Gaslit London is brought to its knees in David Morriell's brilliant historical thriller.
Thomas De Quincey, infamous for his memoir Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, is the major suspect in a series of ferocious mass murders identical to ones that terrorized London 43 years earlier.
The blueprint for the killings seems to be De Quincey's essay "On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts". Desperate to clear his name but crippled by opium addiction, De Quincey is aided by his devoted daughter, Emily, and a pair of determined Scotland Yard detectives.
In Murder as a Fine Art, David Morrell plucks De Quincey, Victorian London, and the Ratcliffe Highway murders from history. Fogbound streets become a battleground between a literary star and a brilliant murderer, whose lives are linked by secrets long buried but never forgotten.
"An absolute master of the thriller." (Dean Koontz)
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Historical Fact + Fiction = Gothic Mystery
- Amy "Say something about yourself!"
5 Stars All-Around!
Due to listening to this book, I can now define the niche genre of "Victorian Gaslight Mysteries and Thrillers." I always liked this genre, but didn't have a name for it, exactly. I intend on reading/listening to much more of this category, but they may pale in comparison to this one. I don't give 5 stars for everything very often. The story was so totally engrossing and you could really get the feel of being there. Morrell described the lifestyles, customs and conduct of all levels of Victorian society so very well and then created an equally compelling mystery. I was so amused by the regular concern of various male character's that Emily (De Quincey's daughter) or "a lady" must leave the room, or could not hear the more graphic or certainly violent descriptions of police work or even relatively innocent conversations, by today's standards. And I had no idea that in Victorian England, that a surgeon was a step below a physician and that a physician (who treated the upper classes) would never touch his patients. Totally nuts, but that was accurate, I'm sure. And then Matthew Wolf did a superb job as narrator and dramatically enhanced what was already such a very well-written tale. Then the bonus of the post-script was very interesting. If you're a history buff or a fan of this genre or just a mystery fan, I think you'll love it.
I liked it all. But besides the terrific story, Matthew Wolf's narration was spot-on.
Maybe, but it was always nice to come back to later.
- Book Scanner Nan