Title: Midnight At Marble Arch
Author: Anne Perry
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine
Source: Advance copy via NetGalley
Release Date: April 9th, 2013
Rating: 4 out of 5
Below the glittering surface of the wealthy Victorian society, lies a world of fear and intimidation for women. The horrifying rape and apparent suicide of Catherine Quixwood, wife of a wealthy merchant banker, falls outside the new jurisdiction of Special Branch head Thomas Pitt, but so pervasively offensive are the rumors about the victim that Pitt quietly takes a hand in the investigation. Yet even with the help of his ingenious wife, Charlotte, and his former superior, Victor Narraway, Pitt is stumped. Why did high-minded, cultured Catherine choose not to accompany her husband to a grand party on the night of her demise? Why did she dismiss all her servants for the evening and leave the front door unlocked? What had been her relationship with the young man seen frequently by her side at concerts and art exhibits? And what can be done to avenge another terrible crime: the assault on Angeles Castelbranco, beloved teenage daughter of the Portuguese ambassador?
I picked this up as I enjoy a whodunit with historical mystery! Midnight At Marble Arch didn’t let me down. Half-way through the book I read it is the 28th in this series and I was stumped. I can’t believe I never read Anne Perry’s books before and now that I have read this, I want to read them all! It was that good.
Midnight At Marble Arch is a mix of melodrama and mystery. But more than a whodunit it is the discussion on how people and society treats women who are raped and sadly continue to suffer after such a brutal crime. Despite the novel being set in the Victorian era, attitudes and opinions of the characters about rape are very much grounded in our modern society and the authors own opinions, anger, even rage are quite visible through the characters.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book at the start but then the pace varied and sometimes I felt it was a drag. The dramatic ending is a bit implausible and abrupt. But that’s a minor gripe.