William Monk and his wife Hester are doing the best that they can. He's the commander of the River Police in London. On his last case, Monk and Hester found and befriended a young boy named Scuff. He had been kidnapped and forced into a despicable trade of child pornography aboard a boat that would move around the Thames to try to avoid the detection of the police force. His being in their family seems right to both Monk and Hester, but he's still having a hard time trying to reconcile the fact that he's now safe, even when his friends that he made aren't necessarily. But when a eerily similar boat is found, in connection with a murder, Monk and Hester both know that they need to stop as much of this atrocity as they can, both for their sake and for Scuff. This is a William Monk novel, there are an awful lot of them and this is the first one I've read. You can tell from the story that there was more talked about in previous books, but it seems like it's actually okay to read these out of order, but if you were planning to read all of them, I'd have to say it would make a lot more sense to read them in order! I read this one so that I could vote for the winners of Whitney Awards. I didn't really want to finish it, I was kind of sickened by the plot from the first chapter. I did finish it, there was some language that I'm not really comfortable with and the child pornography that I wasn't at all comfortable with. I don't plan on reading any more of the Monk novels myself, but the story was well written and the characters were interesting. I was surprised by the ending and that's something I value in a well-written mystery.