In a stunning feat of the imagination, Anne Perry encloses readers within the magic circle of her genius and brings to life the lost world of England's Victorian Age. Hoofbeats clatter on cobblestones, gaslight glimmers through fog, and in the exclusive privacy of elegant drawing rooms, powerful men and women once again live the splendor and shame of that matchless era. With The Twisted Root, Perry holds us rapt with a chilling story of love, betrayal, and consummate evil.
As private investigator William Monk listens to young Lucius Stourbridge plead for help in tracking down his runaway fiancee, he feels a sense of heavy foreboding. Miriam Gardiner disappeared suddenly from a croquet party at the luxurious Bayswater mansion of her in-laws-to-be, and has not been seen since. But on Hampstead Heath, Monk finds the coach in which Miriam had fled and, nearby, the murdered body of the coachman. There is no trace of Miriam.
What strange compulsion could have driven the beautiful widow to abandon the prospect of a loving marriage and financial abundance? Monk's attempt to answer that question proves a challenge, as Miriam Gardiner's fateful flight ends in a packed London courtroom where brilliant barrister Oliver Rathbone wages an uphill battle to absolve her from a charge of murder. And in a race with the hangman, Monk and clever nurse Hester Latterly--themselves now newlyweds--desperately pursue the elusive truth . . . and an unknown killer whose malign brilliance they have scarcely begun to fathom.
From the Hardcover edition.
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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