Anne Perry write mysteries taking place in nineteenth century London. I have read all of her Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series and am working my way through her Monk novels. For the last several years Perry has come out with a Christmas novella centering on one of the minor characters in her series.
The novella for this season is the darkest one she has written. Granted, since she is a mystery writer, one expects a murder or two in the story. In this novel, however, one travels to the very depths of the dark part of London to opium dens and prostitution houses. Most of the novel centers there with only a bit of light at the end.
Maybe I want Christmas to be all goodness and light and not about a father's request to find his son lost in the dark underground of London. Maybe I don't want to be reminded that it took a friend and a small band of misfits to find the son and offer him freedom from his bondage. This story was a good reminder that Christmas is not just tinsel and trees but really is about rescuing the lost trapped in their own desires for pleasure.
Ballantine Books, 194 pages.