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Old 08-26-2018, 02:13 PM
Roderick Femm's Avatar
Roderick Femm is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: On the cusp, also in SF
Posts: 7,309
Originally Posted by Darren Garrison View Post
Yeah, I'm suprised it took to the 9th post to get the obvious answer.
I don't think Monk is particularly miserable. He has lots of issues but he mostly deals with them, he's in therapy, and he gets a fair amount of pleasure out of life. Yes, his wife was murdered. There's lots worse in a lot of other detectives' lives.

The Irish detectives that I have read seem especially unable to be happy. There's Ed Loy, in a series by Declan Hughes, who seems to not only be pretty miserable himself, but brings misery to those around him. Then there's Quirke, in a series by Benjamin Black; he's the Dublin forensic pathologist who drinks too much and can't seem to keep his nose out of things that get him beaten up.

But the most miserable detective of all is Ian Rutledge, Scotland Yard inspector. An officer in WWI, he survived physically but his mental state is crippling. In the war he had to execute his Scottish sergeant for failure to order his men to charge as ordered, and now he carries the sergeant's voice in his head. The voice gives him no peace and no quarter, although it also occasionally warns him of danger, since the sergeant knows if Rutledge dies he dies finally too. Rutledge is a very good detective but he gets no kudos because of bureaucratic jealousies, and he can never allow himself to get close to anyone lest they discover his secret -- the voice in his head would get him diagnosed with shell shock and sent to an institution.