Dorchester Terrace). She now writes with endless stream of consciousness always ending in a question. There are so many menta ...more
Donna
Sep 24, 2012 Donna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was soooo looking forward to this book. "Dorchester Terrace" was great and I had high hopes for this one. I was not disappointed. I tried so hard not to race through it, to take it slowly, enjoy the building of the mystery and what Monk would do to solve it. To no avail. I blew through this book in two days and it was exhilarating. I had the right family but not the right person, but I don't care. "The Sunless Sea" was a joy to read if that is a word to use to describe the horrors of opium ad ...more
Ricki
Sep 05, 2012 Ricki rated it it was amazing
I found the title of this latest Anne Perry novel to be quite appropriate: it comes from Kublai Khan, a poem written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who was a notorious opium eater and according to legend wrote this upon awakening from an opium dream. "In Xanadu did Kublai Khan A stately pleasure dome decree, Where Alph, the sacred river, ran Through caverns measureless to man, Down to a sunless sea."

I love the three main characters in this series, Monk, his wife Hester, and the barrister Oliver Rat
...more
Linda
Feb 27, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it
Anne Perry's books about William Monk always have a moral theme, and with A Sunless Sea, the Commander takes on the opium trade. Early one morning, when on routine business, Monk discovers the horribly mutilated body of a middle aged woman, lying in the open on Limehouse Pier. As his investigation commences, the victim appears to be a prostitute with a single client, who stopped visiting her about two months before her death. With considerable difficulty, Monk tracks him down, only to find that ...more
Larraine
Sep 18, 2012 Larraine rated it liked it
Anne Perry is at her somewhat overwrought and melodramatic best in this latest William Monk novel. Perry is one of those writers that tends toward the romantic in her writing. By that I mean, she tends toward melodrama. However, her books are rescued by their intricate plots and excellent historic detail. In this novel, Monk has arrested a woman for the murder of her husband, but really doesn't believe that she is guilty. She requests that Sir Oliver Rathbone, a renowned attorney, be enlisted to ...more
Tammie
Jul 17, 2015 Tammie rated it liked it
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Laura Edwards
Sep 22, 2015 Laura Edwards rated it liked it
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Susan
Oct 26, 2013 Susan rated it it was amazing
This author is new to me and I plan to read many more by her. There was quite a mystery to solve. I also enjoyed all the history discussed throughout. This was set during Victorian times and quite enlightening.
Pupottina

Cadaveri per Monk.

L’ispettore William Monk, personaggio creato da ANNE PERRY, è alle prese con un caso più difficile del solito. Nel diciottesimo romanzo della serie, intitolato UN MARE SENZA SOLE, il cadavere irriconoscibile di una donna ritrovata nel Tamigi e un uomo morto suicida, il dottor Lambourn, sembrano inscindibilmente collegati. L’uomo, a dire della vedova, era impegnato in una ricerca medica sperimentale, che avrebbe portato rilevanti innovazioni. Secondo la moglie, il dottor Lambour
...more
Gail Cooke
Sep 23, 2012 Gail Cooke rated it it was amazing
May as well admit my bias in the first sentence - I’m a huge fan of Anne Perry’s William Monk series. Perry is an agile word painter - so perfectly describing the sights and sounds of Victorian London from the dark Limehouse area to the posh West End that one feels transported to a different time and place.
As for her characters, they’re impeccably drawn from the brooding elegantly tailored William Monk who speaks precisely and stands “with both grace and confidence” to the residents of the wate
...more
Marci
Sep 21, 2012 Marci rated it really liked it
Anne Perry's writing gets better and better with each book. This mystery is a good one with a hook into the insane hypocrisy of Britain's Opium Wars with China in the mid-Victorian era as well as a good mystery with two murders to untangle and evil in high places to detect, especially thought-provoking when it is also found within the choices of the heroes themselves. I was glad to see Runcorn back again after we last saw him in a Christmas novella. In fact, it felt a little like one of her Chri ...more
June Ahern
Mar 19, 2013 June Ahern rated it it was amazing
I am a fan of Anne Perry's William and Hester Monk mystery novels. I don't always give five stars to every novel but this one was, not only most interesting in subject matter outside the murder, but the continual development of the characters was a joy.

