Review: Murder As A Fine Art by David Morrell

Title: Murder As A Fine Art
Author: David Morrell
Publisher: Little Brown and Company/Mulholland Books May 7, 2013
ISBN-10: 0316216798
Genre: Fiction
Labels: Historical Mystery Fiction, Suspense, Murder, London, 19th Century, Ratcliffe Highway Murder's, Serial Killer
Format: Advanced Reader Copy/Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 368
Rating: 5 Stars

Thomas De Quincey, wrote an essay in 1827, On Murder Considered as one of the Fine Arts. The subject of his essay was on the Ratcliffe Highway Murders of 1811. There were two sets of murders that occurred in early and mid December of 1811. A John Williams, was arrested, later he committed suicide in his jail cell. The Ratcliffe Highway Murders were gruesome, violent, and dramatically displayed for the people who witnessed the bodies. Thomas De Quincey, also wrote Confessions of an English Opium-Eater in 1821.
Author, David Morrell, has written a historical fiction crime novel based on the Ratcliffe Highway Murders. Using Thomas De Quincey, and his daughter Emily, as main characters. De Quincey, becomes the main suspect. Two detectives are working the case, a senior detective inspector named Sean Ryan, and his apprentice, constable Becker.
Thomas De Quincey
My Thoughts:
I loved this story for several reasons.
  • Page-turning masterpiece of suspense, murder, mystery, history of mid-19th century London, history of criminology, detective investigation work, opium addiction, progression of the sensation novel, Victorian culture, and a depraved mind of a murderer. 
  • Acute attention to details is in every scene; from the gruesome nature and violence of the murder's, to the displaying of the bodies, the streets of east London, the fearful and hostile neighbor's, an addicts demeanor and ritual, and step-by-step methodical detective work.
  • A strong female character. Emily is a no-nonsense, strong-minded, unyielding, resilient, woman. During the Victorian era women were to obey and be silent. She is neither. When she speaks men are not quite sure what to make of her, they give her the "raised eye-brow" look. Yet, she exudes charm and respect.  
  • I loved how the author weaved in a fictional story, that is credible.
  • I felt this was a very frightening story. I'd recently read a book where I was not moved with fear, not moved in anyway at all by its content. Murder As A Fine Art, is suspense writing at perfection!
Thank you to Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, David Morrell, and Mulholland Books for my free review copy!

Link to tour schedule:

David Morrell is a Canadian novelist from Kitchener, Ontario, who has been living in the United States for a number of years. He is best known for his debut 1972 novel First Blood, which would later become a successful film franchise starring Sylvester Stallone. More recently, he has been writing the Captain America comic books limited-series The Chosen.
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Link for book @ Amazon:
Hardcover: $16.89
Kindle: $11.04

I subscribe to Entertainment Magazine and there is a review of Murder As A Fine Art in the May 10, 2013 issue #1258.,,20696356,00.html
Another review from the Washington Post:

Wiki link to the book strongly apart of Murder As A Fine Art:
Confessions of an English Opium Eater
Project Gutenberg's Freebie
Thomas De Quincey