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Ruler of the Night

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Thomas De Quincey is beginning to control his opium addiction when the excitement of his current case threatens to unravel his grip on reality once and for all. On their way home to the Lake District, the De Quinceys become unwitting witnesses to a truly historic murder: the first to take place on one of England's newly constructed railways. The railways changed everything Thomas De Quincey is beginning to control his opium addiction when the excitement of his current case threatens to unravel his grip on reality once and for all. On their way home to the Lake District, the De Quinceys become unwitting witnesses to a truly historic murder: the first to take place on one of England's newly constructed railways. The railways changed everything in the Victorian era, transforming the English countryside, revolutionizing modern industry, and as the De Quinceys discover, providing the perfect escape. Giving chase in a cat-and-mouse game unlike any that have come before, the De Quinceys uncover a dangerous secret that reaches all levels of English society.


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Thomas De Quincey is beginning to control his opium addiction when the excitement of his current case threatens to unravel his grip on reality once and for all. On their way home to the Lake District, the De Quinceys become unwitting witnesses to a truly historic murder: the first to take place on one of England's newly constructed railways. The railways changed everything Thomas De Quincey is beginning to control his opium addiction when the excitement of his current case threatens to unravel his grip on reality once and for all. On their way home to the Lake District, the De Quinceys become unwitting witnesses to a truly historic murder: the first to take place on one of England's newly constructed railways. The railways changed everything in the Victorian era, transforming the English countryside, revolutionizing modern industry, and as the De Quinceys discover, providing the perfect escape. Giving chase in a cat-and-mouse game unlike any that have come before, the De Quinceys uncover a dangerous secret that reaches all levels of English society.

30 review for Ruler of the Night

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    ”’One reason we’re in debt is that he collects books.’ They seemed perplexed. ‘Many, many book,’ I continued reluctantly. ‘Wherever Father lives, he fills room after room with books until there is barely space in which to move. He finally locks the door and rents another dwelling.’ ‘How many places filled with books are you talking about?’ Sean asked. ‘Three. There used to be others.’ ‘Three? But how in creation does your father pay the rent.’ ‘He can’t. He keeps promising, and occasionally he sends p ”’One reason we’re in debt is that he collects books.’ They seemed perplexed. ‘Many, many book,’ I continued reluctantly. ‘Wherever Father lives, he fills room after room with books until there is barely space in which to move. He finally locks the door and rents another dwelling.’ ‘How many places filled with books are you talking about?’ Sean asked. ‘Three. There used to be others.’ ‘Three? But how in creation does your father pay the rent.’ ‘He can’t. He keeps promising, and occasionally he sends payment for a month or two, leading the landlords to expect the additional money will arrive. Eventually some of them lose patience.’” Lithograph by Zhenya Gay for the Heritage Press edition of Confessions of an English Opium-Eater by Thomas de Quincey I’ve seen that look of perplexity when people have walked into my library. Rows and rows of books look like madness to them. Which of course, it is. Someone mentions to Thomas de Quincey, the famous opium eater, that maybe he should sell books to pay his back rent. His mind can’t even grasp the concept. Books are for buying and owning...not selling. Perish the thought! When word arrives that his landlord in Grasmere, an English village in the middle of the Lake District, is about to auction off his books, de Quincey and his daughter Emily hop on the first train available with as much money as he can muster and dash off to save his books. *Sigh,* it is not to be. Murder most foul literarily splashes him in the face. Blood from the train compartment next door blows in the window of the de Quincey compartment. What, at first, is thought to be water is of the wrong texture and color. This is 1855, and Thomas and Emily have found themselves at the center of a historic murder, the first murder to occur on a English train. A man is brutally stabbed to death in his locked compartment. The railways have been running for twenty-five years without incident, and now the honeymoon is over…first blood has been drawn. It doesn’t stop there. More incidents occur, and train cars are empty as people are griped with fear. Stock prices for railway shares plummet; fortunes are about to disappear, and the solvency of England herself hangs in the balance. Is it the Russians? We learn that English agents have been undermining the Russian government with “fake news” and now the fear is that the Russians have decided to strike back. Is this 2016 or 1855? As Thomas de Quincey tries to put together the whys and the whos of this insidious plot, he is also fighting a battle on another front...the seductive, ruby elixir laudanum. In Victorian times, laudanum was sold across the counter without a prescription. It was lauded for curing basically anything that ails you. Having trouble sleeping? Laudanum will place you in the arms of Morpheus. Having trouble shaking off that rasping cough? Laudanum will take it away. Menstrual cramps? Laudanum will have you ship shape. Toothache? Laudanum will have you feeling no pain. The first, but not the last, opiate epidemic. De Quincey was not alone in his dependency on laudanum; he was just the most outspoken about his addiction. Elizabeth Barrett Browning struggled with her addiction to laudanum her whole life. Other writers such as Byron, Shelley, Keats, Dickens, Poe, Coleridge, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle played with the ruby devil as well. There were few safe pain relievers available until 1899 when Aspirin was introduced. Those who developed a heavy addiction rarely were able to pull themselves free of the clutches of this drug. To reduce their intake was to suffer, and every time they increased dosages to stem off the hallucinatory tremblings, they were a spoonful closer to death. Against all odds, Thomas de Quincey, who was taking massive doses of laudanum every day, lived, by some miracle, to the ripe age of 74. He was a unique specimen; most of his contemporaries with a similar addiction died young. As Thomas and Emily unravel the convoluted aspects of this nefarious plot, they will discover that deception and greed lay at the heart of all that has happened. The tendrils of complicity and guilt might very well climb into the hallowed halls of English government. This is the third volume in the Thomas de Quincey series, and each one has been equally enjoyable. I would suggest reading them in order. Start with Murder as a Fine Art and then Inspector of the Dead before reading Ruler of the Night. David Morrell does a wonderful job blending historical events with just enough fiction to bring life to his characters. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at: https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten

  2. 5 out of 5

    Karl

    Arriving just in time of the holidays is the book "Ruler of the Night (Thomas De Quincey #3)" by David Morrell. Although it's not absolutely necessary to read the two prior book befor reading this third installment of the series, it would be highly recommended to do so. The first two books in the sequence are "Murder As A Fine Art" and "Inspector of the Dead". With "Ruler of the Night" finishing Morrell's Victorian age trilogy. Though promoted as a series about Thomas De Quincey as the spotlight Arriving just in time of the holidays is the book "Ruler of the Night (Thomas De Quincey #3)" by David Morrell. Although it's not absolutely necessary to read the two prior book befor reading this third installment of the series, it would be highly recommended to do so. The first two books in the sequence are "Murder As A Fine Art" and "Inspector of the Dead". With "Ruler of the Night" finishing Morrell's Victorian age trilogy. Though promoted as a series about Thomas De Quincey as the spotlight character, the story seems to be driven by De Quincey's daughter Emily. The narrative of the series is broken up, highlighted and expanded upon by Emily's journal entries. The series is actually a blend of historical fact and fiction with many of the events described based on actual historical events. This installment focuses on the first murder committed on a train on the British rail system in 1855, and the Hydrotherapy craze that was taking place in England in the same time period. Mr. Morrell's research into the Victorian era and De Quincey's dependence of Opium commonly doled out at the time in the form of Laudanum is quite extensive. There was no moral condemnation of the use of opiates and their use was not regarded as addiction but rather as a habit in the Victorian period. Laudanum is a tincture of opium mixed with wine or water or other alcohol ingredients. Laudanum, called the 'aspirin of the nineteenth century,' was widely used in Victorian households as a painkiller, recommended for a broad range of ailments including cough, diarrhea, rheumatism, 'women's troubles', cardiac disease and even delirium tremens. The exploits of two Scotland Yard detectives, Ryan and Becker, are as important as De Quincey and his daughter Emily in the series, and at times overshadows our main characters. If you enjoyed the first two books, than "Ruler of the Night" will be a welcome addition to the series. This is an ARC of a book due out (11/2016).

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    3 sparkling 5 star reviews in this series! David Morrell brings Thomas De Quincey and Victorian London back to life! I cannot say enough positive about this series which starts with "The Fine Art of Murder." Though I was a bit disappointed that this truly looks like an ending in the series, the language, the writing, the story, the action, the customs, the characters and the history are compelling. Read this series, you're in for a treat. 3 sparkling 5 star reviews in this series! David Morrell brings Thomas De Quincey and Victorian London back to life! I cannot say enough positive about this series which starts with "The Fine Art of Murder." Though I was a bit disappointed that this truly looks like an ending in the series, the language, the writing, the story, the action, the customs, the characters and the history are compelling. Read this series, you're in for a treat.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Faith

    I like this series of historical mysteries that combine intricate plots and interesting characters. They have just enough period details without getting bogged down with too much description. This is the third in the series, but it is the only one I've listened to. The narrator of the audiobook, Neil Dickson, did a very good job. All three books take place over the course of only a few months while the writer Thomas De Quincey (also known as the opium eater) and his daughter Emily are in London I like this series of historical mysteries that combine intricate plots and interesting characters. They have just enough period details without getting bogged down with too much description. This is the third in the series, but it is the only one I've listened to. The narrator of the audiobook, Neil Dickson, did a very good job. All three books take place over the course of only a few months while the writer Thomas De Quincey (also known as the opium eater) and his daughter Emily are in London to try to track down De Quincey's lost love. In this book, another figure from De Quincey's Dickensian childhood reappears. There is a lot going on in this book including insanity, murder on a train (followed by a lot of other murders), train sabotage, a runaway German doctor tracked by mysterious Russians and a great deal of deception from many parties. Two London policemen, Ryan and Becker, continue from the earlier books and team with De Quincey in his investigations. They are both smitten with Emily, who is an appealing and independent young woman. Emily looks after the interests of De Quincy who is a brilliant detective, but can't function without laudanum. De Quincey would be a pitiable character, constantly broke and drug addicted, if not for the presence of Emily. All three of the books have been very entertaining and I hope the series continues.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Susan Jo Grassi

    I truly hated to finish this book as I felt like I was saying goodbye to old friends. The trilogy was so well written with a multitude of historical facts complete with research information. Those facts are begging for further investigation by this reader who dearly loves history. I know I will be checking out more David Morrell books in the future.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette

    This book is just too long for what it comprises. And also the parts too divergent and don't hang together enough until way past the 1/2 way point. But the characters are well drawn and the time period does come alive. Emily and her father? They both seem rather stilted and not actual. You know that feeling you sometimes get with Sherlock and Watson (overblown parodies of themselves) when they are "legend" and "in action". He tries to approach that with DeQuincey and Emily. But it seems nearly c This book is just too long for what it comprises. And also the parts too divergent and don't hang together enough until way past the 1/2 way point. But the characters are well drawn and the time period does come alive. Emily and her father? They both seem rather stilted and not actual. You know that feeling you sometimes get with Sherlock and Watson (overblown parodies of themselves) when they are "legend" and "in action". He tries to approach that with DeQuincey and Emily. But it seems nearly cartoon like, that devotion and bottle sipping. Both. The best thing about this one was absolutely the trains. LOVED the trains. I had no idea that all those levels of travel (classes) and train cars were not connected to one another. And that in this earlier era each and every car had NO exit to the other cabs or engine of the line. Each being locked by the train employee each and every time from the outside after they were loaded from the station platform directly. And unlocked constantly in that same method too. Being like a "human in a closed, no exit box"! Can you imagine what OSHA would make of that arrangement now? Some of the train occurrences seemed improbable. The tale itself was overlong and in too many directions to hold the tension high, IMHO. Very bloody and macabre, as well in spots. Too much. There were some under characters done better than the major also, IMHO. I wanted to hear far more about the ex-Crimea soldier who spotted the train fire. And far less about the opium habit. This is just not my time period. So much artificial posturing and it bores me to death. But the trains saved the whole. And how they altered everything. The businesses, the products, the buildings, the living styles, not to speak of all those places and spaces you needed to put the horses.

  7. 5 out of 5

    WendyB

    Maybe not quite as good as the other two books but still a worthy end to the series.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lollita

    And the series is over kind of sad about that, I loved the characters and the end wasn't as satisfying as I'd hoped it would be it was really abrupt. Like the other two the story was a simple easy read but it kept me interested and I enjoyed it. And the series is over kind of sad about that, I loved the characters and the end wasn't as satisfying as I'd hoped it would be it was really abrupt. Like the other two the story was a simple easy read but it kept me interested and I enjoyed it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Merry Jewelhound

    This is the last book in the series. I very much enjoyed it as it has multiple plots and ties up all loose threads. I recommend reading the series in order.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jean Kolinofsky

    David Morrell has once again blended history and fiction into a novel that I could not put down. Using the history of the first murder on an English train in 1855, he places Thomas De Quincey and his daughter Emily in an adjacent compartment, involving them in the subsequent investigation. Once again they are joined by Scotland Yard detectives Ryan and Becker, who welcome the opportunity to re-unite with Emily. Daniel Harcourt, a lawyer with a number of influential clients, was murdered in his fi David Morrell has once again blended history and fiction into a novel that I could not put down. Using the history of the first murder on an English train in 1855, he places Thomas De Quincey and his daughter Emily in an adjacent compartment, involving them in the subsequent investigation. Once again they are joined by Scotland Yard detectives Ryan and Becker, who welcome the opportunity to re-unite with Emily. Daniel Harcourt, a lawyer with a number of influential clients, was murdered in his first class compartment while traveling to deliver documents provided by his investigator. Soon after, the body of his investigator is also discovered. Ryan and Becker are denied access to Harcourt's lies, essentially blocking their investigation. While Ryan and Becker search for the killer, Thomas becomes re-acquainted with Carolyn, a woman that he knew as a young girl in his youth, living on the streets of London. She is now married to a gentleman of some importance. Thomas and Emily accompany her to her daughter's estate in Sedwick Hill, located close to a health clinic. The investigation also takes Ryan and Becker to this clinic and from there the book takes off with the speed of a train. Morrell places the reader in Victorian England, where you can feel the fog close in around you as you listen to the sounds of horses' hooves on the cobblestone. The resulting fall of railroad and industrial stocks after the murder and another attack on the trains reflects on the volatility of the market, bringing to mind the changes in our markets caused by attacks and speculation. Morrell's writing makes this book come alive for the reader. While he has completed his trilogy of De Quincey novels, they will remain on my shelves and be revisited in the future.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Crissy

    I'm so sad that this series is done! This final installment was AWESOME! Just as fast-paced and masterfully plotted as the first two, the characters became even more real and familiar to me. I loved the connection with De Quincey's past and the family dynamics at play throughout the novel. The ending was PERFECT! It made me feel things! An excellent series, would recommend to anyone who can read! I really hope they make them into movies but don't change a single thing! I'm so sad that this series is done! This final installment was AWESOME! Just as fast-paced and masterfully plotted as the first two, the characters became even more real and familiar to me. I loved the connection with De Quincey's past and the family dynamics at play throughout the novel. The ending was PERFECT! It made me feel things! An excellent series, would recommend to anyone who can read! I really hope they make them into movies but don't change a single thing!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Franckowiak

    Another great read by David Morrell

  13. 4 out of 5

    Scott Firestone

    Morrell’s evocative trilogy mixes mystery and Victorian London. This concluding volume is easily as good as the others, and further proof that Morrell still has the chops. As trains begin to run across the land, and become a viable mode of transportation, England sees its first murder on one. Soon other attacks on other trains lead opium-addicted Thomas De Quincey and his daring daughter Emily on a chase to get to the bottom of it all.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    This was a fabulous end to this victorian era thriller series about Thomas De Quincey, his daughter and policemen friends solving complex murder cases. The gloomy, foggy, mysterious atmosphere was lovely.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Audra (Unabridged Chick)

    This is the last book in Morrell's historical fiction trilogy about British writer Thomas De Quincey, and his daughter Emily. I loved both earlier novels ( Murder as a Fine Art and Inspector of the Dead ) and this final book was a perfect conclusion. Morrell explores the first murder on a steam train, an event that I hadn't really considered but obviously, there's a first for everything. And this is a pretty juicy first to explore. Morrell takes many of the real life details of the murder a This is the last book in Morrell's historical fiction trilogy about British writer Thomas De Quincey, and his daughter Emily. I loved both earlier novels ( Murder as a Fine Art and Inspector of the Dead ) and this final book was a perfect conclusion. Morrell explores the first murder on a steam train, an event that I hadn't really considered but obviously, there's a first for everything. And this is a pretty juicy first to explore. Morrell takes many of the real life details of the murder and weaves it into a larger, complicated plot full of peers and the made-their-fortunes-from-trade comer-uppers. The country is gripped in a panic that railway travel isn't safe, and there's pressure on De Quincey and the police to figure things out -- without revealing too many secrets of the rich and powerful. As with the previous two novels, I was really there for Emily -- and the resolution of her so-far-not-romantic-but-clearly-romantic-interest triangle with police detectives Joseph Becker and Sean Ryan. (That might sound tortured but it's actually lovely -- she has chemistry and connection with both men, and both men respect her and each other, and there's really no triangle, just a kind of uneasiness as everyone realizes they like each other but they're not the kind of folks to do a triad so someone's going to be heartbroken. Honestly, it sounds messy but it's really just emotional and tender and subtle and mature, and frankly, a relief to watch unfold.) While I'm bummed to say goodbye to Emily and company, I'm also delighted to have some neat resolution for these characters rather than have the series rattle on into predictability. If you like atmospheric reads, intriguing murder mysteries, and a hero struggling with addiction, pick up these three books -- they're among my favorite reads since I've started blogging! Earlier Thoughts A fine conclusion to a very fun trilogy; it shook out very differently than I'm used to with historicals -- I expected more romance-y-ness and didn't get it, which actually bummed me out! but my be a relief to those who hate historical romances. Surprised that Morrell tied up his mystery with both current events and De Quincey life events -- a bit neat, but also impressive. I'll miss the four stars of the series, but also appreciate Morrell sundowning them before things became formulaic. (view spoiler)[Also, Emily and Ryan?! I really totally thought he'd put Emily and Becker together, and have Ryan sacrifice himself to save her. I mean, I'm totally fine with Emily and Ryan, although privately I want it to be Emily/Ryan/Becker. Emily seems pleased to see Ryan pursuing her -- but I didn't get a sense she particularly preferred him over Becker --so would she have responded that way to either man?? (hide spoiler)]

  16. 4 out of 5

    KC

    I would like to thank Edelweiss, Mulholland Books, and David Morrell for the advanced digital copy in exchange for my honest review. This is the third and final installment to Morrell's captivating character Thomas De Quincey, the famous Opium-Eater. The author takes actual historic events and winds a Victorian mystery around it which in turn makes this series an entertaining adventure. I would like to thank Edelweiss, Mulholland Books, and David Morrell for the advanced digital copy in exchange for my honest review. This is the third and final installment to Morrell's captivating character Thomas De Quincey, the famous Opium-Eater. The author takes actual historic events and winds a Victorian mystery around it which in turn makes this series an entertaining adventure.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    I love the way David Morrell weaves a story around real settings, true events and characters that actually lived. It's a great way to learn about some little known historical happenings. I will miss deQuincy and Emily now that this series is coming to an end. I love the way David Morrell weaves a story around real settings, true events and characters that actually lived. It's a great way to learn about some little known historical happenings. I will miss deQuincy and Emily now that this series is coming to an end.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Frank

    This is the third and final book in Morrell's trilogy featuring Thomas De Quincey, who wrote the notorious Confessions of an English Opium-Eater. I've read the first two books in the trilogy, Murder as a Fine Art and Inspector of the Dead and really enjoyed them both. This one was also very compelling and entertaining. Set against the backdrop of mid-1800s England, the plot is about someone committing the first murder ever on board a moving train. Then after that happens, further damage is done This is the third and final book in Morrell's trilogy featuring Thomas De Quincey, who wrote the notorious Confessions of an English Opium-Eater. I've read the first two books in the trilogy, Murder as a Fine Art and Inspector of the Dead and really enjoyed them both. This one was also very compelling and entertaining. Set against the backdrop of mid-1800s England, the plot is about someone committing the first murder ever on board a moving train. Then after that happens, further damage is done to the railroads' reputation when a bomb is set off in one of London's stations and another train is set on fire resulting in a horrific crash. This sends the stocks of the railroads into a nose dive and fear is widespread about even using the rails which at this point in time is a young industry but is able to cut the time for travel immensely. Another plot point of the novel is the death of the current Czar of Russia and his possible murder by his attending German physician. Was he killed to try to put an end to the Crimean War that is raging at the time? De Quincey and his daughter, Emily, are called on by the Prime Minister and the police to try to help solve these crimes. They happened to be on board the same train where the first murder was committed so they have some expertise from the start. As the story unfolds, it becomes more and more twisted but eventually De Quincey comes to the right conclusions. Again, Morrell uses some very interesting historical events to make the story more realistic. These include a hydropathy clinic where patients undergo various water treatments to try to alleviate their ills. This was evidently a craze during the time and provided a setting for some of the plot related to the possible murder of the czar. I hated to see this novel end because it is the last in Morrell's trilogy and I will really miss the characters and storylines of these novels. But I do have some of his other novels on my shelves that I hope to read sometime soon.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    I love this series, and book three did not disappoint. David Morrell, is an extraordinary author. He brings Victorian London to life in all its gritty splendor. This book is just so compelling, and you just cannot put it down. It is not just the,stories, but the characters, that one comes to admire. The brilliance of Thomas Dr Quincey, the kindness of his,daughter, the two detectives Ryan, and Becker, and of course the murders, and mystery. He is known as the opium eater, and has published many I love this series, and book three did not disappoint. David Morrell, is an extraordinary author. He brings Victorian London to life in all its gritty splendor. This book is just so compelling, and you just cannot put it down. It is not just the,stories, but the characters, that one comes to admire. The brilliance of Thomas Dr Quincey, the kindness of his,daughter, the two detectives Ryan, and Becker, and of course the murders, and mystery. He is known as the opium eater, and has published many books, and,short stories in his travels. He is frail, even ill, but still his mind is sharp, and his daughter devoted. He can see deeper into the minds of cc the murderer, and put the puzzles together. His s style though is not gruff, but knowing, and kind. This story is about the rail road as it is coming into fashion, and the first horrible murder. It soon becomes clear that this murder is linked with other mysteries, and more bodies, explosions, and mayhem. I loved every minute. I hope this is not the end of this series. I know he writes stand alone books, but I would really miss the series that is the total package. This was so easy to award this book five stars......

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    The railroad network in England is still something of a novelty when Thomas deQuincey (Confessions of an English Opium Eater) and his daughter Emily are taking a trip. A man is murdered in one of the first class compartments, and the two begin investigating at once. David Morrell has taken an actual historic person and made him a private investigator of sorts, and in doing so he takes us deep into British politics, society at all levels, police procedures of the time, and even medicine (much of t The railroad network in England is still something of a novelty when Thomas deQuincey (Confessions of an English Opium Eater) and his daughter Emily are taking a trip. A man is murdered in one of the first class compartments, and the two begin investigating at once. David Morrell has taken an actual historic person and made him a private investigator of sorts, and in doing so he takes us deep into British politics, society at all levels, police procedures of the time, and even medicine (much of the action takes place at a hydrotherapy clinic). From the most important royalty to the lowliest street waterboy, we get to know the people of London through the eyes of the deQuinceys and their two police detective friends (both of whom are in love with Emily). Not only is Morrell's prose entertaining; he draws you in with characters who are seldom all that they appear to be (the end of the book had so many twists and turns that I had to go back and re-read a couple of times to make sure I had properly understood). The "whodunnit" was a total shocker. I thoroughly enjoyed the tale.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Opa

    I picked this book up because I wanted to read from the author who wrote about Rambo. I should have known better. Morrell is a good writer, but the book, "Ruler of the Night" was a period piece done in Victorian England. It just wasn't my cup of tea. It just seemed that the whole book went the same pace as the English trains, that went about 10 miles per hour. A good history lesson of life in England, but not a story that I liked. I picked this book up because I wanted to read from the author who wrote about Rambo. I should have known better. Morrell is a good writer, but the book, "Ruler of the Night" was a period piece done in Victorian England. It just wasn't my cup of tea. It just seemed that the whole book went the same pace as the English trains, that went about 10 miles per hour. A good history lesson of life in England, but not a story that I liked.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kiesha ~ 1Cheekylass

    This was the weakest book of the series imo. It felt like the author crammed too much in to tie up the loose ends of the series. Also, the De Quincey's weren't with Ryan and Becker in the first half of the book. Even still, the mystery was enjoyable. I hate to see this series come to an end. Thomas De Quincey and Co were brilliant. Also, there was a narrator change. :/ Story and narration: 4 This was the weakest book of the series imo. It felt like the author crammed too much in to tie up the loose ends of the series. Also, the De Quincey's weren't with Ryan and Becker in the first half of the book. Even still, the mystery was enjoyable. I hate to see this series come to an end. Thomas De Quincey and Co were brilliant. Also, there was a narrator change. :/ Story and narration: 4

  23. 4 out of 5

    itchy

    titular sentence: p8: The Opium-Eater is [the] ruler of the night. -Ralph Waldo Emerson to Thomas de Quincey punctuation: p98: "In the chaotic street, the commissioner glared angrily at him. semantics: p197: Or did I manage to shoot him? In the future I may be looking to get a fix of Victorian era crime. There's definitely something there that is... addicting. titular sentence: p8: The Opium-Eater is [the] ruler of the night. -Ralph Waldo Emerson to Thomas de Quincey punctuation: p98: "In the chaotic street, the commissioner glared angrily at him. semantics: p197: Or did I manage to shoot him? In the future I may be looking to get a fix of Victorian era crime. There's definitely something there that is... addicting.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany E-P

    Cannot say enough good things about this series. Well written and researched. Characters and plot are engaging and draw you in. I hope there will be more added to the series

  25. 5 out of 5

    Scot

    Last book in the trilogy by Morrell on that brilliant but very eccentric little man addicted to laudanum, Thomas de Quincey, and how he figures out grisly serial killer murder mysteries set in his nineteenth century London and surrounding areas, assisted by his clever and bold daughter Emily, as well as two Scotland Yard detectives vying for her affection, Inspector Ryan and his assistant Becker. This one takes up the theme of how the spread of railways sped up and transformed British life, as im Last book in the trilogy by Morrell on that brilliant but very eccentric little man addicted to laudanum, Thomas de Quincey, and how he figures out grisly serial killer murder mysteries set in his nineteenth century London and surrounding areas, assisted by his clever and bold daughter Emily, as well as two Scotland Yard detectives vying for her affection, Inspector Ryan and his assistant Becker. This one takes up the theme of how the spread of railways sped up and transformed British life, as imperial expansion was also bringing change. Morrell certainly does his research and knows the period well; he keeps the plot intriguing and well paced. Extra points for the splendid way all questions resolved and major issues addressed for the entire trilogy with the page-turning excitement of the final conclusion. Read these books in order!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bob Campbell

    Couldn't put it down! Couldn't put it down!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Kightlinger

    London, 1855 Elderly writer Thomas De Quincy, alarmed at the banging and thumping coming from the train compartment next to his, suddenly feels rain strike him through the train’s open window. He wipes his face and looks down at his hand. It’s covered in blood. ​Already on edge, fearful for the claustrophobic solicitor who has just met the enemy in the locked compartment adjacent to De Quincy’s, I now tumble headlong into 1850s London. I’ve been there before. Alongside police detectives Sean Ryan London, 1855 Elderly writer Thomas De Quincy, alarmed at the banging and thumping coming from the train compartment next to his, suddenly feels rain strike him through the train’s open window. He wipes his face and looks down at his hand. It’s covered in blood. ​Already on edge, fearful for the claustrophobic solicitor who has just met the enemy in the locked compartment adjacent to De Quincy’s, I now tumble headlong into 1850s London. I’ve been there before. Alongside police detectives Sean Ryan and Joseph Becker, opium addict Thomas De Quincy, and De Quincy’s stalwart daughter, Emily, I’ve scoured the streets of Victorian London ferreting out criminals in Murder as a Fine Art and Inspector of the Dead. Marveling at Morrell’s ability to submerge his readers in story, and thinking it was largely a matter of his meticulous depiction of setting, I read Ruler of the Night, the final book in the De Quincy murder trilogy, with an eye to discovering how Morrell creates such evocative atmosphere. Before long, I realized it was more than setting and atmosphere that had drawn me in. Beyond the novel’s elaborate historical detail and multi-sensory description, something else was at play. That something is narration. Specifically, it is the narrator’s homing in on secondary characters that delivers the goods. Omniscient but for the thoughts of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, and Emily De Quincy (who speaks for herself through intimate journal entries), Morrell’s erudite, empathic narrator focuses on and then looks beyond the De Quinceys and the London detectives to the physical ailments, intimate thoughts, and irrational fears of secondary characters another narrator might overlook: a train guard, a solicitor, a beggar turned rich man’s wife. Each is carefully drawn—there are no bit characters here—because not only do these characters advance the plot, they also bring readers to physically experience the storyworld. It is through the train guard’s suppressing the urge to cough, for example, that we choke on the train yard’s soot; through the doomed solicitor’s claustrophobia that we panic as the rasp of metal on metal whispers that someone’s just locked the compartment door; through the rich woman’s inexorable childhood memory of rats scurrying across a tenement floor that we recoil at the scritch scratch the onetime beggar still hears in the night. Morrell’s narrator ensnares us in the storyworld not only at the story’s opening but again and again throughout the novel. Grounding us temporally and spatially in each scene through vivid depiction of historical landmarks and character movement, the narrator then keeps us there by layering setting with action, emotion, and sensation, never allowing a movement, a thought, or a dialogue exchange to accomplish fewer than three objectives, one of which is always to grip the reader. More than just a good read, David Morrell’s Ruler of the Night is an experience not to be missed.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie Brody

    'Ruler of the Night' is the third book by David Morrell in the Thomas De Quincey series. It is a riveting novel that combines historical fiction with mystery. The year is 1855 and De Quincey and his daughter Emily are in London, staying at the Prime Minister's home at the request of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria. The Prime Minister is not happy about these circumstances because De Quincey and his daughter are commoners. However, he must obey the wishes of royalty. As the novel opens, De Quince 'Ruler of the Night' is the third book by David Morrell in the Thomas De Quincey series. It is a riveting novel that combines historical fiction with mystery. The year is 1855 and De Quincey and his daughter Emily are in London, staying at the Prime Minister's home at the request of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria. The Prime Minister is not happy about these circumstances because De Quincey and his daughter are commoners. However, he must obey the wishes of royalty. As the novel opens, De Quincey is trying to decrease his opium intake and is cutting down on his laudenum with Emily's encouragement and help. De Quincey is somewhat famous as the author of a book entitled 'Confessions of an Opium Eater". He and Emily are on a train heading out of town when a murder occurs in the next car. It is the first murder on the English rail system and the people in Victorian England are aghast. Ryan and Becker, detectives from Scotland yard and characters from previous books in this series, are sent to investigate the crime. They engage De Quincey's help in solving the case. It becomes clear early on that along with wanting to solve the murder, they are both smitten with Emily and are happy to just be near her. Emily is portrayed as a beautiful woman who is an early feminist. She does not wear the usual attire of the times but rather dresses for comfort and ease. In addition, she is learning the art of medicine, something unheard of for women. As the tale progresses, De Quincey is reconnected with someone from his past, a wealthy woman named Caroline who spent some of her childhood with De Quincey as her protector. Seeing her causes De Quincey to recall his first love, a woman named Anne, who disappeared without a trace. The book has several story lines that come together in a near-perfect denouement. Morrell is an excellent writer of literary thrillers. He was a professor at the University of Iowa's writing program and written over 30 books. His novel, 'First Blood' is the prototype of the Rambo-like genre. While reading 'Ruler of the Night' I felt like I was on the streets of Victorian London, so graphically and realistically was the ambiance portrayed. I look forward to the next novel in this series!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    I received an ARC of this book from Library Journal. Read my review in LJ Express Reviews.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Urban

    Morrell has mastered the genre of historical fiction with this latest book in the trilogy that features the legendary Thomas De Quincey, the "opium eater." Whereas the first book was an introduction to these fascinating characters and their first mystery, the second book a tightening of the fraternal bonds, this third and last book features a careful examination of the old fork in the road--the path one takes in life and the ripple effect it has. These books have become a kind of reunion since t Morrell has mastered the genre of historical fiction with this latest book in the trilogy that features the legendary Thomas De Quincey, the "opium eater." Whereas the first book was an introduction to these fascinating characters and their first mystery, the second book a tightening of the fraternal bonds, this third and last book features a careful examination of the old fork in the road--the path one takes in life and the ripple effect it has. These books have become a kind of reunion since the first one, each one building to this wonderfully meaningful conclusion. Morrell keeps the pace fast and unforgiving, as he is known for. Fully-fleshed characters draw you in to the Victorian era of England and like the other book, he melds the lines of fact and fiction effortlessly to give a bit of historical perspective, but a read that never slows down. Highly recommend RULER and the other two books in this series!

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