Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Shifting Tide (William Monk, #14)” as Want to Read:
The Shifting Tide (William Monk, #14)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Shifting Tide (William Monk #14)

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  2,314 Ratings  ·  131 Reviews
William Monk knows London’s streets like the back of his hand. But the river Thames and its teeming docks—where wharf rats and night plunderers ply their trades—is unknown territory. Only Monk’s dire need for work persuades him to accept an assignment from shipping magnate Clement Louvain, to investigate the theft of a cargo of African ivory from Louvain’s recently docked ...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published April 27th 2004 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2004)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Shifting Tide, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Shifting Tide

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Feb 15, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been “hooked” on Anne Perry novels for a good while now. There are a number of reasons for this addiction. One reason I enjoy these novels as much as I do, is that AP is, to my way of thinking, a master at creating characters with depth to their personalities. This installment in the William Monk series is a prime example of that well-honed skill.

Monk, a former police inspector and currently a private investigator for hire who has fallen on hard times financially, accepts an assignment to
THE SHIFTING TIDE (Private Investigator-Victorian England) – Ex
Anne Perry – 14th in Monk series
Headline, 2004 – Hardcover (U.K. release)
Thomas Monk is hired by ship owner Clement Louvain to locate and recover stolen ivory tusks. Monk is also committed to find who killed one of the ship’s crewmembers. Unknown to Monk, Louvain brings a very ill woman to Hester’s clinic for abused and ill prostitutes. The consequences of these two events could be deadly for millions.
*** This is an exceptional book.
Jamie Collins
Either this was better than the last few Monk novels, or I just enjoyed it more because I allowed some extra time to pass after reading the last one. These books have many repetitive elements, and I think it's best to allow some time between them for the heart to grow fonder.

Money is tight, so Monk accepts a job tracing merchandise stolen from a ship on the Thames. He’s out of his element, being unfamiliar with life on the river and at the docks. Meanwhile Hester is struggling to manage her hosp
Jul 17, 2014 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
It's been a while since I've read Anne Perry but this is another good entry in the Monk series. She does get a bit too much into the characters heads - everyone seems to be experiencing such extreme emotions - that it becomes less intense than I believe she wanted. But still a good read.
Laura Edwards
Wow, Anne Perry hit a homerun with this book. While I'm glad Callandra has found happiness with Kristian Beck, I'll miss her character immensely. And I'm so happy for Rathbone and Margaret. This book was powerful, packed an emotional wallop and raced along.

A couple of small complaints. Why aren't Hester or Monk more suspicious when Louvain turns up at the clinic with Ruth? I know I would be. Also, a noticeable gaffe early on in Monk's dealings at the riverfront. He's dressed like a gentleman fa
May 19, 2016 Kathi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
William Monk is out of his element when he agrees to take a case focused on the river and life along the docks. Oddly connected to his case are an ill woman brought to Hester's clinic and another woman who comes to help tend the sick. Both parts of the story move right along, with the usual twists and turns. We meet some fascinating new characters, including Scruff the urchin, Crow the doctor, and Mr. Sutton the rat catcher. In addition, the personal lives of William and Hester's friends undergo ...more

3* Death in the Devil's Acre (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt #7)

3* The Shifting Tide (William Monk #14)
4* Dark Assassin (William Monk #15)
4* Execution Dock: A Novel (William Monk #16)

3* A Christmas Guest: A Novel (Christmas Stories #3)
3* A Christmas Beginning: A Novel (Christmas Stories #5)

2* The Sheen on the Silk: A Novel
Vanessa Kelly
Aug 20, 2011 Vanessa Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Classic Anne Perry - very atmospheric. Loved the depiction of life on the Thames River during the time of Queen Victoria.
Jan 14, 2017 Michele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this may be the best William Monk story that Perry has written. Hester takes in another ill prostitute and Monk is hired by a Clement Louvain to recover a stolen cargo of ivory. Monk discovers that the theft is more than it seems and Hester is faced with the potential outbreak of a deadly disease.

Perry weaves a well done mystery into the possibility of another bubonic plague, AKA the Black Death.

