Review: Inspector of the Dead by David Morrell

Monday, 27 April 2015
Title: Inspector of the Dead
Author: David Morrell
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Publication Date: 24th March 2015
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780316323932
Source: bookbridgr
Rating: 3.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
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. As De Quincey and Emily race to protect the queen, they uncover long-buried secrets and the heartbreaking past of a man whose lust for revenge has destroyed his soul.

Based on actual attempts to assassinate Queen Victoria, Inspector of the Dead brilliantly merges historical fact with fiction, bringing a bloody chapter of Victorian England to vivid, pulse-pounding life.

By 1855, there had been six attempts to kill Queen Victoria. In Inspector of the Dead a seventh attempt will occur...

I couldn't tell you how many crime fiction books I have read over the years, only that hardly any of them have been set in the 1800s. In an attempt to mix things up I have been seeking out some Historical Fiction to see whether it is something I would enjoy, Inspector of the Dead was the perfect book to choose for this experiment.

The blurb for Inspector of the Dead instantly had me intrigued. I like books that are based on true events, and which use those facts and events within a fictional story, adding realism and authenticity to tell an engrossing (hopefully!) tale. I'm not a big history buff and so I can't speak for how authentic or true to life certain parts of the story are, but I can certainly say that they came across like they were.

The year is 1855. A killer is targeting 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 Queen Victoria herself. Thomas De Quincey and his daughter Emily must race to protect the queen, uncovering long-buried secrets and the heartbreaking past of a man whose lust for revenge has destroyed his soul. 

Our main character Thomas De Quincey is a difficult character to discuss without going into too much detail, as is always the case one must be wary of those shouting Spoilers!. Safe to say that he's a very intriguing character, and not somebody that I could compare with any other police officer I have ever read about. Given that the book and the policing within is a world away from the modern detective books I am used to, I did enjoy seeing this side of things. With all of the rules and regulations of today, it's always fascinating to read about times gone by.

I finished Inspector of the Dead and was left wanting to read more, not just from David Morrell but more crime fiction set around this time. I recently received a book unsolicited which goes back to the 1600s, it's definitely a book far out of my comfort zone so keep an eye out over the coming weeks to see if it features on the blog. Until then I definitely recommend this book to those who might be looking to read something a little different to what they are used to.

3.5/5 

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