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Inspector William Monk is a fictional character created by the writer Anne Perry and hero of a series of books.
Before he joined the police, Monk worked as a banker under Arroll Dundas, who became Monk's mentor and taught him how to behave and dress like a gentleman. When Dundas was wrongly convicted of railway fraud, Monk decided he would never again be so powerless against injustice, so he became a policeman. He was ruthlessly ambitious and quickly climbed the career ladder - while making many enemies along the way.
He had a coach accident in 1856, after which he lost his memory - a fact he kept secret to save his job. After the accident he met Hester Latterly, a Crimean War nurse and they became close, with her being the only one who knew about Monk's memory issues.
In the second book, A Dangerous Mourning, Monk was fired from the police for insubordination and had to become a private investigator. Lady Callandra Daviott (Hester's best friend) financed his private investigations.
Sir Oliver Rathbone was his love rival (he too wanted to marry Hester) and judicial adviser in his case.
In "Dark Assassin," Monk becomes a member of the Thames River Police to pay a debt to a friend who died on a previous case. Though he finds the shift from street policing to river policing difficult, he slowly earns the respect of his men and continues on in this position.
William Monk is a very clever man who wields irony and sarcasm with considerable skill while remaining obstinate, proud, and impulsive. This normally disastrous combination of attributes (which caused his firing from the Police force) is offset by his intelligence, unswerving sense of justice, and humanity to those he deems worthy. As to be expected, he is inwardly highly emotional and this passion drives his excellence with the single-minded determination of the obsessed. He will solve the case, he will see the evildoers brought to justice, and he will be fearless in doing so, come what may.
While Monk lives in the Victorian era, his disregard for social conventions (openly suspecting the gentry instead of the servants in A Dangerous Mourning, and consistently ignoring class distinctions) imbues him with the power of a True Believer and gives him access to multiple layers of society, which aids his tireless efforts.
Series is listed in internal chronological order, according to the author's website