cover image Ruler of the Night

Ruler of the Night

David Morrell. Mulholland, $27 (352p) ISBN 978-0-316-30790-1

Set in 1855, Edgar-finalist Morrell’s spectacular third and final whodunit featuring opium addict and author Thomas De Quincey (after 2015’s Inspector of the Dead) finds De Quincey and Emily, his 22-year-old daughter and partner in detection, traveling by train from London to the Lake District, where he hopes to stop a landlord to whom he owes money from auctioning his beloved books. When lawyer Daniel Harcourt, who’s also a passenger on the train, is strangled, the De Quinceys become involved in the subsequent investigation. With railway travel relatively new, the first murder ever on an English train causes an uproar and makes a speedy solution essential to restoring public trust. The powers that be, many of whom utilized the dead man’s services, limit access to Harcourt’s client files in a determined effort to cover something up. The narrative builds to a powerful but bittersweet ending that will leave readers hoping that Morrell eventually chooses to resurrect this superb series. Agent: Jane Dystel, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (Nov.)