Anne PERRY : Death in the Devil's Acre - Charlotte and Thomas Pitt #7

When a doctor is found brutally murdered, even the neighborhood's most hardened residents are stunned. But three more bodies are found, killed the same inexpert way, and Inspector Thomas Pitt and his wife Charlotte race against time to find the killer, as a treacherous mystery unfolds. No one, not the lowest brand of ruffian or the most established aristocrat, will come out unscathed...

Years ago (I'm re-reading a lot these days), I read practically the whole Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series, the William Monk series and only stopped because I read too many too quickly : indigestion (20, 30 books ?). But Anne Perry always remained in my mind as a particular good writer and critic of Victorian society. Moreover, her characters are not mere puppets, they have depth and feel deeply human, even when flawed and unlikeable.
Re-reading I once loved and now DNFed, I feared opening an Anne Perry novel again but no, she's really as excellent as I remember. Phew !
It's a series best read in order, but I remembered it well, so no problem here. This particular instalment dealt with sexuality and how it was considered/repressed in Victorian times. How women were to be ignorant angels when they married, how their husbands probably expected more and went to seek satisfaction elsewhere, how women of different status became prostitutes and even worse, how children were sold for sex. There was obviously a background of violence, moral and social, and how society dealt with it : parked it in some areas of London and turned a blind eye. Anne Perry also dealt with how women were expected to live their life compared to what was expected of men and what they were allowed.
This was a grim investigation but a captivating one and now, I want to re-read everything she has written ! My only reproach would be the end, I found it a little abrupt and would have loved to see it more developped. But consider me a happy reader !


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