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Although this book is in the Hester and William Monk series, this is definitely a story about Oliver Rathbone. Sir Rathbone finds himself at the pinnacle of his career at the beginning of this book, but because of an error in judgement that he makes in one of the cases he is presiding as judge over, he finds himself at the lowest point personally and professionally that he has ever found himself in. I am an ardent reader of all Ms. Perry's books and I particularly love the William Monk series, but I found this book a bit slow for the first half of the book. And I didn't get to see much of William and Hester who I absolutely love. In the second half though, the pace did pick up and there was a lot more of William and Hester as well as some endearing segments with their young ward Scuff. This book's storyline is a continuation of her previous book "A Sunless Sea", so for anyone who hasn't read that particular book, they might find this book a bit incomprehensible. And to anyone new to the series. there is a lot of Victorian courtroom drama with no murder to accompany it, so new readers will not fully understand how good Ms. Perry is at setting her stage for tension and suspense, and how very talented she is at filling her books with a wealth of period detai. I wouldn't recommend this book as a First-Read to this wonderful series, but for Anne Perry fanatics like myself, it is a must-read. Ms. Perry continually proves herself worthy to me, and she sits alone at the top of my favourite author list.