The notorious opium-eater returns in the sensational conclusion to David Morrell's acclaimed Victorian mystery trilogy.
Like David Morrell's previous De Quincey novels, Ruler of the Night blends fact and fiction to an exceptional degree, this time focusing on a real-life Victorian murder so startling that it changed the culture - in this case the first murder on an English train. The brutality of the crime stoked the fears of a generation who believed that the newly invented railway would "annihilate time and space".
In Ruler of the Night, listeners feel they're actually on the harrowing fogbound streets of 1855 London as the brilliant opium-eater Thomas De Quincey and his irrepressible daughter, Emily, confront their most ruthless adversary. The stakes couldn't be greater: both the heart of Victorian society and De Quincey's tormented soul.
The fast-paced narrative matches the speed with which the railway changed Victorian life. It brings back Scotland Yard detectives Ryan and Becker, along with Lord Palmerston, Queen Victoria, and Prince Albert, and introduces a host of new characters from this fascinating era. Master storyteller David Morrell transports listeners back in time, away from the modern world and into the dangerous shadows of the past.
"Spectacular.... The narrative builds to a powerful but bittersweet ending." (Publishers Weekly)
"Taut, atmospheric.... Morrell brings the period to vivid life with solid research and fascinating Victorian details.... Grade: A-" (Michelle Ross, Cleveland Plain Dealer)
"Morrell's deft hand with thriller plotting provides copious chills and procedural satisfaction, but it is his mastery of character, shrewd exploitation of Victorian details and attitudes, and tonal sophistication that seduce and delight.... It's a cracking yarn, irresistible as an emergency bottle of laudanum secreted in a shabby coat pocket. " (Kirkus Reviews)
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Not nearly as enjoyable as the first two
Yes, as I very much enjoyed the first two books in this series. But for me, this one lacked the gripping suspense that kept me up all night listening to the previous works--especially the first book in the series, which so cleverly incorporates De Quincey's actual essay. The second was also very well done. By the time I got to the end of this one, however, I just didn't care. Emily went from being a spunky, unconventional yet believable Victorian heroine to a character that I just didn't buy. And I'm not sure why the author has to tell us, over and over and over again, how short De Quincey is. The love triangle aspect has long lost its initial charm. The plot is confusing and contrived, and the ending gives you the impression that the author just wanted to be finished with the book--which was, frankly, the way I felt by the last ten chapters or so. I was bored and wanted nothing more than for it to be over.
Yes; see above. He draws a wonderfully detailed picture of Victorian London, and for history buffs, that alone makes it worth the read. If he writes another in this series, however, I'll give it a miss.
Well-voiced; nothing mispronounced. Nothing particularly brilliant in the performance. It was adequate.
This is a stupid question and I dislike the survey format. Please give your readers the option to write their own review from the website, as one can in the app.
Again, if you love historical mysteries, the first one in the series--Murder as a Fine Art--is the one to pick. This one? Meh.
- Chana Goanna
Ruler of the Night