Official Synopsis from Amazon: In his family life Angus Stonefield had been gentle and loving, in business a man of probity, and in his relationship with his twin brother, Caleb, a virtual saint. Now Angus is missing, and it appears more than possible that Caleb—a creature long since abandoned to depravity—has murdered him. Hired to solve the mystery, William Monk puts himself in Angus’s shoes, searching for clues to the missing man’s fate and his vicious brother’s whereabouts. Slowly Monk inches toward the truth—and also, unwittingly, toward the destruction of his good name and livelihood.
Genre: Mystery, Historical Mystery
Setting: London 1859
My copy came from: I got the paperback from Paperbackswap.com
Review: Cain His Brother is the sixth entry in the William Monk series by Anne Perry. Monk is an unusual protagonist in that he is recovering from an injury and suffers from amnesia. He can only remember bits and pieces of his life from before his injury. And Monk is not necessarily a nice guy. He’s kind of a jerk, and is rude and arrogant, and of course he meets his match in Hester Latterly, a former Florence Nightingale nurse who went to the Crimea and helped the soldiers there. Hester is strong and opinionated, so she and Monk do not often see eye to eye. They are a delight to read. The only problem with having such strong protagonists in a mystery is that Hester and Monk sometimes (many times) overshadow the crime and characters involved. This is definitely what happened in this entry, Cain His Brother, in which a lady named Genevieve hires Monk to find her missing husband, Angus. Genevieve is convinced that Angus is dead, and that his twin brother Caleb has killed him, and so Monk heads to the Limehouse area to find the ruthless Caleb and discover what happened to Angus.
Unfortunately the mystery in this entry was a bit of a dud, and I immediately guessed the outcome of the mystery, and wasn’t really surprised at any point along the way. You may have noticed that there is no picture of the book cover listed here. That is because I felt that the cover of the book I was reading gave too much away. You can look up the cover if you feel so inclined (there are a few different covers), but I wish I had never looked at the cover. I wonder if the cover image was why I was able to guess the ending. I don’t really have much else to say about the book. It was nice to spend more time with Hester and Monk, and Cain His Brother had some interesting historical aspects involving a typhoid breakout, but the mystery wasn’t all that captivating or memorable. I hope the next William Monk book is back up to par!
Bottom Line: Forgettable and dull. Monk and Hester are a delight, as always.
And here’s a link to my review of Book #4 in the series, The Sins of the Wolf
Have you read any of the William Monk books? How about the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt books?