On a London riverbank, when the body of small-time crook Mickey Parfitt washes up with the tide, no one grieves. But William Monk, commander of the River Police, is puzzled by the murder weapon: an elegant scarf whose original owner was obviously a man of substance. Dockside informers lead Monk to a floating palace of corruption on the Thames managed by Parfitt, where a band of half-starved boys is held captive for men willing to pay a high price for midnight pleasures. Though Monk and his fearless wife, Hester, would gladly reward Parfitt’s killer, duty leads them in another direction—to an unresolved crime, to a deadly confrontation with some of the empire’s most respected men, and ultimately to a courtroom showdown with Monk’s old friend, Oliver Rathbone, in a trial of nearly unbearable tension and suspense.
Sometimes the personal story of a particular author seems almost as intriguing as the books they write. Such is the life of British author Anne Perry (aka Juliet Marion Hulme). As a child Hulme was very ill with tuberculosis and ended up being fostered out by a family in the Caribbean. She did get better, and the family moved to a private island in New Zealand, where she describes her life as a Swiss family Robinson type existence. She became ill again and during her bouts of illness through her teen years, she missed most of her childhood education. However, her mother had prepared her by teaching her how to read and write by the time she was four. Her heart always seemed to be in writing.
At the age of 15, Juliet and her best friend plotted and killed her friend's mother. The three went for a walk in the park and Hulme dropped a stone, causing the mother to bend over to pick it up, and her friend hit her own mother on the head with a half brick. They had planned on the strike killing her, but they had to strike her 20 times before she was dead. The girls were put on trial and each served five years in prison. It is said that they never saw each other again after being released. For many years, nobody connected author Anne Perry as the teen murderer, Juliet Hulme. In 1994, the film Heavenly Creatures, portrayed Hulme and her friend Pauline Parker with characters being played by Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey respectively.
Perry's genre of writing covers Victorian Era Detective fiction for the most part. Her novels have been centered around two main characters, Thomas Pitt and William Monk. She has published 47 novels and several collections of stories.
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