William Monk Series #11
Featuring: Daniel Alberton; Hester Monk; William Monk
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Monk walked across, his stomach cold, his legs
shaking. There were two bodies lying close to each other,
a third a little distance away, perhaps nine or ten feet.
They were all in strangely contorted positions, as if they
had been on the ground when someone had passed a broom
handle under their knees and over their arms. Their hands
and ankles were tied, preventing them from moving, and they
were gagged. The first two were strangers.
Monk walked over to the third, his stomach sick. It was
Donald Alberton. He, like the others, had been shot
through the head.
A quiet dinner party in London seems a long way from the
ugly skirmishes across the Atlantic that will soon explode
into the American Civil War. But, when William Monk and
his wife, Hester, are invited to dine with Daniel
Alberton’s family and agree to investigate a case of
blackmail overshadowing their host’s life, they are
suddenly drawn into America’s violent and bloody dispute.
Alberton, a London weapons trader, had promised to sell
arms to the South but faces a moral dilemma when his
daughter Merrit, in love with a Union officer and ardently
opposed to slavery, insists he change sides. When he
refuses, she disappears from their home. That night,
Alberton is brutally murdered, his supply of weapons is
stolen, and a watch belonging to Merrit’s lover is found
beside his corpse. The American, Lyman Breeland, is the
Alberton’s widow begs William and Hester to follow her
daughter to America and persuade her to come home. But to
do so they must risk the danger involved in bringing the
pair back from the front line and forcing Breeland to face
justice in an English court.
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