The plot is about a woman of questionable reputation found murdered and mutilated on Limehouse Pier on the Thames River, London. It is not far into the mystery we learn she was connected to Doctor Lambourn who had committed suicide only months ea
...more
Shirley Schwartz
Sep 13, 2012 Shirley Schwartz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-5-star-reads
I never cease to be amazed at Ms. Perry's writing, and each new book in either of her Victorian series, or in other books that she writes leaves me somewhat in awe. Not hard to see why she is my favourite author! I love the William Monk series, and this book is by far the best Monk novel I've ever read. And that is saying something because I absolutely love this series the most. In this book Monk and his Hester are again helping their friend Sir Oliver Rathbone who is trying to find justice for ...more
Linda
The grizzly murder of a supposed prostitute has occurred on the docks that William Monk now patrols as a member of the river police. The investigation leads to the wife of a prominent doctor who has been dead for two months. All is not as it seems as Monk enlists Oliver Rathbone, a well known attorney to represent the deceased doctor's wife. She may or may not be guilty, even Rathbone is not sure. As the circle of evidence widens Monk finds he must ask the help of his former superior who he has ...more
Susan
A Sunless Sea by Anne Perry is the 18th book in the William Monk mystery series set in Victorian London.

The title refers to the living hell of opium addiction. Monk finds a murder victim who was gruesomely mutilated and left on Limehouse Pier. He traces a connection to Dr. Lambourn, who was researching the widespread availability of opium for pain relief, and the tragic deaths of children from overdose. Lambourn prepared a report to support a proposed pharmaceutical bill that would require accur
...more
Diane
Nov 15, 2012 Diane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read all of Anne Perry's books in the William Monk and Thomas Pitt series, and I always look forward to a new one. While I enjoyed The Sunless Sea, it seems to lack the intensity of other books in the series. Monk and Hester have become domesticated, leaving Hester with little to do but engage in a bit of snooping while Monk tries to solve the mystery of two deaths, one of them an extremely gruesome murder. Their good friend, the attorney Rathbone, is called upon to defend Dinah, the accu ...more
kaoyler
Sep 22, 2012 kaoyler rated it really liked it
There are several things I really like about Anne Perry books. One is that she allows her characters to evolve and a second thing is that she deals with actual issues of the time period of the books. In this book we see Sir Oliver Rathbone dealing with the aftermath of his last case on his personal life, and I get the sense that it will continue to affect him in future books. William Monk is is trying to solve a gruesome murder that eventually ties back to the Opium Wars with China. Ms. Perry ha ...more
Pete Loveday
Sep 09, 2012 Pete Loveday rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourite
I am so glad that I picked up this book at my library. What an excellent author and I am now searching for more of Anne Perry's books.
The Sunless Sea is an engaging story with the dogged and determined William Monk investigating a horrendous murder on the bank of the Thames River in London. the search leads him into the dark and murky of the Opium trade in the 18th and 19th century. this is a cracking good story with accurate and carefully researched characters that you love to hate and also hat
...more
Jamie Collins
Victorian murder mystery, the newest in the Monk series - I’ve caught up with them now. The book’s theme is the unregulated sale of opium in London: it can be bought cheaply over the counter, but there is no standard for labeling or dosages, so it’s easy to accidentally overdose, especially children.

I continue to enjoy these characters, but this was not a particularly good mystery, and the book is padded with excessive repetition. Monk ponders the facts and repercussions of the case, then Hester
...more
Nancy
Oct 17, 2013 Nancy rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries, historical
This William Monk novel was an audio book. It started with the brutal death of a poor widow and evolved into a drama about the use of opium in Victorian England to solve multiple health problems from babies' teething pain to the pain of crushed limbs and about the efforts to control and regulate that use. The issue felt real to me. Perry's stories are well-researched and I learned about the Opium Wars, how much opium was used and why regulation was necessary. And, as is often the case in her boo ...more
Hilari Bell
Oct 18, 2012 Hilari Bell rated it really liked it
I'm a big fan of Perry's Victorian mysteries, and much as I like Thomas and Charlotte, I like the Hester and Monk novels even better--and this one pleased me even more than some of her other recent books. Hester and Monk never seem to stale as characters, and there's a sub-plot in this book about Oliver Rathbone, who is now in the process of separating from his wife over some seriously irreconciliable differences that arose in the last book in the series. The mystery was fascinating and the cour ...more
Clay Stafford
Real. That’s the word I would use to describe Anne Perry’s newest novel, “A Sunless Sea.”

The astonishingly consistent author of at least 66 novels, Anne Perry is a staple of many Victorian London mystery fans and the experience of this novel explains why. This is not just a novel; it is a world.

