Kristian Beck's wife Elissa has been a shadow in the background. In this outing she is murdered and her personality becomes a major factor in finding the culprit. Rathbone's out of the country, and Elissa's father, also a barrister, volunteers to defend his son-in-law, giving a different tone to the story. So do three other issues. Kristian and Elissa met in Vienna when both were leaders the 1848 revolution. When they married and moved to London, she became bored with the domestic round and found a damaging outlet for that boredom. So, coincidentally, did Hester's sister-in-law. Seeking information to clear Kristian, who's been arrested, Monk goes to Vienna. He learns a lot, but not sufficient to clear Kristian. The ending comes entirely out of the blue, yet makes perfect sense in retrospect. One of the best.

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