I think this story is her most developed; the characters, the setting and the history. Well
Marilyn Fontane
Aug 29, 2016 Marilyn Fontane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Shifting Tide by Anne Perry starts out slowly, but the conclusion is worth it. Monk takes an assignment near the docks about which he knows little, but they are in need of money, and his employer, Clement Louvain, is willing to pay good money for Monk to find some ivory which was stolen from one of his ships. Learning about the seedy side of the dock area is hard on Monk and slow for the reader, although a young lad from the streets, Scuff, takes pity on him and for an occasional pie and tea ...more
Heather Rose
Jan 19, 2014 Heather Rose rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am extremely fond of historical murder mysteries. This is why it was a great relief to me some years ago when the genre had established itself so thoroughly and prolifically that I felt enabled to dislike a significant proportion of the available offerings. I think the authors that first spurred me to this position were Paul Harding and Michael Jecks: it wasn't that the books were badly written -- it was just that I got the feeling that they authors didn't have much liking or respect for the h ...more
Michelle Robinson
I just completed listening to this novel. I had a really hard time turning it off when I am not driving or cooking, which is when I listen to audiobooks.

I am always so excited when I decide to "read" or listen to one of the William Monk / Hester novels by Anne Perry.

I read many of her Thomas Pitt novels in order. However, I grew weary of that series. It felt as if Thomas was completely inept, unable to really do his job without the help of Charlotte and her friends and family.

In contrast, both
Well, I have to say that author Perry has a sweet writing style. The care and detail she uses to create London in Queen Victoria’s time, moves the reader into a world bereft with poverty and aristocracy, the original 1%, but sensory rich and affectionate to the customs of the time. Now former detective, and amnesiac and current private eye, Monk, is married to Hester, rebellious, independent woman, who nursed during the Crimean war with Florence Nightingale. They are poor but pure. The plot is t ...more
Mar 29, 2012 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
William Monk accepts an assignment from shipping magnate Clement Louvain to investigate the theft of a cargo of African ivory from Louvain’s recently docked schooner, the Maude Idris. Monk is desperate for work, not only to feed himself and his wife, Hester, but to keep open the doors of Hester’s clinic, a last resort for sick and starving street women.

But he wonders: Why didn’t Louvain report the ivory theft directly to the River Police? Why did he warn Monk not to investigate the murder of one
May 22, 2016 Peggy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It doesn't quite feel right having Hester and Monk away from each other but glad Oliver Rathburn has found someone .Margaret is a lot like Hester .This murder investigation is different as Monk is on the river and dealing with unknown territory and people he doesn't know but he does meet a young boy Scruff who helps him .Wonder if he will turn up in other books .A ship is robbed of Ivory and the ship owner is depending on the money from the sale to buy an
Jan 11, 2013 Anne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense-mystery
This is the first Anne Perry book I have read. I thought the plot moved too slowly. Too much time devoted to the events at the clinic. Monk just got short shrift and found the ivory too easily. It could be argued that he had bigger fish to fry finding the reason for Hodge's death.

The characters were interesting. I liked the rat catcher and his dog the best but found it a bit unbelievable that he stayed on at the clinic. I loved Scuff, the young wharf rat, as he reminded me of some of Dickens' w
Jan 01, 2009 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: have, mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 29, 2014 Laurie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Debbie Maskus
So many events happen and new people are introduced in this book. Lady Callandra has decided to marry Dr Beck and the two of them are headed to Austria. Sir Oliver Rathbone has discovered his love of Margaret and has asked her to marry him. Monk has taken a case that involves the river and a different class of people. Monk also meets and forms a friendship the Scruff and the River Police. Hester faces grim facts when she discovers that one of the woman under her care died from the Black Death. T ...more
Dec 20, 2015 Sandy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an extremely interesting mystery with much heartache and new characters and locale - the River Thames. It was filled with courage and compassion and selfless service. William and Hester Monk almost lost each other. Sir Oliver Rathbone and Miss Margaret Ballinger discovered their ability to love and honor each enough to sacrifice their love for the greater good. Monk and Hester had mixed emotions when Lady Callandra Daviot informed them of her imminent departure from London to marry and ...more
Jun 27, 2010 Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first William Monk story I have read. I've always read her Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels before. This one took place along the Thames River in London, in the Victorian Era as all her stories are placed. Monk's wife, Hester, operates a free clinic for ill and injured prostitutes. Monk is hired by a ship owner to find some stolen ivory. In the course of the theft one of his crew was killed. The ship owner doesn't care who killed the man, but Monk does and the only way he'll take the ...more
I had forgotten how powerful Perry's story telling can be. Monk takes on a case on the River, trying to find and recover a load of ivory tusks for Clement Louvain. He is out of his element, but desperate for the money Louvain will pay. Hester is still working at her clinic for poor street women. Each seems to be pursuing different goals, but Louvain brings a woman to Hester for help, and the stories of Hester and Monk start to twine together, while keeping them further from each other than they ...more
May 13, 2015 Hilary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hester's clinic is thriving in business but sparse in supplies. She and Margaret spend much time trying to solicit donations, only to be met with rejection as people prefer to be a generous benefactor making a romantic gesture by sending money to the poor in Africa rather than caring for the poor just a couple of miles away.

