As always a masterful rendition of murder inquiry, doubt, and the machinations of the human mind under stress. Once again Perry brings a reality check to murder most foul. Commander Monk of the Thames River Police is confronted by a murder unlike any he's seen before. A Hungarian man has been killed in what appears to be some sort of ritualistic endeavour. The body is surrounded by seventeen candles, two of them a dark, purplish-blue color.
As more killings occur fear spreads throughout the Hungarian community. Are these sacrificial murders, a secret society run amok, evidence of extreme ethnic prejudice, or the product of a deranged mind? Is the perpetrator English or Hungarian? The community wants answers and a scapegoat is needed.
The person of possibility turns out to be a friend of Hester's, part of her painful past in the Crimea. A man she knows must be innocent and yet the horrors of the war are all too near to lie peacefully. Is her friend unhinged or innocent?
The struggles for Hester and her friend are laid bare. Struggles Scruff has some idea of although his experiences have been different.
Scruff is coming into his own as he practices medicine under the tutelage of Crow. We see him emerge as a young man more confident his own abilities. It's a pleasure to watch his growth.
There are more questions than answers for Monk and Hooper and many theories to entertain.
A NetGalley ARC