Thursday, 11 January 2018

RULER OF THE NIGHT (#3 in the trilogy) - by David Morrell

RULER OF THE NIGHT - by David Morrell
Published: 2016 - by Mulholland Books
Genres: Adult / historical fiction / thriller / mystery /
Pages: 333.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Occasional scenes of brief, gory violence / substance abuse
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Jonathan Ball SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.
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.

Even though I missed out on the first two books in this trilogy, I think I got enough from this novel to thoroughly appreciate it. It can be read on its own.
And if you're a fan of historical fiction thrillers, then this story is definitely for you.


The writing is rich and sophisticated. I love Morrell's style. The descriptions are so beautiful, the scenes masterfully crafted, and the level of detail is exquisite. It's not overdone and tedious, either - which can be hit or miss with detail. The whole story is also stunningly atmospheric, and I love the frequent dry humour from the characters. It lightens the otherwise somber tone.

The plot is very complicated. It's clever, but it is very layered and I'm still not sure how everything actually fits together. This could just be me, though. The mystery is very brisk and moves fast. But it's still good story, a good mystery, and the research of the time period is utterly meticulous.
There's not a lot of action in the book, but it's never boring. The writing's too enjoyable for that. However when there is action, it's exciting and gripping. I particularly love the scene when the group's in the water and struggling to keep alive. It's fantastic entertainment.


Memories are indeed like the stars, which disappear during the day but come back in the darkness...along with ghosts and nightmares.


The characters are charming. Emily is a capable young woman whose aim is to be a nurse, and she frequently helps out on the medical side of a case. Her father's the main genius, a quaint little man whom I found slightly irritating, but who's also dearly devoted to his daughter. And I love this father-daughter relationship - it's so beautifully written. To see Emily choose her father over her own happiness and her own romantic future is admirable. It's intensely moving to see how strong their bond is. 

The other characters are also compelling. The cast is big, but you soon get a grip on everyone's personalities and it becomes easier to follow everyone as the book progresses. I especially love Ryan and Becker - they're both intelligent, capable men, and despite both of them being in love with Emily, they have an epic bromance and are way beyond idiotic, testosterone-fueled fights over her. It's so healthy to see a strong man-on-man friendship. 




Ruler of the Night is a lush, atmospheric, classy mystery populated with strong characters, epic relationships, and of course a good dose of intrigue, action, and romance. I found the mystery rather confusing, but otherwise I thoroughly enjoyed the book. 

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