For the prostitutes of Leather Lane, nurse Hester Monk's clinic is a lifeline, providing medicine, food, and a modicum of peace - especially since lately their ailments have escalated from bruises and fevers to broken bones and knife wounds. At the moment, however, the mysterious death of railway magnate Nolan Baltimore in a sleazy neighborhood brothel overshadows all else. Whether he fell or was pushed, the shocking question in everyone's mind is: What was such a pillar of respectability doing in a seedy place of sin? Meanwhile, brilliant private investigator William Monk acquires a new client, a mysterious beauty who asks him to ascertain beyond a shadow of a doubt whether or not her fiance, an executive in Nolan Baltimore's thriving railway firm, has become enmeshed in fraudulent practices that could ruin him. As Hester ventures into violent streets to learn who is responsible for the brutal abuse of her patients, Monk embarks upon a journey into the English countryside, where the last rails are being laid for a new line. But the sight of the tracks stretching into the distance revives memories once stripped from his consciousness by amnesia - as a past almost impossible to bear returns, eerily paralleling a fresh tragedy that has already begun its inexorable unfolding.
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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