When the first murder on an English train rocks the railroads, Thomas De Quincey just happens to find himself in the middle of the investigation.
Set in 1855, author Thomas De Quincey and his daughter, Emily, are traveling back to their London home when someone is murdered in an adjacent compartment inside their train car. It marks the first murder on the relatively new railroad system and, whether they like it or not, the De Quinceys are witnesses to the madness.
The victim was a man named Daniel Harcourt, a well-known lawyer who was traveling to deliver important documents when he was stabbed to death in his first-class compartment. Scotland Yard investigators Ryan and Becker are immediately dispatched to try and find the killer, but the duo quickly realized the case was far more complex than it originally seemed. Things take a surprise turn, however, when Harcourt’s investigator, the man who provided the documents he was traveling with, was also found dead.
The De Quinceys cross paths with Ryan and Becker once again at a health clinic in Sedwick Hill. Thomas happens to be in the area after reconnecting with a mysterious woman from his past, and traveling with Emily to her home. But as the plot moves full-steam ahead, Thomas begins to suspect something isn’t quite right with his former childhood friend, adding additional intrigue to the plot.
De Quincey is a fascinating, multi-layered character who is flawed yet likable. A gifted writer, Thomas also struggles with an opium addiction which, it turns out, many did back then. It’s one of the many things Morrell sheds light on from that time period as he weaves his fictional story throughout historical fact.
As the investigation continues, with Thomas now locked in and determined to help solve the case, things take one shocking turn after another. The many moving parts eventually all come together and readers will routinely be surprised as the big picture slowly comes into focus.
David Morrell masterfully transports readers back to the Victorian age, carefully describing everything, from the sounds reverberating around the train cars as they charge down the tracks, to the proper English wardrobe each character is fitted with. It all adds to the overall experience of placing the reader in 1855 as the stunning visuals come to life, making it easy to get lost in the story as it unfolds.
Morrell has world-class range as a writer, having delivered numerous action-packed novels (this is, after all, the man who created Rambo) before penning this beautifully written historical fiction series.
It’s rare that an author can bounce between modern hard-hitting thrillers and Victorian age mysteries, but Morrell seems to do it with ease, and he does it brilliantly. His work is always must-read material, and Ruler of The Night is a phenomenal, fast-moving whodunit that twists and turns its way to a satisfying conclusion.
Author: David Morrell
Series: De Quincey #3
Pages: 352 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Release Date: November 15, 2016 (Order Now!)