Thursday, February 9, 2017

Ruler of the Night

by David Morrell
333 pgs  (Thomas DeQuincy series #3)

Ruler of the Night concludes David Morrell’s fantastic Victorian era trilogy featuring the real-life historical figure Thomas De Quincey. Known for his autobiographical essay Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, De Quincey had a profound effect on our understanding of the nature of addiction. Once again, Morrell places De Quincey and his 22-year-old daughter Emily at the center of a murder mystery. This time, the murder they’re assisting Scotland Yard detectives Ryan and Becker in investigating is the first murder to take place on London’s new train system.

A high-profile solicitor is brutally stabbed to death in the locked first-class cabin of a train leaving London. De Quincey and his daughter happen to be traveling on the same train and are the first to investigate the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death. The murder turns out to be the first of multiple attacks to take place on the fledgling railway system, and the De Quincey’s investigation leads them to the highest echelons of British society.

This was a great series. I’ve enjoyed several of David Morrell’s books already, and fortunately, I have quite a few of his catalog to get to still. It’s obvious he’s been writing for a long time and has become a master at creating multi-layered characters and well-plotted storylines. My understanding is that this is the last book in the series, but I’m hopeful at some point down the road Morrell will decide it’s time to revisit Victorian England and check in with Thomas De Quincey and find out whether he still relies on the dangerous daily intake of laudanum to function.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

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