Monk's newest investigation has taken him out of his comfort zone, and everyone from a street urchin to the River Police knows it and, much to his chagrin, is busily engaged
Graham Crawford
This is my first Anne Perry - and I am glad to have discovered a writer who has what promises to be several good series waiting for me to read. This one was a notch above the usual period detective story. The protagonists were touchingly vulnerable and there is a strong sense of social justice at the core of the story.

Where Perry excels is dialogue - both the cant of the underclass, and the oppressively constrained conversations of their social betters. It's vivid and unstrained and once you get
Nov 03, 2009 Winifred rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third Monk book I've read. I really enjoyed this one she certainly knows her stuff about Victorian England.

This one was set on the River Thames and includes theft, prostitutes, murder and the Black Death. She doesn't choose pleasant topics to write about and her powers of description are excellent.

I love her characters, they're not always pleasant or even likeable but they're certainly strong and she describes them in such detail they come alive.

I not only liked the river setting in
Morgan Pugh
Aug 13, 2010 Morgan Pugh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
William Monk knows London's streets like the back of his hand; after all, they are where he earns his living. But the river Thames and its teeming docks-where towering schooners and clipper ships unload their fabulous cargoes and wharf rats and night plunderers ply their trades-is unknown territory.

Only dire need persuades him to accept an assignment from shipping magnate Clement Louvain to investigate the theft of a cargo of African ivory from Louvain's recently docked schooner, the Made Idris
June Ahern
Oct 12, 2010 June Ahern rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again Ms. Perry brings London circa 1860's alive from the elite to the river rat urchins or the "mud larks". The two stories, Monks and his wife Hester, play off each other superbly, enticing the reader to further investigate the mystery - what is more important Monk's case of stolen ivory and murder or Hester's clinic for prostitutes with one well-kept mistress aligned to the main villain? I do find the phonetically written lower class, perhaps some Cockney, dialogue difficult to digest at ...more
Jun 11, 2008 Donna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who don't want to start the series at the very beginning
Now this was really interesting. Perry appears to be taking these characters in a bit of a new direction. Several of the old secondary characters (it seems) are leaving the scene and some new, interesting ones are joining Monk and Hester. I'm not sure if I like it yet, but we'll see.

As to the story itself, it was a bit gruesome. Sickness and death, murder and mayhem abound. Hester and Monk spend a lot of time apart (for plot purposes), and I missed their interaction.

I'm not sure where Perry is g
Jul 31, 2012 Michele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of Anne Perry's William Monk books for me and I enjoyed it thoroughly - her careful rendition of British dialects makes some of it a bit slow going, but her portrayal of life in England in the mid 1800's and the challenges and quandaries her characters faced is engagingly rendered. The mystery unfolds as the story progresses, and the characters are confronted with far larger issues and mysteries than we realize in the early part of the book . . . so for me it started a bit slow ...more
Sandy D.
Another William Monk & Hester the Crimean nurse mystery set in Victorian London. Perry writes at least one of these a year, and they are melodramatic and sometimes the characters are just too noble for words...but I have to say she still manages to get me totally into the story, no matter how improbable. And her descriptions and historical research are dead on target.

This one's set in the docks on the's populated with little barefoot "mudlarks" - children who work the riverbanks
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Widow's Tale (Sister Frevisse, #14)
  • Jane and His Lordship's Legacy (Jane Austen Mysteries, #8)
  • Sold Down the River (Benjamin January, #4)
  • Murder in a Mill Town (Nell Sweeney Mysteries, #2)
  • Children of the Storm (Amelia Peabody, #15)
  • Murder on Marble Row (Gaslight Mystery, #6)
  • Whom the Gods Love (Julian Kestrel Mysteries, #3)
  • The Potter's Field (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #17)
  • Watchers of Time (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #5)
  • Death at Dartmoor (Kathryn Ardleigh, #8)
  • Person or Persons Unknown (Sir John Fielding, #4)
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
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)

Share This Book