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Murder as a Fine Art

Hardcover, 05/07/2013

ISBN 9780316216791


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One of the best mysteries of 2013 says Publishers Weekly, BookPage, and Library Journal

Gaslit London is brought to its knees in David Morrell’s brilliant historical thriller.

Thomas De Quincey, infamous for his memoir Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, is the major suspect in a series of ferocious mass murders identical to ones that terrorized London forty-three years earlier.

The blueprint for the killings seems to be De Quincey’s essay “On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts.” Desperate to clear his name but crippled by opium addiction, De Quincey is aided by his devoted daughter Emily and a pair of determined Scotland Yard detectives.

In Murder as a Fine Art, David Morrell plucks De Quincey, Victorian London, and the Ratcliffe Highway murders from history. Fogbound streets become a battleground between a literary star and a brilliant murderer, whose lives are linked by secrets long buried but never forgotten.

“Masterful . . . brilliantly plotted . . . evokes 1854 London with such finesse that you’ll gear the hooves clattering on cobblestones, the racket of dustmen, and the shrill call of vendors.” —Entertainment Weekly (Grade: A)

“Morrell writes action scenes like nobody’s business.” —New York Times Book Review

“A literary thriller that pushes the envelope” —Associated Press

“The most daring and original thriller of the year hands down . . . The master at work in truly wondrous display here in a richly atmospheric, darkly hypnotic tale . . . Morrell’s brilliant rendition of a long gone place and time evokes the best of Edgar Allen Poe and Arthur Conan Doyle.” Providence Journal

David Morrell is best known for his debut 1972 novel First Blood, which would later become the successful Rambo film franchise starring Sylvester Stallone. He has written 28 novels, and his work has been translated into 26 languages. He is also a former professor of American Literature at the University of Iowa and received his PhD from Penn State.