) was a rising star with the San Francisco Police Department
, until the tragic murder of his beloved wife, Trudy
, left him shattered and wracked with phobias, obsessions and compulsions. His extreme case of obsessive-compulsive disorder cost him his job, and for a time rendered him virtually unable to function.
With the help of therapy and the support of his loyal friends and devoted personal assistant, Monk's condition has improved, but his many fears – including germs, heights, crowds, and even milk – pose daily challenges for Monk and the people around him.
Yet despite his condition, Monk remains a brilliant detective. Though his approach to homicide investigation is unconventional, Monk's vast intelligence, gift for crime scene analysis, and legendary powers of observation have earned him a reputation as one of the best detectives in San Francisco, if not the world.
Monk dreams of regaining his badge, and in the meantime continues to work as a consultant and private detective, taking on even the most impossible cases and continuing to investigate the most personal unsolved crime of all: the murder of his wife.