Over the summer, I read The Face of a Stranger by Anne Perry which proved to be a complicated, but very entertaining novel. The story revolves around a murder of a well-liked Crimean war veteran and is in third person multiple from the detective of the case and another woman as the story progresses. However, the mystery is not introduced until later. The story actually begins with the detective, William Monk, in a hospital having no memory of his past and name after a violent accident. While the story is based on a typical mystery novel, Monk has lost his memory adding another mystery to solve. His past.
Monk having no recollection is by far the most interesting attribute in the story and in any other story I have read. This realistic novel about a detective in the Victorian Era has a taste of fantasy because it seems Monk is brainwashed. However, he still holds on to the thinking process of a grown man. Because of this, I could feel his struggle and anguish to remember his past. Through flashbacks, Perry clearly conveys his emotions and mental struggle. She uses vivid imagery within each flashback Monk experiences that assist her in sending unclouded meaning.
Anne Perry does an excellent job in keeping the novel flowing and interesting so I really feel that this novel can be enjoyed by everyone even though it has a complicated plot. The book includes several complex words that I did not understand, so having a dictionary at hand will be useful. As long as the reader is dedicated to the novel which will not be hard due to the great “hook”, Monk losing his memory, right from the start, they will see the value of the book. The novel is truly a great read for anyone which is why I gave it a 10/10.