Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Review: Inspector of the Dead by David Morrell
When I found out there would be another book in this series featuring the Opium EaterThomas De Quincey, his brilliant and beautiful daughter Emily, and their Scotland Yard buddies Ryan and Becker. Inspector of the Dead begins with the death of a prominent woman in a very public place named Lady Cosgrove. She is found with a note in the her pocket that reads "Young England". This group is known for being against the monarch hoping to someday overthrow the government.
As the investigation progresses, there are more attacks and deaths on prominent persons in London with notes left on them naming others who have attempted to assassinate the queen. Being a genius on the subject of murder as a fine art, De Quincey was able to deduce that the Queen may be the true target of all these murders.
De Quincey and crew investigate past attempts as well as possible suspects. We learn through their travels just how rudimentary the legal system was at that time. It's people such as Becker and Ryan who suggested incorporating the many things I'm sure are taken for granted. Such as taking pictures of the crime scene or at least preserving the scene. And gratefully Morrell doesn't allow this novel to move at a pace that makes you feel every inconvenience of being set in Victorian England. I barely noticed that it would have been helpful to have a cell phone in order to tell the Queen to hide.
Morrell kept me glued to this novel and I enjoyed it just as much as Murder As a Fine Art. The idea that not much has changed in regards to human nature to wear disguises to often times be who we aren't or to make the appearance of being more important than we are. Even De Quincey admits he's fallen victim to being a person who knows that his name bares more weight in certain circles. That is why he added the "De" before Quincey. The suspect in this novel uses disguises to work his way into a society he didn't belong. And he's pretty smart I tell ya. I really dig this guy.
One other thing worth mentioning is that I really enjoy getting into the characters heads. Emily's diary entries provide a lot more depth into her character and the relationship she has with the two inspectors Ryan and Becker. We also get to peer into the mind of the killer in an effort to understand what he's thinking and why he's doing what he's doing. The only characters who take a backseat in this title are Becker and Ryan. I would have liked more from them but... they aren't the stars. Thomas De Quincey is. He's a character based on a real man so it's interesting that Morrell has given him such depth and allows him to be likable instead of stagnant.
Overall, I'm a bonafide fan of this Thomas De Quincey series. Inspector of the Dead is fast paced, absorbing, and just a good ol' fun read. Traipsing around the dark and murky corners of Victorian England is always a good time. I hope David Morrell graces us with more installations to this De Quincey series. He is one of my favorite authors so even if there is never another Opium eater, I will definitely be reading more. Inspector of the Dead encourages me to see past the disguise and realize people are more than they appear to be.
Copy Provided by Mulholland Books via Netgalley