Perry’s use of the River Police is fresh and unique and brings an unusual literary device into play, opening the stage for new characters, settings, dangers, and points-of-view which are intriguing from t
...more
Mary
Dec 14, 2013 Mary rated it really liked it
Monk is my favorite Anne Perry character series, and this one was not a disappointment. It's like going to visit old friends. Monk and his side kick Orme are paddling on the river and hear a woman screaming on the dock.. they find a body badly mutilated and it takes them a while just to find out who she is. The plot as usual in her books twist and turns to keep you on board and turning the pages, as the distant past come to life off her pages. Now to move on to her latest, Thomas Pitt Novel.
Lela
Sep 21, 2012 Lela rated it really liked it
This was a really good Monk mystery. Not as much interaction with Hester but it was good to have the division with Runcorn healed. Plus, I really do enjoy the Rathbone character. I knew very early who "the bad guy" (so to speak) would turn out to be but liked reading how they got there. I have enjoyed the last few Monk books better than the Pitt books. However, I still wait longingly for either. Not as big a fan of the other Perry books. I'm sure they are fine -- just not to my taste.
Sophia
Another fabulous installment in the William Monk series. I couldn't put this one down. It wasn't exactly thrilling or fraught with lots of danger, but it was intense. I loved how the author took a reprehensible crime and gave all involved a face and a personality. My emotions were definitely engaged so that I wanted justice for the fictional victims and see the evil people behind it all pay.

She laid out the clues and events in such a way that interest is kept through the whole long, twisting in
...more
Vittoria Corella
Mar 23, 2015 Vittoria Corella rated it liked it
Degli Orrori della Dipendenza da Oppio: Un Mare senza Sole di Anne Perry.

Parliamo di Anne Perry questa volta, di una giallista inglese che a dispetto della maggior parte dei giallisti di tutto il mondo ha una sinistra peculiarità: è una vera assassina. Ha ucciso. Ha commesso un omicidio quando era appena adolescente, ha preso a colpi di pietra la madre della sua amica del cuore perché la donna voleva separarla dalla figlia. L’amicizia era diventata troppo morbosa, o forse aveva mutato pelle ed e
...more
Lis Carey
Monk and his partner Orme are rowing down the Thames on an early morning, when a woman shouts and screams and waves to attract them over the Limehouse pier. She's found the horribly mutilated dead body of a woman.

As horrifying as the murder is, the case gets stranger and stranger as Monk and Orme investigate. The dead woman is Zenia Gadney, and she was apparently a prostitute with just one customer--the very respectable Dr. Joel Lambourne. Yet this most obvious suspect cannot be the killer, beca
...more
Candy Wood
In which the Law and Order formula appears in Victorian London, 1860s. Commander William Monk and his wife, Hester, represent the police, while Sir Oliver Rathbone argues the case (for the defense) in the courtroom of the Old Bailey. One of the two murders could be a Special Victims Unit case, and the previous case Sir Oliver worked on would fit that pattern too. The title, for readers who know its source in Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan” and the story of that poem’s composition, connects to the probl ...more
Correen
Oct 25, 2014 Correen rated it really liked it

A Monk series novel, Monk has changed his work condition again. He is now in charge of the River Police where he investigates murders and missing persons, illegal trade of various types, drug traffic, and other nefarious activity. This book starts with Monk but moves to greater showcasing of his friend, Rathburn. Hester plays a small role and we visit Scuff and Margaret but their part is minor. Hester's hospital is mentioned but not a part of the story.

Perry discusses the role of opium in Englan
...more
Michele
May 17, 2012 Michele rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could not put this down. I mean that literally - I kept picking it up to read a few more pages until, in the end, I forswore everything else to finish reading it. It's been a while since one of Anne Perry's William Monk novels has had such a 'race against time' quality to it.
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Anne Perry (born Juliet Hulme) is a British historical novelist.

Juliet took the name "Anne Perry," the latter being her stepfather's surname. Her first novel, The Cater Street Hangman, was published under this name in 1979. Her works generally fall into one of several categories of genre fiction, including historical murder mysteries and detective fiction. Many of them feature a number of recurrin
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More about Anne Perry...

Other Books in the Series

William Monk (1 - 10 of 23 books)
  • The Face of a Stranger (William Monk, #1)
  • A Dangerous Mourning (William Monk, #2)
  • Defend and Betray (William Monk, #3)
  • A Sudden, Fearful Death (William Monk, #4)
  • The Sins of the Wolf (William Monk, #5)
  • Cain His Brother (William Monk, #6)
  • Weighed in the Balance (William Monk, #7)
  • The Silent Cry (William Monk, #8)
  • A Breach of Promise (William Monk, #9)
  • The Twisted Root (William Monk, #10)

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