Ruler of the Night is the final volume in David Morrell's Victorian murder-mystery trilogy featuring Thomas DeQuincey as his gifted amateur sleuth
Like Murder as a Fine Art and Inspector of the Dead — the first two books in the trilogy — Ruler of the Night closely follows the tragic career of the real Thomas DeQuincey a prolific English writer best known today for his battle with opium addiction, as detailed in his memoir, Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, published in 1821. Along with his daughter Emily and two (fictional) London detectives, Sean Ryan and Joseph Becker, DeQuincey uses his knowledge of the human condition to solve a series of seemingly senseless and brutal murders, while battling his own addiction to laudanum. And just as in the first two books, Ruler of the Night is also based on a real crime; the first murder to occur on an English train, although, for his own purposes, Morrell has the fictionalized crime occur in 1855, ten years earlier than the actual event.
Because the manners and morals of the Victorian period are so foreign to our own, the research necessary to accurately convey the social and political context that makes the story come alive for modern readers was immense, and yet the telling details are inserted without ever interrupting the rapid flow of the narrative.
DeQuincey is also remembered for his controversial essay, “On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts,” the inspiration for the first novel in Morrell's trilogy.
Ruler of the Night even ends with a fictional solution to the mystery that haunted the real DeQuincey's entire life. To fully appreciate what Morrell has achieved here it's best to read the entire trilogy in order.
Click HERE to read the review from Publishers Weekly.
Click HERE to read the review from Kirkus Reviews.
Click HERE to read the review on the Historical Novel Society web site.