The year is 1855. The Crimean War is raging. The incompetence of British commanders causes the fall of the English government. Read more...
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.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-01-12
- Reviewer: Staff
Fans of sophisticated historicals will embrace Macavity Award–winner Morrell’s second suspense novel featuring Thomas De Quincey and his grown daughter, Emily (after 2013’s Murder as a Fine Art). In 1855, just as the British are dealing with the collapse of the government following revelations of mismanagement during the Crimean War, London suffers a reign of terror. After murdering the servants of a Mayfair lord’s household, a killer manages the seemingly impossible crime of slitting the throat of Lady Cosgrove in her private pew in St. James’s Church. A note near her corpse contains only the words Young England, a reference to a group of conspirators assassin Edward Oxford claimed were behind his attempt on Queen Victoria’s life in 1840. The murders continue, in settings apparently selected to show Londoners that they aren’t safe anywhere, and with a savagery that suggests a personal motive for the bloody spree. Impressively, Morrell even manages to introduce some humor into his grim tale, as shown by a scene in which De Quincy shocks Lord Palmerston by admitting he once told George III a lie. Convincing period detail complements the fascinating story line. Agent: Jane Dystel, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (Mar.)