Defend and Betray by Anne Perry is the third book in the William Monk mystery series. This mystery series is set in Victorian England. My favorite of the three--so far--is the second. I suspect that while I will probably "like" each book in the series, there will be some that I *love* and others not quite as much. This will probably be determined in part by the mystery.
The book opens with Hester Latterly meeting a friend, Edith Sobell, in the park. Edith has surprising, sudden news to share with her friend, her older brother has died at a horrid dinner party. It was a horrid gathering BEFORE the death, both guest and host will admit. Turns out his death was no accident. You might guess that Defend and Betray is about Hester Latterly and William Monk trying to solve this mystery and discover the identity of the murderer. But. You'd be wrong. A confession comes really early in this one. His wife confesses to the crime. Few really believe the reason given for the crime: jealousy over another woman. But some choose to pretend to believe it all the same because it's easier than thinking that she had a better, more logical reason for the crime OR that someone else in the family committed the crime and she's covering it up and taking the blame.
Hester encourages the family to hire Oliver Rathbone to defend her. Oliver, once hired, hires William Monk to investigate. The mission of all three is to find out WHY she murdered her husband, so that she will have defense in court. The last third of the book, I'd say, is focused almost exclusively on the trial. Readers "hear" both the prosecution and defense make their case--calling witnesses, cross-examining, arguing, etc.
I definitely am liking the series. This particular case was not my favorite. But it is worth noting that William Monk recovers a memory or two in this one. The case brings to his mind a woman that he loved. He can see her face. He remembers feeling deeply connected to her--tenderly concerned about her. But he can't remember her name. Just that she must have been someone he met while working a case! I did miss Evans in this one. Now that William Monk is no longer with the police, we don't spend much time with Evans. Oh, I should also add that we get to meet Oliver Rathbone's father! Now that was fun!
© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews