Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Review: "Inspector of the Dead" by David Morrell

Synopsis:  David Morrell’s MURDER AS A FINE ART was a publishing event. Acclaimed by critics, it made readers feel that they were actually on the fogbound streets of Victorian London. Now the harrowing journey continues in INSPECTOR OF THE DEAD.

Thomas De Quincey, infamous for his Confessions of an Opium-Eater,confronts London’s harrowing streets to thwart the assassination of Queen Victoria.

The year is 1855. The Crimean War is raging. The incompetence of British commanders causes the fall of the English government. The Empire teeters.

Amid this crisis comes opium-eater Thomas De Quincey, one of the most notorious and brilliant personalities of Victorian England. Along with his irrepressible daughter, Emily, and their Scotland Yard companions, Ryan and Becker, De Quincey finds himself confronted by an adversary who threatens the heart of the nation.

This killer targets members of the upper echelons of British society, leaving with each corpse the name of someone who previously attempted to kill Queen Victoria. The evidence indicates that the ultimate victim will be Victoria herself. As De Quincey and Emily race to protect the queen, they uncover long-buried secrets and the heartbreaking past of a man whose lust for revenge has destroyed his soul.

Brilliantly merging historical fact with fiction, Inspector of the Dead is based on actual attempts to assassinate Queen Victoria.

My Thoughts:   Inspector of the Dead is a fantastic sequel to Murder as a Fine Art.  David Morrell has out done himself again.  I felt like this book was a double whammy combining an awesome mystery with a look at Queen Victoria and her reign.  I will definitely be reading more about Victoria in the near future.

Thomas De Quincey is back in all his eccentric glory in this book.  However, I do think that several of the side characters from the last book, became more prominent in this book.  Mr. Morrell did a great job of letting the reader see more of the other characters while not stealing De Quincey's limelight.  I especially enjoyed getting to know Emily more in this book and seeing her strength and intelligence highlighted.

I must say that Mr. Morrell comes up with some awesome villains and does an amazing job of hiding them in plain sight.  I never saw it coming!  And despite how perfectly evil he was, I kind of felt sorry for him.  As the reader finds out all of the awful things that led to the villain becoming a murderer, it's hard not to sympathize with his plight.  I really struggled with wanting to hate him while also feeling guilty that the system failed him so miserably.

Morrell's descriptions of Victorian London are once again wonderful.  I also thought that he did an excellent job of putting a ton of information about Queen Victoria and the political climate into the story in such a way that it flowed nicely with the murder mystery.  Overall, this is a great book and I'm really hoping that Mr. Morrell writes another De Quincey book soon! 4 stars.

About the Author: 


David Morrell is an Edgar, Nero, Anthony, and Macavity nominee as well as a recipient of the prestigious career-achievement Thriller Master away from the International Thriller Writers. His numerous New York Times bestsellers include the classic espionage novel. The Brotherhood of the Rose, the basis for the only television mini-series to be broadcast after a Super Bowl. A former literature professor at the University of Iowa, Morrell has a PhD from Pennsylvania State University. His latest novel is INSPECTOR OF THE DEAD, a sequel to his highly acclaimed Victorian mystery/thriller, Murder as a Fine Art, which Publishers Weekly called ”one of the top ten mystery/thrillers of 2013.”

For more information visit David Morrell’s website. You can also connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.


I received this book from HFVBT in exchange for an honest review.

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