A newcomer to the Thomas DeQuincey stories, the premise of this audiobook was too intriguing to pass up. Narrated by Neil Dickson, let’s take a ride on a steam-powered train in Victorian England in
Ruler of the Night
Not knowing what to expect, I had some thoughts that I would find a present and palpable sense of Victorian England, a fast moving technological and invention-laden playground with all of the conflicted feelings and excitement that walks hand in hand with those changes. What I didn’t expect was to be instantly thrust into the story and lives of Thomas and his daughter Emily, as they deal with Thomas’ struggle to focus and limit his opiod use, a new mode of travel (the train) and, of course, the insertion of a murder (the first on England’s railways).
Were it not for the demons that Thomas battles with, semi-successfully, and the intervention from his daughter to keep funds in place and Thomas seeking for ‘more’ and ‘better’ for himself, he would be a pitiable creature, brilliant but tortured (similar to Sherlock of modern day era with Cumberbatch as the man himself). She is brilliant, but perhaps a bit subdued by society’s view of her as a woman, although clever and perfectly well-suited to be her father’s keeper. With Ryan and Becker, two London policemen also enamored of Emily, there is plenty happening in this story: all of it intriguing. From murder to sabotage, a fleeing German doctor and the Russians chasing him, and DeQuincey himself, the intersecting elements playing in kept me engaged and involved, wanting more of the twists, turns and clues.
Narration for this audiobook is provided by Neil Dickson, and his clear understanding of delivery from a suspense standpoint, his efforts to clearly present each character with a unique tone and cadence, and the subtle change in tone added greatly to the story, presenting moments of ‘pay attention now’ without giving away either major plot points or clues. Well suited to the story, he added a level of veracity that presented the facts, emotions and even far-reaching ‘treatments’ of the day with a flair that intrigues and interests listeners, while keeping the plot, as written, clearly in the forefront.
A wonderful book to listen to, I’m curious now about the earlier in th series, to see if I can’t find more about the genesis of DeQuincey’s addiction and demons, and see if this book continues to fit in the mold of a series well-loved by many.
Stars: Overall: 4 Narration: 4 Story: 4
Title: Ruler of the Night
Author: David Morrell
Series: Thomas De Quincey #3
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery Elements, Victorian
Narrator: Neil Dickson
Published by: Hachette Audio, Mulholland Books
Published on: 15 November, 2016
Source: Hachette Audio
Audio Length: 11 Hours: 53 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible
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, readers 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 readers back in time, away from the modern world and into the dangerous shadows of the past.
A copy of this title was provided via Hachette Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.